Rush Hashanah

“When we are young, wondering the face of the earth. Wondering what our dreams might be worth. Learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time. ~Rush, Dreamline

My family and I are a bunch of Rush heads. When your family gets together to cook and hang out for a holiday, you probably listen to something pertaining to that holiday. When I am peeling 20 pounds of potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house, I hear the sounds of Rush. While my dad prepares the grills (yes, plural), he will inevitably make the comment on his way in and out of the house, “Are we celebrating Rush Hashanah girls?” This is usually excitedly directed at me and my mom being that I am always there early because I have no children to get ready for the day. I should note we are not Jewish, and he says this at Christmas, too. One Christmas, at their old house, he had one of their live concerts playing on a television in the kitchen. Does my mom find this annoying? Hell no. Turning on Rush is usually her suggestion. In fact, when I come to town for a visit, I always put on music when we’re having drinks and catching up. I ask what they feel like listening to, and it is typically my mom who pipes up, “Oh, I don’t care. We like your music, or you know, you can always just throw on some Rush.”

When the break came I went to the bathroom…and walked right in. No line. Then it hit me. Oh shit. This place is 99% dudes!

The family love for them goes way back before I was born. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. We had what we needed, but my parents’ money went to education and our team sports. Family vacations weren’t really an option for the six of us, so we went to concerts. There were various artists, but Rush was always THE concert. When I was finally old enough to go, I thought I might flip out. Back in the 90’s in St. Louis, most large summer tours played at an outdoor venue formerly known as Riverport. It’s near the airport. The entire day was an event. It went like this:

We rented a hotel room at one of the hotels by the venue. There was no school for this girl. We packed coolers full of beer, picked up a bunch of sandwiches from Mom’s Deli (The actual deli, not sandwiches my mom made. Mom doesn’t work on concert day.), piled in the car and drove out to the hotel. I casually mentioned how excited I was to finally hear Tom Sawyer live. We checked in, and then it occurred to me all of us were staying in the same room. No joke, my mom pulled out a single person raft I didn’t even know we had and told me to blow it up because it was my bed. I could sleep wherever I’d like on the floor. I do what I’m told, so I blew the sucker up and put an extra blanket on it she brought. We ate sandwiches and pre-gamed until it was time to catch the shuttle. Then off we went!

Rush has no openers. They play for three hours with a short break in between sets. This is how it was then and how it’s been every time I have seen them since. The first set was still light out, and they played enough cuts that the crowd was good and ready for the second half. When the break came I went to the bathroom…and walked right in. No line. Then it hit me. Oh shit. This place is 99% dudes! (To date, including the 2015 tour, I have never had to stand in line at a Rush concert. It rules.) When the second half started, I heard it. The intro to Tom Sawyer. I instinctively looked at my dad who had turned to look at me at the same time and shouted, “Wooooooooooooo!” In my face. Quite possibly my favorite father/daughter moment. The light show started and the place was a cloud of smoke…from pot, not the stage. I can walk you through the rest of the show, but I’ll sum it up by saying it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. (Also, I wish Geddy, Alex and Neil were my hilarious uncles in real life, and seeing a Neil Peart drum solo live…girrrlll…it’s sick.)

When it was over, we shuttled back, ate more sandwiches and drank beers while drunk-talking about the show. That raft was plenty comfortable that night.


(P.S. I have brought up liking Rush when family comes up to a few dudes since being single. I just wanted to feel them out. So far I’ve been met with strange looks or them not even knowing who they are. But when it does strike a chord, I’ll know I have a contender I can safely invite to Rush Hashanah.)

Author: Penny Lame

I can find humor in almost everything. These are my stories.