Well, having started this thread on Wednesday as a "Hey, I'm gonna see Rush tonight in London, yay!!" type thing, its been interesting (almost scary) to see how its developed
Seen a lot of different opinions on a whole range of stuff, but we're all different and have different opinions, not necessarily right or wrong, but I guess thats what makes the world fun
So, for what its worth (and I'm not out to offend anyone or anything like that - I'm just not that kind of person) here's my take on it.....
I've never been to the O2 before, what a stunning sight. The fact they've actually built a complete arena in what is basically a big tent is amazing. What a cool place (shops, bars, etc.) But, once I stuck my head in the arena I knew what kind of sound we'd get.
To be fair, I had expected that and was under no illusions. Wembley is a big shed, the O2 is a big bowl. Far too much concrete to ever get a good sound. But I've come to accept that with a band such as Rush, playing the size of venue they need to meet demand, we're always gonna be stuck with that (unless the festival dates materialize - here's hoping). I don't come to a gig like that expecting crystal clear sound and in a multi-purpose, host everything, enormo-dome like that, unless they give everyone head/earphones it ain't gonna happen (didn't Yes have "Concert-sonics" back in 1994 which was something very similar) . I know a couple of people have mentioned the comparison with the Roger Waters show a couple of weeks earlier. From my point of view, the dynamics of the music involved are completely different. Love The Wall as I do, its so much more subtle that a Rush set. I can imaging that hearing every detail of "Goodbye Cruel World" would have been special. As a PF fan as well I'm also aware that it can get a bit raucous at times, but not in the same league as Rush. Then again, I saw adverts for Iron Maiden in August at the O2. Would there be any point in going? That really is gonna be a wall of noise. It would be nice to return to the "classic" venues like Hammersmith, its just not possible. I guess its our fault for making them so popular However, I thought the sound was pretty good considering the venue. I commented to my friend how clear Neils high toms were. Also, unless the bass drum is actually trying to push your heart through your back, it just ain't a proper "big" gig I do love any gig where the drums kick in on the first number and it just literally makes you step back. Everything else was cool. I to noticed a few changes in balance as we went through the night, but thats to be expected (and I thought soundmen just turned up and switched it all on )
On the standing/sitting/rocking out points, its horses for courses and respect for all your fellow concert go-ers. I sat for the evening (and before anyone asks, I wasn't in block 101). The reason, I'm 6' 4'' and about 17 stone (thats about 240 pounds for our friends across the pond). I make a good sight screen. As we approached kick off I looked around to see who was behind me. There was an older couple (to be honest, older than I expected to see at a Rush gig, but credit to them) and there was no way they were getting up. So I sat. No problems from me, I can rock out in my seat (am surprised the seat was still attached given my dimensions and the rocking I did). There was a guy across from me who was sat down air drumming all night (although to be fair he may have thought he was actually sitting on Neils drum stool). On the R30 tour @ Wembley, I stood. Was worried at first as I turned round and there was a 12 year old with his Dad so I thought that was it. But the kid got on his seat. He could see past me, the people behind him could see past him, all was good. I do sort of understand the perspective that you've paid your money, you should be able to enjoy it how you want to, but at the expense of other peoples enjoyment? I don't believe thats how its works. I know some people had to put up with to**ers who were only concerned about how they themselves were enjoying it. That is wrong. I've seen people thrown out of gigs for "enjoying" themselves a bit too much and spoiling it for everyone else. One big caveat is that if someone is being obviously annoying about behavior that so isn't upsetting anyone else, that that is a different matter. I'm sure there must be a nasty special place for people like that. As many people have said, it is a rock concert for goodness sake.
As for the prices, yeah its expensive but isn't everything going up these days (don't get me started on fuel !!!). To me, its a treat. I don't get to see many gigs and the opportunity to see my favorite band can't be missed. Plus, I got a t-shirt, tour book and I even bought the Caravan/BU2B cd (even though I downloaded the tracks, its actually nice to have a physical copy). People go on holiday and as its a special occasion, they treat themselves to something they wouldn't normally buy. I'm sure some people in the world blow a lot more money on some absolutely stupid things, worse that a t-shirt and tour book. So call me a mug, but this was my special occasion and these were gifts to myself (please don't tell the wife ).
I was happy with the set list as well. I was one of the guys who posted that he was glad they didn't change it for this leg. I wanted to hear Presto, Time Stand Still and hey, even Faithless (the more different songs I get to hear Rush play the better). The only one I had the slightest reservations about before the show was Stick It Out. But my word (I sound very British there) it blew me away, almost literally. My trousers were flaping on some chords/notes. Wow!!
So to draw my ramble to a close, I had a great night, and I'll do it again if/when they come back. I think it depends on each persons expectations, as said everyone is different (see opening comments). I knew it was expensive (and I had a cheaper ticket than the guys/gals on the floor at the front) and that the merchandise was gonna be a bit steep (but as said this was my treat). I knew the setlist and was so looking forward to it and I knew that in an arena that size the sound wasn't gonna be perfect.
Fantastic night!! Gutted for those that had a rough time, pleased for those who enjoyed it like me.
London baby, yeah !!!!