I wanted to post some additional notes and speculation, which I thought better to leave out of the main post and discuss separately. To start, here's a breakdown of the standard Hemispheres tour setlist compared with the setlist performed at the PinkPop Festival:
01 - Anthem (missing from recording)
02 - A Passage To Bangkok
xx - By-Tor And The Snow Dog
03 - Xanadu
11 - Something For Nothing (performed as the second encore)
04 - The Trees
xx - Cygnus X-1
05 - Hemispheres (only performed The Sphere)
06 - Closer To The Heart
xx - Circumstances
xx - A Farewell To Kings
07 - La Villa Strangiato
08 - 2112 (Overture, Temples, Discovery missing from recording)
xx - Working Man
xx - Bastille Day
09 - In The Mood
10 - Drum Solo
From top to bottom, the first thing to note is the omission of Anthem. I mention this briefly in the main post, but it is very likely it was played as the opening song, as they did so during the entire tour, and Bangkok is not quite a song I believe that would've randomly chosen to open with for this one show. At this point from 1974 through 1979, Finding My Way, Bastille Day, and Anthem had been their only opening songs, all have the same vibe of opening a show with quite a punch. Also, as the recording starts, we immediately hear a cheering crowd and some dialogue by Geddy. Rush never opened a show with Geddy speaking before the first song, rather him addressing the crowd following the first song is what we'd expect. I'm quite certain Anthem was played, but not recorded.
Second, we have the omission of By-Tor And The Snow Dog. By the start of the AFTK tour in late 1977, By-Tor would transition straight into Xanadu right where the song would usually go into the calm middle instrumental section. Here it seems Bangkok transitions straight into Xanadu. There is clearly no cuts in the audio here, if you pay attention to the crowd cheer and the synth hums. I'm quite certain By-Tor was not played.
Our next omissions are Something For Nothing and Cygnus X-1, which were both dropped from the setlist at the end of the tour starting with their first European date outside of the United Kingdom. For perspective, Rush's North American leg of the Hemispheres tour lasted from 14 October 1978 through 14 April 1979. Rush's European leg of the Hemispheres tour lasted from 23 April 1979 through 4 June 1979. From April 23 to May 15, all performances were in England and Scotland, and from May 18 to June 4, all performances took place in either Norway, Sweden, Belgium, or Germany, and finally the Netherlands. (Two gigs in France and Switzerland were also scheduled during this time, but were cancelled.)
So to summarize again, once Rush finished in the UK and went on to contenental Europe, Something For Nothing and Cygnus X-1 were dropped for the remainder of the tour. However, for the final date of the tour here at the PinkPop Festival, Something For Nothing was brought back, but as an encore at the end of the show after Neil's drum solo, rather than its original place after Xanadu. This is unique, as every other show during the Hemispheres tour ended after Neil's drum solo. This hearkens back the previous AFTK tour when the show would end with Neil's solo, but often come back for a second encore with Cinderella Man.
Next is Hemispheres, which was seemingly omitted due to time constraints of the PinkPop Festival, however still playing The Sphere which transitions straight into Closer To The Heart, as they did during the entire Hemispheres tour. Here's my question though, did they really not play the entirety of Hemispheres? Yes, it is certainly very possible they did not play it. However, we know the recording was stopped temporarily at the beginning of 2112, therefore we're missing the Overture, Temples of Syrinx, and Discovery. Could it be the same scenario here? It's hard to say. The transition between The Trees and The Sphere seem too smooth to have a cut, but in my opinion it seems like the crowd at the end of The Trees was faded out, and when The Sphere starts is immediately
when the crowd changes tone. I may be overthinking it, but it doesn't seem like a natural transition, and could have been some clever editing to smooth the transition. I can't say yes or not, but due to this, I'm going to say it is easily plausibe that Hemispheres could have indeed been played in its entirety during the PinkPop Festival.
The next omission is Circumstances. This is an easy one, as the song was dropped for every single European date of the Hemispheres tour, so there's no reason to assume it would be missing from this concert. Regardless, there is no apparent cut in the tape to imply otherwise. I'm confident Circumstances was not played.
Next to be omitted is A Farewell To Kings. This is similar to By-Tor, in that it seems to have been omitted specifically for the PinkPop Festival. Like By-Tor into Xanadu, there is clearly no cuts in the audio here, and if you pay attention to the crowd cheer the transition seems very smooth and natural. I am confident A Farewell To Kings was not played.
Next is 2112, which is also quite easy to explain. Obviously there is no way they would've started playing 2112 during Presentation and omitted the first half of the song, it makes no sense. Also, there is an obvious fade out after La Villa, implying there's a cut, and if you've seen the La Villa footage, you can hear the opening synths of 2112's Overture for a few seconds before the film ends. I'm confident all of 2112 was played (other than Oracle of course). The real question is why is there a cut in the tape? Perhaps no one will ever really know why.
Lastly is Working Man and Bastille Day. This is quite easy to explain as well. in the standard Hemispheres tour setlist, after 2112 would end, Rush would walk off stage, then come back for an encore with an uninterrupted medley of Working Man, Bastille Day, In The Mood, and Neil's drum solo. The encore of the PinkPop recording clearly starts with In The Mood, otherwise I feel there would be some sort sign of the direct transition from Bastille Day into In The Mood. The only thing that makes me somewhat question this is that, like at the beginning of The Sphere, there seems there could possibly be some fade out of the crowd to cover up a cut. However, Geddy introduces In The Mood as "this is from our first album", which would be quite odd and out of place if it were part of the usual Working Man medley. I am fairly confident Working Man and Bastille Day were not played, but there is plausible reason to question it.
Also of note, Something For Nothing fades out during the song, which is clearly yet another cut, however the official release of the PinkPop recording in the Hemispheres 40th Anniversary sets feature the song in full. None of the bootleg versions of the PinkPop show that have been circulating for decades have the entirety of Something For Nothing. How did they get the full song, yet all other cuts are still present? There's no way to really know. I was initially theorizing some clever editing was done, using a clip of the song from one of the other Hemispheres soundboard recordings, but none of them match performance wise or sound quality wise, so I can rule out this theory. I suppose they simply just had access to an uncirculated source and the ending of Something For Nothing was the only difference.
The last note I want to make, there is one other oddball recording from the Hemispheres tour that is quite similar to the PinkPop show. It is from a few days earlier on 25 May 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden
. As we already established, it is no surprise it is missing Something For Nothing, Cygnus X-1, and Circumstances. However, this Swedish recording is also missing By-Tor, A Farewell To Kings, and the Working Man / Bastille Day part of the encore. I plan on listening to it thoroughly soon to see if I detect any potential cuts, however the similarity to the PinkPop show is very interesting. The only difference is no second encore if Something For Nothing, and the entirety of Hemispheres being played. If they did indeed play this shortened setlist in Sweden, I have to wonder why? My usual in depth research will be done and posted in a dedicated thread of its own.
From what I've learned by talking with an old Rush fan and trader, he heard (and taped) this recording being aired on the BBC in the UK on 9 May 1980, on a radio program called "Friday Rock Show". He linked me to a website
which shows the recording was aired at least as early as 12 October 1979 on this same radio program. I'm guessing all known sources of this recording may originate from someone who recorded a broadcast around this time. Interestingly, the Friday Rock Show website does not list In The Mood, Neil's drum solo, and Something For Nothing as being aired, however this could possibly be incorrect? I imagine any edits we see in the audio today in regards to cuts/potential cuts were done prior to the 1979/1980 broadcasts. So in theory, perhaps part of the ending of Anthem may have been originally captured, but cut out since they wouldn't have wanted to air the song in an incomplete state. Same could be the case for any other parts of Hemispheres. Despite those theories, 2112 was still aired in its incomplete form. I just thought this miscellaneous trivia was interesting enough to note.