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21 January / 4 March 1979 - The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania + Fair Park Coliseum, Beaumont, Texas [Audio - Audience]

By-Tor X-1

Staff member

1979-01-21 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania + 1979-03-04 - Beaumont, Texas *recommended*
Philadelphia, PA '79
Philadelphia, PA '79 (MarkP)
Beaumont, TX '79
Beaumont, TX '79 (MarkP)

Track Listing:

01 - Anthem
02 - A Passage To Bangkok
03 - By-Tor And The Snow Dog
04 - Xanadu
05 - Something For Nothing
06 - The Trees
07 - Cygnus X-1
08 - Hemispheres
09 - Closer To The Heart
10 - Circumstances
11 - A Farewell To Kings
12 - La Villa Strangiato
13 - 2112
14 - Working Man
15 - Bastille Day
16 - In The Mood
17 - Drum Solo

This has to be the most complicated recording I've dealt with when it comes to verifying date and location, which is something I thoroughly research for every single recording.
What we have here is a complete Hemispheres tour setlist, which all sounds to be from a single unique recording, as it naturally should be. The problem?
Between Anthem and Bangkok, Geddy unmistakably says "Phily hello there", yet after 2112 Geddy says "Thank you Beaumont, goodnight", also mentioning Beaumont during In The Mood.
Due to this, it indicates that the entire recording is not just simply mislabeled with the wrong date/location as would usually be the case with oddities like this.

What I'm concluding, is that two separate recordings must have been merged together. Why?
I'm guessing that neither were complete, and the missing tracks were close to complimenting the other recording, maybe a few overlapping tracks were removed.
In a case like this, I'd ideally split the recording back into two, and upload each portion separate and labeled accurately.
At least this sounds like a single, complete show, and works well this way, so I can't feel too bad about not being able to split it into two.
Even if I didn't split this recording, I'd at the least like to be able to properly label which tracks are from which dates/cities.

The reason I can't really do that here is that I simply can not figure out where the source split is, it all sounds like the same recording of one particular show, with no clear point of merging.
Is it perhaps all from a single concert? It sure sounds like it, but it's hard to get over Geddy saying "Phily", and I can't see it as him possibly saying anything else that is being misunderstood.
Was Geddy so tired and disoriented that he called a Beaumont crowd "Phily"? Was it some sort of out-of-context joke? I also find this hard to believe, but I'm forced to believe the possibility.

To further confuse things, there are multiple versions of this supposedly-merged recording, one complete, one incomplete, and one complete but in pretty awful quality.
The complete version is labeled Beaumont, the incomplete version is labeled Philadelphia, and the crap quality version has two identical copies, one labeled as each city.
The main difference with the incomplete recording is that it cuts off immediately after Temples of Syrinx, leading me to believe it was done purposely to hide any mention of Beaumont.
There is also a temporary cut during the Prelude of Hemispheres in the incomplete version, and I should also mention is overall in moderately poorer quality than the complete version.
If it wasn't already obvious, the recommended version I have labeled here is of course the indisputable best quality version, which luckily is also one of the complete versions.
All the little performance details match when comparing these versions, so I know these versions all originate from the same source, and are 100% identical other than quality or length.
If there was a source merge made, it was done way before any of these versions entered public circulation.

The night of the January 21 Philadelphia concert was the same as the infamous event of Blondie being booed off the stage, who were Rush's last-minute replacement opening act.
Rush fans were said to have pelted Blondie on stage with glow sticks, beer bottles, and other projectiles along with constant heckling comments and chants such as "WE WANT RUSH!"
Blondie made it through most of their set, but did not finish, ending the show after their drummer Clem Burke tipped over his drum kit as a "shield" from flying projectiles.
One of their guitarists is also said to have sprayed the front of the crowd with a can of beer or soda before walking off stage.
Debbie Harry allegedly gave the crowd middle fingers and said "Fuck you Philadelphia" before walking off stage. The entire crowd is said to have cheered loudly after Blondie was gone.
Geddy's comment after Anthem about this being a "cold night" and that the band would "warm things up a bit" could possibly be a reference to the crowd's ugly behavior.
Geddy could've simply just been referencing the weather, but that seems odd as it wouldn't be the only recording of Rush playing on a cold night, and he never commented on that before.
I've only heard Geddy comment on the weather a couple times when it was "sweltering hot".

If anyone has further ideas, opinions, or information on this recording please, please let me know. I've dug into this as far as I possibly could.
I've talked with a couple people who have been involved with Rush bootlegs for decades, and even they didn't know anything about this recording.
So as of now, I'm forced to treat this show as a single recording, despite Geddy clearly mentioning two cities.
Since this show has no given bootleg title, assuming I'd even have a reason to give it one, I think "A Tale Of Two Cities" would be quite fitting.