Rushing in the Art Park

Rushing in the Art Park

It was a beautiful Toronto summer night and we had two of the most entrenched fans playing their music on stage at the Lee Lifeson Art Park in Willowdale this night. If you are a Rush fan, you would have been treated to a blend of great progressive rock from the glorious past. Jason Moon, Dave Barrett and Robbie Brown took to the humble stage at the Lee/Lifeson stage which is situated in the Yonge and Sheppard area and began an onslaught of great songs from the 70’s and 80’s to please the crowd. Even the touted producer of early Rush albums, Terry Brown was present.

They opened with a beautiful song from Jason and slowly wiggled their way into some of the classic songs of the middle aged genre.  They started with Rush’s,” Time stands still”, which is a look at getting older in life. Dave Barrett continued with a Yes classic from Steve Howe and did the complex version of the Clap. I think I saw him grimace once as he meandered through this very fast and furious acoustic piece.  Jacob came back on and talked about his family life. He went on with a heartfelt account about how he and his wife adopted several children at once, being from the same family, because he and his wife did not want to break up the original family. His song was a dedication to one of his new daughters named Sarah. You just have to love this guy, he is open and emotional to everyone who is within his space.

Dave Barrett got his quiet moment when he played some Pat Metheny. It was warm and heartfelt. It felt that you should run out and grab tickets to see Pat right away. They finished their first set with a rare Rush classic from the album, 2112, “Something for nothing”. It was well performed as a quiet but affirming song of being better than you should be vibe.

The second set was equally solid, with Jacob, playing one of his songs with pure conviction and love. He went into a Peter Gabriel song. If you know Gabriel, then you know Solsbury Hill is an enormous song. I wish I had my bicycle to ride around the park during this song. True Peter Gabriel fans will understand this reference.

With the original songs blowing the crowd away, they did some obscure progressive songs as well. Before I go there, I just wanted to allude to the energy of the park.  This was a free show put on by some of Canada’s best talent and they were her to pay homage to Canada’s favourite band.  They came to play in a special place that meant a lot to them and we should have seen a more dedicated crowd. With that said, there were people simply walking through, and stopped to listen to wonderful music. I was watching children playing together and clapping after each and every song.

Jacob went to a place I was not ready to hear, but was so happy to listen to. There is a band I love called, Marillion, and he decided to play their one big hit ,”Kayleigh”. Not only did he do that song, but he continued with the next song called, “Lavender”. I know there is not a lot of Marillion fans out there, but this really hit  a small part of the crowd, as they sang certain parts of the song out loud to represent the love for this particular band.

Jacob, finished his set with his classic version of Rush’s song, Subdivision. If you have seen this version on You Tube, you would know this is a favourite amongst Rush fans. He relayed his story about Rush’s record company enjoying his interpretation of this song and how he got Neil Peart to say “Subdivisions” in his recorder to put on his rendition of this fantastic song.

Just when you thought this was the end of a great evening of music, the crowd wanted one more. So Jacob entertained us with one more beautiful song, but I am not going to tell you, because it is your duty to see this outstanding talent of a man to truly understand what just happened this night.

Here are some pictures from Jacob and David’s performance:

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