Rush – Newcastle City Hall 13th June 1980

This was the last time I saw Rush on their Permanent Waves tour. They played two nights at the City Hall and we had tickets as we usually did for the second night. We had quite good tickets in the second or third row and we didn’t have to queue in the snow for them this time – I can’t remember how the tickets went on sale but this could quite possibly be the gig where my mum went and queued for tickets for us because they went on sale midweek – she certainly did that for one gig and I remember her mentioning a girl wearing the same Rush t-shirt that we had!

The show was getting ever more sophisticated and this turned out to be the last time Rush played at the City Hall in Newcastle, in fact they didn’t return to the city until 2007 – twenty seven years later! After this tour the show got so big they only played the likes of Wembley Arena and Stafford Bingley Hall.

The thing that stands out most in my mind about this gig was meeting the band afterwards. I’ve often joked that Rush were the only band I went off because I met them, We had to queue to get in and see them and instead of holding court in the dressing room like most bands would they came and stood along the side of the hall and we were ushered along to meet them. they would only sign one autograph per person and when I asked if they would sign something for someone who had already gone home I was met with a firm NO! I also recall that my friend, a drummer, told Neil Peart that he played a Tama kit as well and the response was “not like mine”. I know they don’t have to meet the fans but I’d rather they just didn’t do it and sneak out a back door like Eric Clapton rather than meet them and come across disinterested, arrogant and plain rude!

As it was I was starting to lose interest in the band anyway – the stuff I liked was slowly being dropped from the set and replaced with newer tunes. I wasn’t keen on Permanent Waves and the stuff that came after didn’t do anything for me. I’m glad that I saw the band on the three occasions that I did in small venues but I certainly wan’t going to travel to see them way off in the distance in some shed!


2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
2112 Part III: Discovery
2112 Part IV: Presentation
2112 Part VI: Soliloquy
2112 Part VII: Grand Finale
By-Tor & The Snow Dog
The Spirit of Radio
Natural Science
A Passage to Bangkok
The Trees
Cygnus X-1
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part IV: Armageddon
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part V: Cygnus
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part VI: The Sphere
Closer to the Heart
Beneath, Between & Behind
Jacob’s Ladder
Working Man
Finding My Way
Bastille Day
In the Mood
Drum Solo
La Villa Strangiato

All photographs taken at the gig by me

4 Replies to “Rush – Newcastle City Hall 13th June 1980”

  1. I was at that gig.
    I Googled the show, because I realised it took place 40 years ago, and your blog piece came up.
    Interesting that you say you were growing out of Rush. I preferred their 1980s stuff – but each to their own.
    First time I’ve seen pics from the show. I was – and still am – a drummer. Remember Neil Peart wearing a green shirt with a thin, black, punky tie that night.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. You actually got them to meet them which is saying something and to meet someone like Neil, is like a miracle in the final years. I was barely born when they did this tour and became a fan like 9 years after of course it started in high school. I definitely would have been a fan earlier, if I had discovered stuff other than Def Leppard at age 7 or if someone had turned me on to them. As other kids in school, got into grunge, alternative, britpop and techno, I was the most loyal fan I knew in high school and college until the bitter end of those days.

    You say you graduated and never were a fan of their later sound. The only that sounded like the their 70’s long song/Progressive sound was Opeth and that was only in the late 90’s. They later changed their sound much like Rush and progressed, for better or worse.

    And basically never met anyone in college or ensuing years at work who ever was a fan like they had been in the late 80’s during the Roll The Bones/Counterparts days.

    To meet them, I’m sure you’d think it was like something to be taken for granted. I’ve meet dozens of my favorite bands since but largely soured on them due to the machinations of the music business or the abuse of social media. Too bad, they left us and likely never return.

  3. I was at this show too and my abiding memory was during Jacob’s Ladder, when it kicks back in – the lights & the sound were perfect and I was probably levitating out of my seat.

    Newcastle City Hall was a home from home in my teenage years and the best month was probably June 1978. Blue Oyster Cult on the 1st, Bowie on the 14th and Thin Lizzy on the 20th!. The previous month, I had to be dragged along to see Black Sabbath and only went as I’d heard the guitarist for the support band ‘was going to blow my mind’, according to friends…and Eddie Van Halen did the business indeed.

    1. I was at those gigs to except bowie.. Brilliant times in city hall and the mayfair. I was right at the back upstairs for cult and a lighting rig fell on my mates head haha also remember patti smith sitting on the amps as she was the guitarists g friend at the time.

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