Curiosa Festival and Rush 30th Anniversary Tour

10 hours of music within 5 days of each other... Well, I've done worse, but never spent so much money on it. All thanks to the brand spankin' new Ford Amphitheatre

Kicked things off a week ago at the Curiosa Festival, headlined by (obviously) the Cure. They were out in tour of their new self-titled album, which is surprisingly good. Also on the bill were Head Automatica, Mogwai, The Rapture, Interpol and Thursday.

I was looking forward to seeing Head Automatica, a collaboration between Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw. Unfortunately, they were left with a 20 minute set to kick off the show, which I managed to miss.

Luckily I made it just as Mogwai was tuning up. Mogwai was left with only 30 minutes to perform, into which they were only able to squeeze in two songs. Luckily, that was enough to piss off everyone in the Ford Amphitheatre with their loud, monotonous music.

I love Mogwai. It's the same riff over and over, getting progressively louder, and then after the peak, it softens out. Every song. They closed their show out by getting all kinds of obnoxious feedback from all of their instruments off the speakers (three guitarists and a bassist) before they eventually just left their instruments propped up against the speakers and walked off stage. After a good five minutes of nothing but obnoxiously loud eardrum-piercing noise to make everyone's ears bleed, the guys all came back out and cut off their instruments at the same moment.

I had never listened to the Rapture before that evening, but they were decent, with a spiffy dancing cowbell/sax player. Interpol and Thursday were also subjected to thirty minute sets just like Mogwai, then The Cure took the stage for nearly two hours.

Robert Smith & Co. put on a good show, with a good mix of the hits and stuff from the new album. A few bigger hits were left out of the lineup, like "Friday I'm in Love" and "Killing an Arab." I can do without the former, but I would have loved to have heard the latter considering the political climate of today. The Cure rocked out pretty good in front of legions of thirtysomethings who undoubtedly attempted to kill themselves to the very same Cure songs 15 years ago.

Friday night was Rush, who took the stage at the Amphitheatre at 7:30. A video of Jerry Stiller and a retrospective of album covers of the past 30 years of Rush kicked off the festivities, before the trio hit the stage with the appropriately chosen "Finding My Way." The crowd was definitely a sellout, much larger than I saw at The Cure.

As was expected, Rush played their asses off. They went from 7:30 to 9:00 before a 30 minute intermission. Then they wrapped things up from 9:30 till just after 11:00, totaling over three hours of nothing but Rush goodness. It was a great mix of songs from the past 30 years, ranging all the way from "Working Man" to "Roll the Bones" to "One Little Victory." They also played quite a few tracks off their new album "Feedback," a collection of covers, which included "Crossroads" and the WWE SummerSlam theme "Summertime Blues."

Of course the night wouldn't be complete without an ungodly 15 minute drum solo from the legend that is Neil Peart. Neil rocked the shit out of his kit before rolling into a jazz finish. Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee then played an acoustic rendition of "Resist" while Neil went backstage to recharge and try to get his soul back from Satan in exchange for his musical talent.

Great show, good stuff, and I'm sure that Rush will be back here doing the same thing on life support 30 years from now.

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2003 - 2005
Reverend Hughes