Rush, Rory Gallagher Play The Checkerdome

By Kevin Martin, St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 15, 1982, transcribed by Dave Steiner

I punched the time clock at the Checkerdome at exactly 8:01 p.m. The Big Boss said "You're late. There are 10,000 people here already and another thousand or two expected. We started without you."

I was crestfallen. "Just when did you bring him onstage?" I inquired, with as much respect as I could muster.

"Ten 'til 8. We figured that was enough time."

"That's just fine," I said. "Rory Gallagher and a new blues band, and you bring him on before 8. You expect me to be psychic and review a concert that starts before the announced time?"

"Listen," B.B. growled. "He started off with a traditional blues. Then he did a number that sounded like John Lee Hooker - I think it's called 'Hungry World.'"

"This is some band he's got backing him. Are they doing a Little Willie John song now?"

"It's called 'Moon Child.' I couldn't tell you who wrote it."

"It doesn't matter. Rory's a fine blues player. Sounds like he taught Eric Clapton a thing or two."

"No kidding. What's this song now, 'Big Guns'?"

"The kids in the audience sure seem to be enjoying it. No. Gallagher's been using one for this song, 'Philby,' for years. But listen, he plays it straight, not screwy."

"I need a beer. When does Rush come on?"

"It won't be long...I bet they start with 'Anthem.' That's how they've started for the past four or five years."

"I bet not. They've been modernized in that nouveau-reggae Police style. I bet they don't do any of their old stuff. Listen, they're starting off with 'The Spirit Of Radio.' That's from 1980."

"Geez, and now 'Tom Sawyer.' Seems they've abandoned all that sci-fi stuff."

"I'm not sure. Ever since Geddy Lee discovered synthesizers, it seems they've bought the farm on high-tech and given up on Rand. Listen, that's 'Freewill.' They haven't forgotten Rand."

"All this new stuff, though - 'Digital Man,' 'Subdivisions' with visuals to match the lyrics yet. This is some well considered show."

"You can say that again. Modern, fresh, their new stuff is almost New Wavy it's so brash."

"They're still a great group. Their new songs are so tight, they're not so loose and meandering like...uh-oh. They're not gonna play '2112,' are they?"

"Why not, the crowd's going nuts."

"Let's hit it. I outgrew those expansive fantasies years ago. Maybe we can catch the tail end of the ball game. Wonder how we're doing?"

"Don't ask."

[ Transcribers Note: The ballgame the reviewer refers to is Game One of the '82 World Series between the Cardinals and Brewers, played on October 12th, 1982. It just so happened that the concert and game were both played this same night with the Cards losing 10-0. On the bright side of things, Geddy Lee did sport a Cardinals hat during the opening song ("The Spirit Of Radio") and sang the infamous line "One likes to believe in the spirit of baseball." :-) ]