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2011 Vancouver International Jazz Festival: Part 2 (and a Rush detour)

July 11, 2011

As the jazz festival came to a close, us members of the High School Jazz Intensive (HSJI) had one more free show left – Christian McBride! But before that, I took a detour and went to Rush. Two very different shows, but both musically amazing.

Rush
Yes finally, THE HOLY TRIUMVIRATE! The time had come for Vancouver to experience the Time Machine Tour. Since June 29, 2010, Rush had been playing the same setlist, consisting of new and old material, as well as Motion Pictures in its entirety. Coincidentally, even though my friend and I had bought tickets ourselves, my other friends who had bought tickets were sitting really close to us. It was the set-up for the perfect concert. With the humorous video opener that led to the band opening with the anthem “Spirit of Radio”, I actually ended up sitting back for most of the first set. The first set consisted mostly of newer songs from Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels, as well as songs from most of their 80s albums. I was surprised at how many fans knew most of those songs by heart. However, I was so glad that they ended the set with “Subdivisions”, which got the entire crowd singing along.

After the intermission, Motion Pictures started and the rest of the night turned into an air-drumming frenzy, for myself and everybody else in Rogers Arena that night. At one point, somebody dressed in a Canucks jersey appeared out of nowhere onstage, as well as somebody dressed as a bear in a Bruins jersey, which resulted in a hilarious fight as Rush played on. Ending with a video featuring the Rush-loving characters Peter and Sydney from the movie I Love You, Man, the concert came to a close with the sudden realization: are these guys ever gonna stop being amazing?!?!

Christian McBride
Straight off the bat, I was totally blown away at this concert by the solos by everyone in this quintet. Warren Wolf (vibraphone) and Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums) were especially demonstrating their incredibly dynamic abilities on their instruments. Wolf played licks that I didn’t even know were possible on the vibes, and at one point during the set, McBride called him the “Mike Tyson of the vibes”. Owens Jr. really stood out to me mainly for how dynamic his solos were. It was a great concert that inspired all of us from HSJI that were in attendance.

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