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Mark, Scott, and I headed out in the early afternoon to Allentown; finding that parking wasn’t yet open, we stopped at a TGI Friday’s for an early dinner.  Taking a different way back to the Fair, we found a Boy Scout Troop selling parking spaces for $5, less than the $8 the fair was charging, with much better street access.  It was appropriate, because when the show was done I wanted to get the hell out of that venue.

I hated the seats at Allentown Fair, but I always love seeing Rush.  Their films before, during intermission, and after the show were better-produced than ever, and very funny.  They came out with a strong “Spirit of Radio”, and highlights in the first set for me were the new single “BU2B”, the first live treatment of “Presto” (probably among my top 15 personal favorites), the triumphant return of “Marathon”, and “Workin’ Them Angels”.

Set two was led off by the seven-song “Moving Pictures” set, and it was the first time I got to see “The Camera Eye” performed live.  It was quite satisfying, although there were some awkward (to these ears) edits that took about 1.5 minutes out of the song.  I enjoyed the new single “Caravan” as well, and Alex’s new 12-string intro to “Closer To The Heart” was transcendent.  I actually played part of that on 12-string acoustic myself performing at Mark’s birthday party last Saturday.  Nowhere near Lerxst’s talent, that’s for sure, but it was heartfelt.

The encore of La Villa Strangiato (with a carnival-themed keyboard intro) and Working Man was a satisfying end to a great show.  Songs from many albums were represented, and I didn’t miss the drop of “Dreamline” from the set.  Looking forward to getting the new album “Clockwork Angels” next year and seeing Rush live yet again!  Next time I’ll be more careful about what seats I purchase!

I attended last night’s Rush concert at the Allentown Fair.  TicketMaster asked me for a review.  Here’s what I entered.  I’ll be surprised if it’s approved:

[1 of 5 stars given]

This review isn’t about the show; at least, what I saw of it.  Rush always rocks and they’re my favorite band.  However, this is the first Rush show in 20 years of seeing them where I didn’t have a view of Neil Peart.  Unless you count the times they showed him on the video screen.  When I purchased tickets to this show, I got third row in section A, which was the reserved-seating ground section furthest to the right.  The seating chart didn’t show the stage, so I went ahead on faith that TicketMaster was indeed giving me the best seats available.  They didn’t.  We arrived at the venue and were amazed to find that our seats were nowhere near the stage.  We were at least 30 yards away from stage left’s edge and were at such a bad angle we could just see Geddy and Alex.  Neil’s drumkit and the video screen behind him were completely blocked from our view.  From my point of view, the Allentown Fair and TicketMaster conspired to rip me off.  Everyone around me felt the same way.  It was shameful to charge us the highest ticket price for seats that were worse than the general admission grandstand.  I won’t be coming back to this venue and I’m going to recommend against patronizing the Allentown Fair.

I can’t stress how disappointed I was when we were seated.  Of the more than 20 times I’ve seen Rush I’ve been seated in many positions, but none made me madder than last night.  I didn’t even have a decent view of the video screen we were near:
Rush at Allentown Fair

I could say more, but I think I’ve made my point.  Don’t patronize the Allentown Fair.  They are ripoff artists just like TicketMaster.  Rush, please don’t play there ever again.

Update (9/2): The only place I see for TM reviews to be filed is under the band, not the venue.  (How very convenient.)  The reviews for Rush are here.  My review was submitted last night (9/1) and it’s not there yet.  There are several other low-star reviews of the show submitted yesterday, but none criticizes the venue as much as mine did.  It was probably declined by the site admin.  Thanks for the comments so far.

@aharden

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