Rush 2007 .. and a bitch at Riverbend …

September 2, 2007

Last night, kayleigh and I went to see Rush perform at Riverbend in Cincinnati. Riverbend is an outside concert venue next to old Coney Island, owned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra that opened in 1984.

Rush performed, as usual, a stellar concert, polished, and they jammed. They opened with the always rocking, always crowd-pleasing “Limelight,” and played several of their other big hits like “Spirit of Radio” and “Tom Sawyer” during the concert. But what I always like about Rush is that they don’t dwell on their old big-hits. Yes, they play a few of them, jazzing up the crowd, but they concentrate on numerous selections from their latest album, in this case, Snakes and Arrows, and they also play many other songs from previous albums that you don’t often get to hear, especially live or on the radio. This year’s encore was “Passage to Bangkok.”

I’m waiting to hear “Kid Gloves” live. ~ sigh

Except for stupid behavior from a couple of spectators who refused to shut up during the concert, and a drunken hoard of shirtless 20-somethings that descended to our area in the second half of the concert, it was a very nice night, weather and music wise. Plus, it’s always special to spend time with kayleigh, stupid spectators or not.

A gripe: kayleigh and I tried to take two sealed bottled of water into the concert. We were told we had to pour them into cups! WTF? Apparently you can’t even take bottled water in anymore? Is this for security or corporate America keeping you prisoner and making you buy their goods? These rules change constantly and you’re never sure what you can and can’t bring. Riverbend’s “rules and prohibited” says you can’t take alcoholic beverages, period. But did you know if it’s raining, you’re screwed during a rock concert, because you can’t bring an umbrella? And their vendors will continue to sell beer up to the last few minutes of a concert — which you have to dump into a trash can before you exit?

More major gripe: the concert venue, Riverbend, really needs revamped. My biggest gripe with Riverbend has been the same since it was built: the pavilion roof is supported by several massive girders that block a lot of the stage view from the lawn seats.

Years ago, they installed a couple of large screens that for some astoundingly stupid reason they hung in the viewing area between the girder supports, NOT on the girder supports themselves that block the view anyway. I’ve never understood why they would take away MORE viewing area from the lawn, but they did.

At the time, these screens were a welcome addition, even if they did block the view, You could at least see the band on the screens. But these screens have never been replaced as far as I know, and they aren’t state of the art by any means, nor do they work half the time. One screen at the left end of the lawn will have a close up of the band, for example, but the viewing screen at the right shows nothing at all, or just shadows. Other times one screen looks like it has static, while the other is completely dark.

Message to the CSO: You’re building a new smaller pavilion alongside the big pavilion at Riverbend for next year. While you’re jazzing up a new stage, replace the old clunker low-resolution screens!

AND MOVE THEM TO THE SUPPORT GIRDERS SO THEY DON’T BLOCK THE VIEW!!

Update: looks like Riverbend isn’t the only venue doing this.  According to Boing Boing, the Bumbershoot in Seattle did the same for a Crowded House concert.  Look at the waste.

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