Summer reminds us of Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY. Over the years, Rush has performed at Jones Beach 8 times (1992, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013). The venue was a highlight on the tour for many reasons, not the least of which was the hospitable management and staff who greeted the band with great warmth and enthusiasm each time. The setting of the theatre made for a great outing for fans who wanted to relax on the beach during the day, and then take in the concert at night.
Alex tells an interesting story about how Rush somewhat unknowingly shaped one of the major renovations at the venue.
“One of our favourite venues is the Jones Beach Amphitheatre on Long Island. Adam Citron, the venue General Manager, and I were playing golf when he asked what sort of improvements they could make. I suggested getting closer to the audience as the gap from the stage was deeper than the norm for most outdoor venues. To my surprise, the next time we played there the stage had been moved up and the pit had been remodelled with greater access to the audience. That’s Adam, always trying to make the experience the best it can be.”
Adam also remembers the time well, “Alex said that he felt disconnected from the fans, and that he wished he could be closer to them. There was a full 20 feet from the mics to the first row, and walking that distance was difficult to do as he needed to be close to his pedals and mic. Keeping in great company with RUSH, Dave Mathews had at one time made mention of the stage gap and if things could be reduced. So we took this information back to Live Nation leadership and we proceeded with major renovation plans to cut the stage back. When Rush next played the venue on July 10th, 2010 during the Time Machine Tour, Alex had his wish and he and Geddy were no more than a couple feet from the first row of fans.”
Photo Credit: John Arrowsmith