15 November 1975 - National Guard Armory, Rockford, Illinois [Audio - Audience]

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Download:

FLAC / MP3

Track Listing:

01 - Bastille Day
02 - Anthem
03 - Lakeside Park
04 - The Necromancer
05 - By-Tor And The Snow Dog
06 - Working Man / Drum Solo

Notes:
This is the only publicly known show recorded from the "Down The Tubes" tour.
This is the only known live recording of The Necromancer in full, as all others from the ATWAS tour omit Part I and half of Part II.
This recording isn't as bad as you may initially think. All the instruments are loud and present, though the drums occasionally get buried.
The main issue, Geddy's voice is largely inaudible during the first couple songs. Luckily, the vocals are much more clear and audible by the time The Necromancer starts.
The recording starts off with a short interview segment added in of Neil retrospectively speaking about the "Down The Tubes" tour.
Rush was the opening act during this concert, while Kiss was the headlining act. The same person who recorded Rush's performance also recorded Kiss.
The download files and YouTube video featured here were updated on 9 April 2021.

According to the new book "Wandering The Face of The Earth: The Official Touring History", there was a bootleg recording for 5 March 1976, but is now assumed to be lost.
Even though March 5 is considered part of the very beginning of the 2112 tour, some of the earliest dates didn't feature 2112 tracks yet, as the album was recorded but not yet released.
The alleged March 5 setlist was said to include I Think I'm Going Bald, which was reportedly played during a small handful of CoS tour dates, usually with poor reception.
While no one knows for sure if Fountain of Lamneth was played during the CoS tour, there have been multiple reports claiming that it was during some headlining performances.
No other recordings from the Caress Of Steel tour have been reported to exist with any credibility.

The alleged Caress Of Steel tour footage is reported to actually be from the ATWAS tour at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, New York on 22 September 1976.
I had my doubts about the alleged footage for years, as there were visual hints it was from '76 or '77.
Of course, the footage was originally silent 8mm film, with this Rockford audio added to it creating a really poor out of sync result.

Bootleg Titles:
Down The Tubes, Stainless Steel, Steel Breeze, The Pretentious Necromancer

YouTube:

 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Notes from Original Taper:

POWRCORD (Mike Powers) said:
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS IS LOCATED ABOUT 90 MILES NORTHWEST OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. RUSH PLAYED A CONCERT AT THE ROCKFORD ARMORY ON NOVEMBER 15, 1975. THE HEADLINE ACT THAT EVENING WAS THE NOTORIOUS KISS. RUSH HAD BEEN TOURING WITH KISS SINCE EARLY 1975 IN CONJUNCTION WITH RUSH’S RECENT SIGNING WITH MERCURY RECORDS. THIS NOVEMBER CONCERT WAS HEAVILY ATTENDED AS THE KISS/RUSH TANDEM HAD TOURED THROUGH NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND SOUTHERN WISCONSIN EARLIER IN 1975 AND HAD ALREADY DEVELOPED A LARGE FOLLOWING OF INTENSE FANS.

RUSH HAD SWITCHED DRUMMERS IN LATE 1974, WHEN NEIL PEART JOINED THE GROUP TO FORM THE POWER TRIO THAT EXISTS TO THIS DAY. 1975 WAS THE MAIDEN YEAR FOR THE REFORMED GROUP, BUT EVEN IN EARLY 1975, RUSH WAS A VERY SKILLED ROCK-N-ROLL BAND. THE ROCKFORD ARMORY WAS AN OLD CAVERNOUS CONCRETE STRUCTURE WITH A HUGE GROUND FLOOR AND LIMITED SEATING UPSTAIRS IN THE BALCONY. THERE WERE NO SEATS ON THE GROUND FLOOR, AND NO BARRIERS IN FRONT OF THE STAGE. THE FANS SAT ON THE FLOOR AS THE SHOW OPENED, BUT WERE QUICKLY STANDING ONCE THE SHOW BEGAN. I RECORDED RUSH WITH A SMALL MONO TAPE RECORDER STAGE CENTER APPROXIMATELY 10 FEET FROM THE FRONT EDGE OF THE STAGE. (AS STAGE CREW, I WAS LOCATED UP FRONT FOR CROWD CONTROL PURPOSES.) NOT THE GREATEST PLACE TO RECORD A CONCERT, BUT THE CONCERT IN FACT CAME OUT EXCELLENT ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

RUSH PLAYED SEVERAL LONG NUMBERS DURING THEIR SET IN ROCKFORD, FEATURING SONGS OFF OF EACH OF THEIR FIRST THREE ALBUMS. THE ENTIRE RUSH PERFORMANCE IS HERE, FROM THE OPENING RIFF OF BASTILLE DAY TO THE FINAL CRESCENDOS OF WORKING MAN, RUSH’S CLOSING NUMBER.

LOOKING BACK, THE TANDEM OF RUSH AND KISS IN CONCERT TOGETHER IS TRULY REMARKABLE. THESE 1975 SHOWS HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE GREATEST ROCK-N-ROLL TOURS EVER ASSEMBLED. IT WAS GREAT TO BE PART OF THOSE EVENTS, AND IT’S FUN TO LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS NOW, 25 YEARS LATER. THEY NEVER SOUNDED BETTER. ENJOY.
 

TelamonLivesOn

New member
On the note of the rumored Caress of Steel recordings, it was rumored that the Massey Hall show also contained the only know performance of "Making Memories". There was also another show that supposedly played "Rivendell" though there is no evidence to back any of these rumors up. It would be nice to see more recordings (audio and/or video) of this tour show up.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Yep, that’s all part of that ancient rumor of the 10 January 1976 Massey Hall recording, no part of which has any weight to it existing. There was even an old claim that Geddy’s cousin “Alan Weinrib” had a soundboard recording, but it was debunked years later in an interview with Ian Grandy, Rush’s first sound engineer, who said he never heard of the guy. The supposed setlist including Rivendell and Making Memories has equally zero bearing, it’s all made up. The alleged setlist didn’t even follow any known structure, and just had songs all over the place. For example, we know they would’ve opened with Bastille Day, not whatever it claimed (I can’t remember at the moment).

The only part of the COS Massey Hall show that has any bearing is from a seemingly reputable member on “The Rush Forum” who was an old known member there. He claims to have been to a Rush show in Toronto during every tour since 1974. He claims with certainty that Fountain of Lamneth was played in January 10, but not in its entirety, in “a weird kind of medley” with The Necromancer.

Even if some people don’t believe this claim, I’ve seen two other unrelated sources claim Fountain was played at other headlining COS tour shows. One guy I talked with three or four years ago had been to the headlining show at Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas on 29 October 1975, and claims for certain Fountain was played, but couldn’t remember for sure about I Think I’m Going Bald.

There was also someone quoted in the book “Wandering the Face of the Earth” who claims Fountain was played on November 28 and 29 in Atlanta, Georgia.

I personally don’t have any doubt Fountain of Lamneth was played in some way on this tour. They weren’t embarrassed by it at the time like some people may claim, and we now know they even played ITIGB. This was their biggest piece at the time and for sure they were proud enough to play parts of it when they could. I agree it’d have to be a headlong show more than likely, and I agree it probably wasn’t in totality, due to time constraints and wanting to play plenty other songs, and considering they didn’t even do all of 2112 for a long time.

I also don’t find it hard to believe more COS tour recordings exist out there. Same goes for the FBN tour. My question is, have they been sitting in a closet or something forgotten about for 40+ years, or are they purposely being kept privately under close guard due to the clear value it holds to trade for other extreme rarities?
 

antrecords

New member
This is great, Marshalls! Runs about 1/2 step flat or so. Funny, my older friend said he saw Hawkwind in the 70s, and that Rush opened and they sucked (I'm sure they were on fire/Geddy is just not his cup of tea). What a show to see.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
This is great, Marshalls! Runs about 1/2 step flat or so. Funny, my older friend said he saw Hawkwind in the 70s, and that Rush opened and they sucked (I'm sure they were on fire/Geddy is just not his cup of tea). What a show to see.

What's interesting about Neil's comment in that brief interview snippet, documentation shows Rush had only opened for Hawkwind a handful of times in 1974 during the debut tour, so I imagine by the time that interview was held (I never found the full source) a lot of time had already passed for little facts to have been confused. They're known to forget certain details over time, so it's understandable. Also, while I'm not extremely familiar with Hawkwind, I'm not sure what Neil meant by their "last tour", because it doesn't seem they ever really had any sort of hiatus. Perhaps the departure of Lemmy around that time may be what he was thinking of?
 
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