Extended Notes on the Date Controversy:
Here we have yet another recording with a mislabeled date that needs to be corrected. This is another that's pretty annoying, as there isn't much information in the recording itself to use as a basis.
November 1 in Montreal, or December 12 in Toronto? One of these date/venue combos is correct, and one is wrong. Assuming the December 12 date is correct, the earliest live recording of Anthem would be November 19 in Seattle. In the Seattle recording, Geddy clearly seems to still be breaking in the new song vocally, so I imagine they weren't playing it very long at that point. With this recording, Geddy sounds more comfortable with singing it, and sounds way closer to live recordings that followed and the album version. Unfortunately, I was unable to find an approximate date for when Anthem was written or first performed. Partly based on the inclusion of Anthem in the setlist, I think it is safest to assume this is the correct date and venue, as November 1 seems to be too early of a date for this recording.
However, there are a few other factors to note. Geddy also references that In The Mood will be released as a single sometime soon, which could also help verify the date of this performance. I have yet been able to figure out the date In The Mood was released as a single, although with the Electric Lady Studios recording on Dec 22, Geddy states it has just
been released. In The Mood was not performed during the Dec 16 recording in Cleveland, so the next recording to examine would be Nov 19 Seattle again, and Nov 28 at the Whisky A Go Go. In these recordings, Geddy just states In The Mood will be released as their next single, as the one here we're questioning he implies soon
. That could just be a choice of words that bears little meaning to help determine our date, but it is worth noting.
Lastly, a note about the guys who are recording the show. They constantly burp, blurt out random statements, and make what could possibly be interpreted as heckling comments towards the band. Luckily, most of this annoying banter is in between songs, because despite it they seem to actually enjoy the music. One common theme of their banter, is that they keep yelling for the David Bowie song "Suffragette City". Interestingly, "Suffragette City" is also heard being yelled out multiple times during the 25 June 1975 Toronto
recording from the Fly By Night tour. I can't be certain if the group of people who recorded that show are among the same who recorded this one, but their "heckling" comments and banter are nearly identical. You can also hear that the guys in the June '75 recording have seen Rush perform live before, as they make references to Bad Boy (which wasn't played that night), and others like In The Mood and Working Man.
I wouldn't say this one is as conclusive as other dates I've had to research, at least until I find out more information about when Anthem was written, but I am comfortable with the Dec 12 date as being the most probable. In the new book "Wandering The Face of The Earth: The Official Touring History
", which obviously had access to all of these early live recordings to denote setlists for particular dates, it also puts this recording's setlist down under December 12, and not November 1, and states under Nov 19 in Seattle as being the earliest known recording of Anthem. I don't imagine their research was any more conclusive than mine, but they seem confident with this conclusion as well.
That's all I have for now in regards to this one. It took me way longer to get this one posted than I wanted to, due to all of this confusion. If you have further details that either support or oppose this conclusion, please feel free to post it here.