Moving Pictures tour book

That sound you heard last week was the sound of an orgasm, shared in unison worldwide by the dedicated legion of Rush fans.  Make no mistake, I’m not talking about Rush Limbaugh – rather, I’m referring to the much-loved Canadian rock trio, who answer individually to the names Geddy, Alex, and Neil.

To say that they are beloved by their fanbase doesn’t quite cover it.  “Worship” might be a more appropriate term for your average Rush fan – you know, the curious guy in your neighborhood or office that can quote every lyrical square inch of the Rush catalog?  Every couple of years, around this time as the weather finally begins to head towards the warm side, Rush fans watch and wait to find out if the rumors are true – will Rush tour this summer?  Will Rush put out a new album?  Will that tour be followed by a live CD, DVD and Blu-ray?

The answer to the last question:  most definitely.  Rush have released about 63 live albums* to date – so what’s the harm in adding one more to that stack?

(* the number of live albums is of course, slightly exaggerated)

Rush will be on tour this summer, with the promise that they’ll stick a few new songs into the set, from their upcoming new album currently in progress.

They’ll also be performing their 1981 album Moving Pictures in its entirety.  Yep, that’s the one that has “Tom Sawyer” on it.

The album also is the band’s most successful release in the U.S., charting at number 3 on the Billboard charts with over 4 million copies sold to date. (Popdose’s Jeff Vrabel also made cassette dubs of the vinyl edition for many of his neighbors, but those copies are not included in the cumulative sales totals.)

Rush - Moving Pictures

The band got crafty with the cover art for the album, which features movers moving pictures, people openly weeping as they look at, you guessed it, “moving pictures” and a film crew making a “moving picture” of the whole scene.  With this carefully constructed album cover, those talented and cunning Canadian bastards pulled off a triple entendre.  If Godsmack were to release an album today with the same title, they’d probably just use a blurry cover and call it done.

While many of the tracks from Moving Pictures have made an appearance in Rush setlists in recent years, this will be the first opportunity to hear a few legitimate nuggets that have been on the shelf for a while – cue the high fives right at that moment when they kick into “The Camera Eye.”

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That’s right, you no longer have to placate yourself with cover band renditions of “The Camera Eye,” because this summer, you’ll finally get to see Rush play the whole damn thing.  Just when you thought they weren’t getting those cards and letters that you’ve been sending them over the years, your Canuck prog-rockin’ buds acknowledge that indeed, they do know what you want.  In fact, they know that you also want to hear “Witch Hunt.”

Damn dude, these Rush guys are psychic.

With the selection of Moving Pictures, Rush are going for the obvious mass appeal album that will sell tickets.  Sure, Caress of Steel (or another album of your pick) might have been a ballsier choice, but even the most die-hard Rush fanatic will probably find himself (are there any female Rush fans?) smiling on the night of the show.  Believe me, I groaned quite audibly when Springsteen announced Born to Run album shows, but once I saw it, I was pretty happy that I got to see the full album in sequence, even though many of the tracks were common staples of the setlist.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about Bruce, and I certainly hope that you’ll be happy seeing Moving Pictures in full this summer.  Within the Popdose Army, you’ll no doubt find some differing opinions.  Mix Six dude Ted Asregadoo loved the album to pieces, but I think we’ll probably be buying our own tickets to the gig.  You see, freebies have been kind of hard to come by, ever since Uncle Donnie wrote his bourbon-fueled rant of career advice to Rush management.  Although his dispatch was originally written in 1977, it seems that they never received the original, and all would have been fine and dandy if Unc just woulda left things alone.  But oh no, he had to put his archived copy of the letter onto the internet.  Next thing you know, Popdose lead drummer Jeff Giles gets one of them angry letters from Rush management, and they kindly let us know in that gentle Canadian way, that we could put it where the sun don’t shine.

We’ll see you this summer on the road, and until then, we’d like to invite you to tune up a bit for the gig with this vintage show from the Grace Under Pressure tour, recorded at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  Uncle Donnie had to drive me to the show, which means that I got to hear him bitch some more about Rush, and that senile mother trucker kept yammering throughout the entire gig.  Luckily, the fine folks at Wolfgang’s Vault made sure that I’d have a way to digitally remember all of the key moments of the show that I missed, because Uncle Donnie wouldn’t shut up!

Listen to this entire show at Concert Vault.

About the Author

Matt Wardlaw

Matt Wardlaw is a music lifer with nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. Of course you all have shoes older than that, but that's okay, Matt realizes that he's still a rookie. His byline has appeared in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), Cleveland Scene, Blogcritics, Music's Bottom Line and Ultimate Classic Rock, among others. In addition to writing for Popdose, Matt also has his own music blog called Addicted to Vinyl where he writes about a variety of subjects including but not limited to vinyl. In his spare time, Matt enjoys long walks in the park, Cherone-era Van Halen and driving long distances to Night Ranger concerts.

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