The sellout crowd proved the point. They sang along, air guitared and air drummed to the hits and the more obscure songs from a nearly 40-year career.
We also noticed something else that proved Rush fans’ unconditional love: More fan mail than any show here any of us could remember. It’s not uncommon for fans to send a letter to a performer or band playing at the arena. A few people sent letters addressed to Carrie Underwood, care of Webster Bank Arena. Some appeared to include a picture they hoped she would sign and return.
Rush fan mail filled two hand-held Post Office bins. There were big packages and small letters. We screen such items to make sure nothing hazardous gets backstage, and a quick peek at a few of the letters showed they were very touching. Fathers told how much the music has meant to them and how they were passing on the Rush legacy to their sons. Other fans were proud of how many Rush shows they had attended. They included heirlooms in the packages for the band to hopefully sign: tour programs from the 80′s, for instance.
We try not to be cynical and we assume all of the items would be treasured if they were signed and sent back in the stamped return envelopes. But there’s no way to know if that tour program would end up on eBay, it’s value boosted by drummer Neil Peart’s signature.
We simply delivered the mail to Rush’s management and didn’t ask if it gets signed and returned or tossed aside. Let’s hope singer Geddy Lee is on a tour bus right now, signing that tour program from decades ago and sending it to an honest fan who will soon be shouting with joy.