Rush does The Seeker

Frate, Chris (EM, PTL) Chris.Frate at
Fri Jun 11 08:44:32 CDT 2004

As promised, my report on Rush covering "The Seeker" and "Summertime Blues".
Both were excellent versions. The Seeker was very close to the original, and
Geddy's vocals were right on. I think that it is he is is the biggest Who
fan in the band. Alex played a very nice solo, though I was disappointed
that he did not try to do the very distinctive one that Pete plays on the
record. Neil did not try to copy Keith, and really played the whole thing a
little too straight. That's too bad, because he is IMO the best rock drummer
alive today. Who-wise, he is a dichotomy, because in some ways his style is
closer to Keith than anyone else around, and in some ways it is as far from
Keith as could be. Closer in that he has a huge kit and is a great tom and
double bass player who likes to fill a lot of space (I always thought Zak's
only shortcoming was that he was more reliant on cymbal play for fills than
Keith was - Keith seemed to use his cymbals to create a rhythmic drone).
Neil is completely opposite Keith in that he is extremely regimented, while
Keith was almost all "feel". Neil's live drum parts are almost identical to
the recordings he makes.

In a radio interview earlier in the day, guitarist Alex Lifeson said that
their version of Summertime Blues was a combination of Blue Cheer's version
and the "Live at Leeds" version. I've only heard the Blue Cheer version a
few times, so I can't really comment on which parts were from which version,
but aside from a weird intro, the riffs, solos, and drumming seemed to be
more Who to me. They exchanged solos during the "John" part instead of
trying to copy that.

All in all, it was an exemplary show (if you like Rush), with virtuoso
musicianship, excellent videos (including an appearance by Jerry Stiller and
SCTV's Count Floyd) and over three solid hours of songs. Unfortunately, the
sound guys were absolutely terrible. I hope their pay was docked for that
show. It was almost like sitting next to one of those rap music fan's cars
where the windows are tinted and all you you hear is a low bass rumble. I
had to stick my fingers in my ears to make out any guitar!

Well, I'm sure that's more Rush info than most of you are interested in.
Hope I didn't waste your time.

-Chris in Cleveland

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