Saturday, July 26, 2008

Believe in the Freedom of Music

Anyone who's been reading this blog regularly knows that I'm a huge fan of the band Rush. These three talented musicians have been creating moving, memorable songs for over 30 years, and I had the pleasure of seeing them last weekend. I splurged on the tickets - 7th row, stage left, right in front of the multitalented bassist, vocalist, and keyboardist Geddy Lee.

Besides being one of the best concerts I've ever attended, this concert had a certain intensity, a passion, a real love for life. Rush doesn't depend on their old hit songs; they are not a nostalgia act. They made it a point to play a lot of their new material, new songs that highlight their maturity, craftsmanship, and dedication to always striving to make better music. The boys (as fans call them) are not outwardly self-indulgent, as many a prog rocker (or any rocker, really) can be. Every song they played was bursting with honesty, laid over technically flawless musical execution.

Each member of the band believes in the music that they create, and each of them strives to make the best music they can make, emotionally and technically. Musicians highly regard Rush for the mastery of their instruments, and their technical prowess. The whole of the three members' contributions to the band is really greater than the sum of their parts. And each member of the band is constantly striving to be a better musician, pushing their abilities.

The best part about the concert was that it was clear that these three men, each in their 50s, were enjoying every moment up on that stage... not in a "aren't we so awesome" way, but in a manner that conveyed, "we love this music, and we're honored that you came along with us for the ride." And I can't forget to mention that their concerts are laced with humor: in the introductory video clips before each set, in the set design, and in the musicians themselves.

I thought, the next day as I reflected on that memorable night, that I want that in my dancing. That honesty, that technical proficiency, that mastery, that intensity, and most of all that humble love of the art. I want to be able to go on stage and feel that I'm putting out the best performance I can, but not care so much about what the audience thinks.

Maybe after I've been performing for over 30 years, I'll find myself balancing humor, passion, technicality, mastery, and humility as the "boys" of Rush do.


Zee Wylder said...

That's cool. I am glad you got to see them live and drew more inspiration from them.

L2 said...

awesome, Rush is one of my favorites too!

Unknown said...

We can only grow the way the wind blows
on a bare and weathered shore
We can only bow to the here and now
In our elemental war

We can only go the way the wind blows
We can only bow to the here and now
Or be broken down blow by blow

I have made a point to go to every RUSH concert I can since I saw the S&A tour last year. Went back this year. Will go to the next one too. There's not a chance they will go to my country that's why I'm so glad that I live here in the US!