Extended Notes on the Date Controversy:
This is probably the most enigmatic Rush recording I've come across so far. The entire confusion is in regards to the date of the performance, and subsequently the tour. This seems to have been an ongoing debate for years among fans. As a serious researcher of any topic I am enthusiastic about, I decided to start digging to find the answer to the question, or a conclusion that I was most satisfied with.
Since I started collecting Rush bootlegs a few years ago, I've come across several instances that dates and/or locations were not accurate, which is usually solved by cross referencing with official tour date listings both here
. I do this with every single recording because I am picky about accuracy. You will sometimes notice both listings have occasional contradictions, mostly due to details on Cygnus-X1.net such as rescheduled dates that were later documented by fans which is not reflected by the official website.
When I first came across this recording, it was labeled as 28 October 1976, at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle during the ATWAS tour. After cross referencing the date and seeing there was indeed a show on 28 October 1976, at the Paramount in Seattle, I didn't give it further thought. I don't use Digital Rush Experience as a source, as they haven't updated with new recordings or information in I'd guess 5-10 years, however I do use them as a guide at times to give me ideas of more recordings to seek out, as well as finding the bootleg artwork. It was on DRE I first came across a post under one of the Oct 28 bootlegs, which stated the following:
Jim Burleigh (26 May 2002) said:
Regarding the 1976, Seattle shows. I was at the October 25, 1976 show at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA. I will never forget that show as long as I live. You see it was the second time I had seen Rush live; the first time was an accident. A friend asked me to accompany him to the March 27, 1976 show at Gonzaga University in Spokane to see Styx. Neither of us knew that Rush existed prior to that fateful spring evening. The shows that are on the Seattle Supersonic and By-Tor's Battle CD's are identical. I was able to play them simultaneously, and they are absolutely the same right down to the little guitar chord 'chops' that Alex does while Geddy is introducing songs. The set is precisely the same as the Spokane show (with the exception of 'The Jam') and I am convinced that this is the March show. The instrumental jam DID NOT happen at the October 25, 1976 show, I assure you of that without reservation. Additionally, at the October show, Geddy introduces "In The End" by saying "We'd like to mellow out for a few minutes, if you will allow us..." and the crowd expresses it's displeasure at that statement very loudly. Never the less, Geddy is brought a stool from off-stage and he sits to play the first section of the song, then stands for the second part. I have a photographic memory and I also made a list of the songs that they did at the October show, because I was still becoming familiar with their first three albums (I bought 2112 on the Sunday night after I returned to Seattle from Spokane, in fact there was a poster in the window of the record store - Tower Records on 5th Ave. N. and Mercer St. - advertising the Rush show that very evening, the 28th of March) and I found my little notebook with that list in it while going through some boxes stored in my parents basement. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is, in fact, the March 1976 show on both of these CD's.
Reading that raised more questions for me than just "this show might be from March of the 2112 tour, and not October from the ATWAS tour", also the claim of the October show being on the 25th, not the 28th, as no source I see claim the 25th. Usually incorrect dates are due to being rescheduled a day or several later, but this was a bit confusing. Whether or not it was the 25 or 28, it doesn't matter for the real date issue so I won't go further into that. I will say though a newspaper review on Cygnus-X1.net states "Thursday's performance" in the past tense, and Thursday of October 1976 was indeed the 28th.
Back on track, I start looking into March 1976 shows in Seattle. Well, the official site's tour listings show no Seattle date for the 2112 tour. Yet, a 28 March 1976, but at the Paramount Theatre in Portland, not the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. After Bastille Day, Geddy mentions Seattle, so we can rule out the location being incorrect. I look on Cygnus-X1's tour listings which also lists Portland as the 28th, but has Seattle listed for the 26th, while the official site lists Yakima, Washington for the 26th. Knowing Cygnus-X1.net is more accurate, I generally tend to lean that way, and to top it off they provide a ticket stub
and an advertisement poster
that both prove there was a show at the Paramount in Seattle on 26 March 1976. Unless it was delayed, which if the case wouldn't contradict what the post on DRE said about the March show being the 28th, but I guess a 6 and 8 can easily be confused.
To further confuse things, I read somewhere, I think a YouTube comment, that Rush would not have had the time to perform a full setlist on March 26/28 as they were headlining for Styx. I then read someone mention Styx was unable to perform that night, so it allowed Rush performed a full set. An answer to the questions we have found? Not quite. Cygnus-X1.net has a newspaper review describing Styx's bus breaking down and being unable to perform, but that was for the March 28 Portland show, not March 26 in Seattle.
With a bit of relief, it seems that the Rush-Styx shows were double billings, not Rush as the opening act for Styx. The opening act for these Rush-Styx double billings was a band called "Sutherland Brothers & Quiver". So with that, as far as I can tell, Rush would have indeed performed their full setlist.
Another bit of details I noted along the way that seem to prove this recording was in March and not October, for one, the full setlists between the 2112 tour and ATWAS tour are fairly different. Yes, Rush's opening act setlists for the ATWAS tour could be confused since they're similar to the 2112 tour (eg. see Passaic '76), but the full setlists were roughly
: Bastille Day, Anthem, Lakeside Park, 2112, Fly By Night, In The Mood, Something For Nothing, By-Tor, In The End, Working Man, Finding May Way, Working Man (Reprise), Drum Solo, Best I Can (Encore/early dates)/What You're Doing(Encore/later dates).
: Bastille Day, Anthem, Lakeside Park, 2112, Twilight Zone(early dates)/Xanadu(later dates), Something For Nothing, Best I Can (early dates), By-Tor, The Necromancer, In The End (early dates), Working Man, Finding My Way, Working Man (Reprise), Drum Solo, Fly By Night, In The Mood, What You're Doing (First Encore), Best I Can (Second Encore/later dates).
Despite a few mix ups and changes, the overall setlist is identifiable, and the recording in question definitely matches the 2112 tour setlist.
The last couple details that point this to being in March is that Geddy introduces 2112 as "from our new album", just as he does in the May 30th Springfield show. During the ATWAS tour Geddy usually introduces 2112 as "from our last studio album" in reference to having a live album just released, or "our last album". Calling it their "new album" definitely would point toward being the 2112 tour. Geddy also concludes 2112 by saying "that was side one from our new album 2112", as well as introducing Something For Nothing as "something else from the new album", both which place further emphasis on the 2112 album being a new release.
The last detail, which may be trivial and not hold much weight, Geddy introduces Lakeside Park as "a song about a day similar to the 4th of July in Canada", in reference to "24th of May" aka Victoria Day, which Geddy also says on the May 30th Springfield show. I assume it was due to the American bicentennial coming up which was a big deal in 1976, and he does not state this in any 1976 ATWAS tour shows.
With that all being said, I am comfortable with stating this show is very likely 26 March 1976, Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and without much doubt. Is it case closed, answer guaranteed? No, I'd say precise details are still sketchy, such as if dates for shows were delayed and what not. Though I am pretty confident it is from the 2112 tour and not the ATWAS tour, so with all the details at hand after my research, in my opinion this is the most likely conclusion.
Update (13 April 2021
): The new book "Wandering the Face of the Earth: The Official Touring History
" states Seattle was allegedly recorded on March 26 by KZOK FM radio and broadcast on 20 April 1976, and mentions nothing for the alleged October 28th date. I'd say that's another big bit of information that helps positively weigh towards the conclusion I made last year.
If you have further details that either support or oppose this conclusion, please feel free to post it here.