Special effects are great and all, don't get me wrong. But gimme premium sound and fresh air every time over a sweaty stanky dungeon arena.
VS!! The overlords finally added side stage seats in NJ! (No seats were avail from "the venue" for months). Still none added at MSG. They are holding onto those like the holy grail!! $500 for any front of stage seats lower bowl within five sections of stage. Anyway...
Outdoor shows...It's much different than that in NY. Jones Beach is right on the ocean and the bay, and the wind is usually blowin. Unless you are within 25 rows, the sounds gonna be doing a Dylan (blowin in the wind). Hey, there goes Lifeson's solo, into the bay.
I'm guessing in LA you don't have excessive humidity nor Mosquitos. Outdoor shows in NY are far from comfy. We all have natural calamities, just those in LA don't interrupt outdoor shows. Add to that there is zero ambience with no light show, to the point seeing Ged Alex and Neil in broad daylight takes all the magic away. Horrifying actually. I mean they are great to watch, but they might as well be playing at the local repair shop.
CMS, you mention a lot of awesome outdoor shows like Kiss, Van Halen,etc. those sure sound like great shows, but those bands usually have opening acts. If so, they play shorter than Rush and can start after sunset. Makes all the difference in half the world.