Hellooooo.... Is it spring yet?
Whoa, we have had a brutal winter up here in the great white north, I mean, here it is April and there are still bags of snow in my backyard and worse yet, there have been 5 Blue Jay games in the Skydome already and no sign of opening the roof yet!
Sorry it has taken me so long to write an update on this site. It has been a whirlwind of a year for us and at the end of it all I kind of needed to disappear into my family for a while.
Just to recap (in case you don't know already) after spending 14 months preparing and recording Vapor Trails we embarked on what began as a North American Tour. Now, it had been quite a few years since the last tour, (5 to be exact) and in that time a lot of things had happened in our lives. So to be perfectly honest, no one was quite sure if it would all work out. I mean, could we come back from that long a lay off? And play well? Could Neil, Alex and myself (all for different reasons) survive the rigors of the road? And most importantly would our fans come back and enjoy what we had to offer?
As a result of these insecurities we were reluctant to plan very far into the future. I guess we just wanted to take things a few weeks at a time. Of course, this made things a little difficult for our management and it meant we couldn't even think about leaving North America for a while. So we went into rehearsals and started putting together a set of songs and as things progressed we started to remember how hard it is to design and put together a show and select the right songs for a set-list. But after 8 weeks we got it all together and did our first show in Hartford Conn. and I don't mind admitting to you that it was kind of an emotional experience.
I mean, we hit the stage and were greeted by all those fans with big smiles on their faces and holding up signs proving that they had come from all over the world specifically to welcome us back. We glanced at each other and smiled a little nervously as we charged into the first few chords of Tom Sawyer and sometime during those first few minutes we gave each other a look that was a kind of an appreciative acknowledgement of 2 things. One, that we had been missed (thank goodness!) and two that we had missed this. This was our job! Playing music, live and in colour and working hard to make it good as we could! Everything would be o.k.
Well, it was a great night for us and the buzz of that night took us into what turned out to be the most satisfying tour we've done in quite some time. We rolled right along. The crowds kept showing up, kept smiling and so did we. This fired us up and we found ourselves playing better and better and as a result we started to add more shows as we went along.
We even decided to get a little adventurous and go to a couple of places that we had never been before. We had been asked many times to play in Latin and South America but had never seemed to find the time to make it there. Oh well...better late than never we thought!
So it was Mexico City first and then on to Brazil, where we were greeted by enormous numbers of fans that had been waiting for over 25 years to get a chance to see us perform and hear some of their favourite songs.
What a greeting it was! The crowds in these places were astounding and really took our breath away. They sang along with every word even though many of them did not speak English, and they smiled and cheered and thanked us for coming. Why had it taken us so long to go to these places?... I can't say really... lots of reasons I guess... all seeming to be right at the time... but feeling well... a bit stupid now.
Fortunately we had the good sense (good luck really) to have decided to film one of these shows. The last show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was quite an evening with another incredible crowd and we managed pull off a pretty darn good performance to boot. We hope to have the editing of this footage finished soon and plan to release it on DVD sometime in the coming months, complete with some fun extra stuff like pictures of Big Al at home in his pajamas, a documentary on the Brazilian tour, and some other er... unusual things hidden in there somewhere.
I guess my only regret of the last year was that we somehow managed to screw up our opportunity to go to Europe and play for our long-suffering fans there. I apologize for this, I guess between not knowing how well things would go and our desire to go to new places we miscalculated our time and simply ran out of steam before we got there. I assure you all that a visit to Europe will be a priority whenever we decide to tour again.
Which brings us to the future. What is in store for us? Well, at the moment we are enjoying our time off and that is something that personally I really needed. What with the production of My Favourite Headache being followed immediately by the production of Vapor Trails, followed immediately by the Vapor Trails Tour, I've been going at it pretty hard for almost 4 years straight and my wife and kids were forgetting who I was ! So after a reasonable amount of time off I'm sure we will wander back into the studio and attempt to make another collection of esoteric yet unrepentantly bombastic rock ditties. Or something to that effect anyway. After which (providing that goes well of course) we will probably throw ourselves back out there on the road so we can give and take the abuse that we and you so richly deserve!
So thank you all so much for coming along, and for sticking with us while we were away and for making it all the easier to try and do it again when the time is right.
Best wishes and peace to you all, Geddy.