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Spoke with Howard Underleiger last night in Baltimore :)


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#1 ALifeson85

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:56 PM

My seats for last night's show in Baltimore were on the floor, Section 6, row E...right next to the mixing boards. I'm sitting in my seat waiting for the show to start, I look over, and who do I see standing at the mix board?? The legendary Howard Underleider - Rush's lighting tech since...FOREVER. Only spoke to him for a minute or so...complimented his amazing lighting skills :) He was definitely a very chill dude.

Speaking of last night's show...AMAZING. We were dead-center, and the sound was great. And I forgot how SMALL that place is though, too, haha. But that's cool, because you're much closer to the action. :yes:

Edited by ALifeson85, 08 May 2013 - 07:34 PM.


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#2 bathory

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:40 PM

neat! people are meeting some big name rush dudes on this tour I guess

#3 default236

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:40 PM

Jack Secret has a few pics on his Facebook from the 2012 Vegas show with myself in a few ;) I talked to him briefly, very down to earth guy!

#4 Nate1647

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:03 PM

I spoke with Howard at my first Rush show for a few minutes. Mentioned it was my first show and he told me I'd be hooked and would be seeing them many more times (this was 2nd leg of snakes, my 4th show will be in July lol), at the time I didn't really know who he was but he told me that he did all the lighting and that Ged Al and Neil are the nicest coworkers to have ever.

#5 FOH Lights

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:56 PM

View PostALifeson85, on 08 May 2013 - 12:56 PM, said:

My seats for last night's show in Baltimore were on the floor, Section 6, row E...right next to the mixing boards. I'm sitting in my seat waiting for the show to start, I look over, and who do I see standing at the mix board?? The legendary Howard Underleiger - Rush's lighting tech since...FOREVER. Only spoke to him for a minute or so...complimented his amazing lighting skills :) He was definitely a very chill dude.
Howard enjoys talking to and having pictures taken with lucid fans. He certainly appreciates the comliments and if you catch him at a good time (pre-show or immediately following the show), he can tell some pretty good stories. As long as you're cool with him, he'll be cool to you. He's been a very good friend of mine for a lot of years and is as genuine as they come. I've been fortunate enough to hang out with quite a few other bands/crews and by far, Rush is the best to be around & most naturally laid back. Well, except for Neil, but even he seems to be mellowing a lot in his old age. :lol:

#6 CygnusGal

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

That's a great experience and a good story.  Congratulations!  :ebert:

#7 Mika

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:30 PM

View PostNate1647, on 08 May 2013 - 05:03 PM, said:

I spoke with Howard at my first Rush show for a few minutes. Mentioned it was my first show and he told me I'd be hooked and would be seeing them many more times (this was 2nd leg of snakes, my 4th show will be in July lol), at the time I didn't really know who he was but he told me that he did all the lighting and that Ged Al and Neil are the nicest coworkers to have ever.

I like that this describes the Rush boys as 'coworkers'! I think it's easy to completely concentrate on the guys onstage, and not give much thought for the many people that make this show possible. I kind of noticed this with a behind-the-scenes feature of Friends, where I saw how much work goes into the show other than the output of the actors - the actors are actually a smaller part of the large workload, which was kind of weird to understand.

So, a big cheers to Howard and all the other guys that work hard to give us such awesome shows. I'm by no means a concert expert, but Rush shows seem very particularly well-put together, and from what I hear, everyone working together has good things to say about everyone else, which is really nice!


ETA: Apparently there's a good behind-the-show doc about Rush, 'Behind the Lighted Stage', I think. I think I must check it out! :)

Edited by Mika, 08 May 2013 - 07:31 PM.


#8 ALifeson85

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

Sure, I may have never met Rush - but it was cool getting to meet and talk with someone who works so close to them :yes:

#9 pony2112

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:07 AM

What was the attendance for this show?

#10 Brava Doh!

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:30 AM

View PostMika, on 08 May 2013 - 07:30 PM, said:

ETA: Apparently there's a good behind-the-show doc about Rush, 'Behind the Lighted Stage', I think. I think I must check it out! :)

If you can find the "Backstage Secrets" Series that was produced on the Snakes tour in 2007, you won't be sorry. There are 6 hour-long segments and each goes around with a different part of the Rush travelling crew...Lights, rigging, sound, video production, equipment techs, the whole works. Truly a must-watch if you want to learn more about and understand the work that the backstage folks to to get these shows ready.

It still airs on a cable channel in Canada on occasion, and I believe it is available on dvd but I don't know who put it out. Search it on Google, that might help.

#11 FOH Lights

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:57 AM

I think that by now, most of those series are on youtube. Just search for "rush backstage secrets". Intersting stuff.

Edited by FOH Lights, 09 May 2013 - 08:59 AM.


#12 Wingmaster

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:01 AM

View PostFOH Lights, on 08 May 2013 - 06:56 PM, said:

Howard enjoys talking to and having pictures taken with lucid fans. He certainly appreciates the comliments and if you catch him at a good time (pre-show or immediately following the show), he can tell some pretty good stories. As long as you're cool with him, he'll be cool to you. He's been a very good friend of mine for a lot of years and is as genuine as they come. I've been fortunate enough to hang out with quite a few other bands/crews and by far, Rush is the best to be around & most naturally laid back. Well, except for Neil, but even he seems to be mellowing a lot in his old age. :lol:

I would actually enjoy watching those guys set-up much more than I would enjoy a M&G.  I think it would be fascinating all of the work that goes into these shows.  

The neat thing is that Rush shows have only gotten better over the years insofar as lighting and the rest go, and I'm not merely talking about stuff that has evolved due to advances in technology either.

#13 mk2112

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:01 PM

the backstage secrets thing is a great insight. I love it. The only thing I find incredibly annoying about it is the music they put on in the 'background'...drives my nuts. I wish there was a version without it!

#14 Mika

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:53 PM

View PostBrava Doh!, on 09 May 2013 - 08:30 AM, said:

View PostMika, on 08 May 2013 - 07:30 PM, said:

ETA: Apparently there's a good behind-the-show doc about Rush, 'Behind the Lighted Stage', I think. I think I must check it out! :)

If you can find the "Backstage Secrets" Series that was produced on the Snakes tour in 2007, you won't be sorry. There are 6 hour-long segments and each goes around with a different part of the Rush travelling crew...Lights, rigging, sound, video production, equipment techs, the whole works. Truly a must-watch if you want to learn more about and understand the work that the backstage folks to to get these shows ready.

It still airs on a cable channel in Canada on occasion, and I believe it is available on dvd but I don't know who put it out. Search it on Google, that might help.

I will be looking for it; thanks! :) And six hours... wow!

#15 FOH Lights

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:59 PM

View PostWingmaster, on 09 May 2013 - 09:01 AM, said:

View PostFOH Lights, on 08 May 2013 - 06:56 PM, said:

Howard enjoys talking to and having pictures taken with lucid fans. He certainly appreciates the comliments and if you catch him at a good time (pre-show or immediately following the show), he can tell some pretty good stories. As long as you're cool with him, he'll be cool to you. He's been a very good friend of mine for a lot of years and is as genuine as they come. I've been fortunate enough to hang out with quite a few other bands/crews and by far, Rush is the best to be around & most naturally laid back. Well, except for Neil, but even he seems to be mellowing a lot in his old age. :lol:

I would actually enjoy watching those guys set-up much more than I would enjoy a M&G.  I think it would be fascinating all of the work that goes into these shows.
You're right, IMO it's much better than a M&G. It's amazing how fast they can load-in. Even more amazing to me is that 2 hours after the show, everything is back on the trucks and on it's way to the next gig. Most people don't think about it, but every amp, speaker, light fixture, etc., etc., etc., is broken down and packed away, usually in it's own case. It's a huge job, but these guys make it look easy. If you EVER get the chance to see a load-in, jump on it.

#16 thesquonk2112

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 05:57 AM

Howard actually saw my 9- and 11-year old boys in Baltimore wearing their "got peart" and "got geddy" shirts about 45 min before the show, and he came over and started chatting with them about their favorite songs, etc.  After a few minutes, he said "do you guys want some better seats?," which left my boys stunned.  Howard then took my boys up to the riser where he works his magic and let them sit on the riser for the entire show!  He was the nicest, coolest guy.  He gave them drinks from his cooler, special access passes, and Alex's C/A guitar picks!  I came inside about 30 min later - was outside selling some extra seats - and as soon as I walked in, I almost collapsed upon seeking my wife and sons sitting with Howard Ungerleider!  As I said, he was a true gentleman - very gracious and kind to us.  It was really neat to see how hard he works at his craft, and boy, does he work hard. During the first intermission, I told him I wasn't sure whose job was harder - his or Neil soloing!  We got to hear some war stories about the old days, and he showed us all his equipment and what it all does (like I understood).  He actually has a computer monitor that tells him exactly what to do with the lights and when, and it has little notes to himself (like "spotlight neil for drumstick toss!").  Another bonus was that one of Rush's old lighting guys from the 70s and early 80s, who lives in the area, stopped by the show and sat with us on the riser - and he shared more war stories about his days with the band.  A totally mind-blowing experience!  Like the band itself, you can see that the crew are just honest, unpretentious people.

Kudos to Howard.  He's the best!

#17 dngrDngr

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:46 AM

Cool. Thanks for this...

Edited by dngrDngr, 10 May 2013 - 06:47 AM.


#18 ALifeson85

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

AWESOME story, Squonk!! :yes: I would have thought I was dreaming if I got to sit with Howard at his "command center", ha! A true testament as to how gracious the entire Rush crew are towards fans. :yes:

#19 Animate

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:18 PM

It was neat to

View Postmk2112, on 09 May 2013 - 01:01 PM, said:

the backstage secrets thing is a great insight. I love it. The only thing I find incredibly annoying about it is the music they put on in the 'background'...drives my nuts. I wish there was a version without it!
They don't just put Rush on in the background?

#20 Animate

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

I want to meet Howard now too!  What a cool guy- talk about fate, Howard being assigned to help Rush on their first show in the US and still being with them today.



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