Neil Peart's News, Weather, and Sports Update - July 2011
Neil Peart has posted the July 2011 update to the News, Weather, and Sports section of his website.
In this entry, titled "The Frying Pan and the Freezer ", Neil focused on his motorcycle journeys during the 2011 leg of the Time Machine tour, and the brutal weather he endured when the band was touring throughout the southwest:It was June 13, and the temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit. It felt like an oppressive oven.In his usual detailed fashion, Neil discusses numerous stops along the way and the people and places he encounters. All of this leading up to Rush's final show at The Gorge outside of Seattle, WA back on July 2nd:
It felt deadly.
Apart from residents of the American Southwest, or the desert areas of North Africa, most sensible persons have never experienced such hellish degrees of heat. (I have long treasured a bit of weather trivia, asking which two states have never recorded temperatures above 100 degrees. One is Alaska, not surprisingly, but the other is Hawaii—kept more temperate by its mid-ocean setting and steady trade winds.)
In any case, let me tell you: 112 degrees is brutally hot. Especially on a motorcycle, on a dusty gravel road, under the midday sun, wearing full protective gear. But you would be suffering even if you were naked in the shade.Added to the forty-four shows and more than 23,000 miles of motorcycling from summer 2010, my bandmates and I had now performed a total of eighty-one shows, before almost one million people. With riding partners Michael and Brutus, I had ridden 36,729 motorcycle miles, covering North America, South America, and Europe. Michael and I were glad to get in early that day to The Gorge, needing to pack up and move off the bus, while Dave (with welcome help from Brian) organized the trailer and loaded my California bike on a pallet, to ride in one of the equipment trucks back to Los Angeles.Neil ends this installment with how that final show -- and the tour -- ended, and what lays in store for Rush in the future.
I have written before that one of the things I like about playing outdoors is that I have a better view of the audience—especially in a location like The Gorge, where the crystalline twilight lingered into the beginning of the second set.We could feel it in our ensemble playing, tight and energetic, but these days an exceptional night is often apparent in our improvised sections—Geddy on his bass in the outro of “Leave That Thing Alone,” Alex in the frenetic solo section of “Working Man,” and for me, the first half of my solo. When the three of us are at the top of our individual games, we are able to elevate the whole to a sublime synergy.That smile says it all.
At the end of the show, as we bowed and waved and Geddy thanked the audience for being so great, at that show and so many others, I heard him drop the f-bomb—for the first time in history. After saying, “It has been great,” he repeated that phrase and added that emphatic modifier. It was definitely a case of “when no other word would do”—to express how successful the tour had been, how much it meant to us, and how much we appreciated the people who had made it great. In that moment, the three of us knew that at last we would be stepping away from the “frying pan” of live performance (the crucible) for a while, and would have some time off to chill: “the freezer.”
And what a great way to mark that transition.
Sometimes things are so perfectly right that you can’t help but get carried away in the moment...
Click HERE to read the entire entry.