Well, I was close: Approximately one-third of the Post-Gazette Pavilion crowd was sporting Rush T-shirts at the band’s show last week; I had bet on 50 percent. It was still light when Rush hit the stage, so the full 1970s lasers, projections, pyros and fog machines didn’t kick in until the second set, which included a South Park “Tom Sawyer” parody, screened right before the band’s version. (I guess you need a sense of humor to keep playing that song, let alone write it in the first place.) Other highlights included a mind-melting version of “Subdivisions” and spotting a bunch of women who looked just like Geddy Lee. Next time, I’m taking drugs. Oh, and the band? They destroyed. I never particularly liked “YYZ,” but seeing three people making that happen is nuts. Keep rockin’ dudes, you’re in the homestretch — 2112 is just around the corner.
Crowds were better dressed, but thin at The Go’s show at 31st Street Pub; by the time the band finished at 1:30 a.m., the joint was nearly empty. Partly to blame was an interminable opening set by Detroit pop group The Freer — not a bad band, but its keyboardist/vocalist was almost certainly the star of his high-school drama club. The Go itself was great — the kind of synergistic squall that makes you think, “Oh, this is a band. I’ve heard of those.” The Go dipped into Motor City madness mid-set, but began and ended with gorgeous ’60s-style numbers from the new album that made my hair stand on end. Rarely are retro-rock bands this totally legit.
Hearkening back more to late-’90s indie than ’60s pop were locals Blindsider, playing at SPACE gallery — a tricky reverb tank of a performance space, dampened a bit by the long free-beer line at the Cultural Trust’s recent Gallery Crawl. Blindsider’s show comes close on the heels of the band’s noon performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
But a busy summer is just starting for vocalist and bassist Kathryn Heidemann, who is taking a leave of absence from her program management job with the Trust to manage one of the venues at the world’s largest performing arts festival, Scotland’s month-long Edinburgh Festival. “I looked into festival opportunities around the world, and Edinburgh made sense, with the festival’s reputation,” says Heidemann. “I grew up overseas and wanted to work abroad.” Blindsider’s last show until the fall is July 26 at Club Café, with The Chad Sipes Stereo.