On this date in history, Part 1: Rush was on tour for their magnificent Moving Pictures album in 1981 and I caught them at Market Square Arena for the third time in just over 3 years. There was a bit of a twist for me on this show, because I was actually more stoked to see the warmup band, Max Webster.
Max Webster was from Canada (like Rush) and their current album at that time was called Universal Juveniles. I highly recommend this record to anyone who loves hard rock music…utterly fantastic from start to finish…all killer, no filler! There was a song on that album that featured both Rush and Max Webster playing together that was getting some decent airplay on FM radio stations. The song was called Battle Scar, and I’m guessing this collaboration had something to do with the 2 bands touring together.
KIM MITCHELL – Battlescar
Max Webster shared the confusion factor that was always present for Jethro Tull, in that there wasn’t actually anyone in the band named Max Webster! The lead singer/lead guitarist was Kim Mitchell, and he was bursting with talent; crazy good on the guitar and a great singer. I recall him saying some amusing stuff between songs and just being quite charismatic. When they played Battle Scar at the end of their set, they were joined by a mysterious masked man with a bass guitar. As soon as the masked bassist sang his first phrase into the microphone it was obvious to everyone in the arena that he was none other than Geddy Lee. The crowd roared, the band slayed and we were properly hyped for Rush’s arrival.
Geddy singing Battlescar with Dave Myles of Max Webster
As always, Rush delivered precision musical mastery and a seriously high tech light extravaganza. By this point in their career, the Canadian trio had a solid catalog of material to choose from and this was full of killer highlights. This was the best I ever saw them, but they were so consistent that I give most of the credit to Max Webster for making this one my favorite.
Written By: Braddon S. Williams
Rush 1981 Moving Pictures Tour Live