North Side Drive-In, Lansing, Michigan, May 18, 1974

Rush's first U.S. show


"We played our first American show ever not to far from here in East Lansing at an outdoor, uh...it was over twenty years ago, and it was in the mud and it was raining and stuff. But we've been coming to this area for so long, and I know you'll start cheering and everything, but this is one of the best places to play in America. I mean that sincerely." - Alex Lifeson at Auburn Hills, Michigan, March 22, 1994

"Lifeson descibed Rush's first concert in America shortly before the album was released as a 'non event'. 'It was an outdoor festival in Michigan with 1,000 people. They had expected 20 to 30 thousand. It was very dismal.'" - The Stars And Stripes, June 8, 1988

"The first gig Ray was able to get in the States for the band was a non-event pop festival in East Lansing, Michigan during the early spring. This outdoor festival was not Woodstock. Only 1,300 people showed up on a rainy day at the concert site.... a drive-in movie theatre. The audience was not familiar with the band's material and they received an indifferent reception." - Visions

"Before the ZZ Top gig, we'd played one, count them ONE gig in the U.S., which was some outdoor thing near Lansing Michigan." - Ian Grandy via email to Skip Daly, May 2009

"I was at the North Side Drive In Rush concert of 18 May 1974 (that date sounds about right to me). I was actually doing a black and white video recording of the event for the local (MSU) cable station. Unfortunately I doubt any of the tape of that event still exists. I vividly remember lying on my back, with a video camera, shooting up past the guitar into what I assume was Geddy Lee's face. Being a somewhat pedantic fellow I just thought that I would make one definite correction and a comment. The tour date listing has Dr. John on the bill for that show, in fact Dr. John did not show up (making for a rather ugly crowd at times) and the New York Dolls were the replacement act, not exactly an act the Lansing crowd 'got'. Secondly, I think I remember the announcer saying that this was the first time the band had been out of Canada...I was 16 at the time..." - Mark K Mondol via email April 2009

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