One of Mexico’s favourite bands has always been Rush. Beyond frontiers of progressive rock, heavy metal or even pop, the Canadian trio has always found a place in the heart of all Mexican rockers. Therefore, it was like a dream come true to see Rush in Mexico City, an unbelievable event after waiting for more than 20 years to have them here.
Right in the middle of Mexico’s former Formula One circuit, the new baseball stadium called Foro Sol has been the silent witness of concerts by living legends like the Rolling Stones or Eric Clapton. However, October the 5th 2002 saw a different act at 8:00 p.m. when three musicians started playing “Tom Sawyer”. It was real, Rush were in the land of the Aztec emperors. The concert began with an impressive audience still filling the place. It was time for musical communication that continued with classic songs like “Distant Early Warning” and new material from "Vapor Trails".
The show continued as “Roll the Bones” was sung by an impressive audience that was just warming up and becoming more and more enthusiastic. Same reaction with “YYZ” and “Analogue Kid”. Geddy Lee’s voice gave a short introduction in Spanish just to continue apologizing (!!!) in English for not having come to Mexico before and thanking people for their support to the band. One of the songs that he announced as a great favourite from the band was “The Pass” from "Presto", incredible performance. Parts that brought the audience to a climax were the beautiful instrumental track “Leave that thing Alone” (from "Counterparts") and the classic from "Grace Under Pressure" “Red Sector A”.
An important complement to the show was also the video screen, behind the band, videos like “Roll the Bones” were being projected and new visual parts accompanying material from "Vapor Trails" were also shown. The light show also included flames that supported video parts on new tracks like “Ghost Rider”. The band announced a 30-minute break given the length of the concert. It also gave people an opportunity to go and find a t-shirt from the band and actually discover that Rush’s official merchandise was sold out. Time to buy a beer instead…
The show continued and Lee introduced a song that wasn’t included in the tour but that they would actually play in Mexico: “Closer to the Heart”, the audience went crazy with it… but it was just an interlude to some other classic moments like Neil Peart’s “Rhythm Method”, his impressive drum solo. The evening was also full of surprises like an acoustic set followed by “La Villa Strangiatto” with a jazzy, big-band-like arrangement and with Alex Lifeson’s impressive guitar parts on “The Spirit of Radio”.
Segments from "2112" also appeared to be an important part of the show along with “Big Money”, “Bravado” or even “Freewill”. Some people might wonder where “Subdivisions”, “Xanadu” or other songs were left, but the incredible part is that it was a balanced performance between new material and classic tracks from all the group’s periods, I think that for a concert that finished at 11:30 p.m. there were no songs missing. The show was worth waiting all that time. However, the sound engineer didn’t seem to agree with the audience, given that the sound went off three times, and the last one was right at the very end of the concert (&$%#* !!!!!!)…
Rush in concert is a unique experience not to be missed. Singing their classic tracks, watching their great technique and discovering their new material at the same time was fantastic. The show lasted for more than 3 hours, brought people from all over the country and lit the flame of progressive rock in Mexico City once more. It was definitely one of the most memorable concerts ever to take place in this country.