Equipment: Sharp DR580H minidisc, Soundman OKM-II Rock mics with A3 Adapter (MD in LP2 mode) (2008-04-07)
Transfer: Sharp DR580H ->LIne Out ->PC ->Adobe Audition ->Conversion to wav
Software: Audition 2.0 - Samplitude 8.0
Location: Floor, about 2 meters in front of the soundboard, dead center
Mastered: Liquid Grace Productions
Out of respect for the time and effort LPG & I put into recording and mastering this recording, I would ask that it not be distributed in the inferior MP3 format. Do what you will for your own use, but don't post or share MP3 conversions of this show. Thanks for your consideration.
This was the second of my two Rush shows this tour. After the recording in Mannheim had come out so well two nights previously, I approached this one feeling quite confident. First challenge though was finding the venue - about 45 minutes out from the city centre. After getting out at the nearest subway station (about 7KM away from the arena) I found a bus laid on to transport us the rest of the way and arrived at the Datch Forum about 45 minutes before the doors were due to open. One of the interesting things about attending a rock concert in Italy is the 'village' of illicit t-shirt sellers you have to navigate through before you get anywhere near the venue. No one is slightly interested if the merchandise is legal or not. It was colourful and noisy if nothing else. Then it was off to look at the entry and security set-up. Everyone had to enter through the same place in the perimeter fence and that meant one long snaking line of people (appropriate I guess). With this set up there wasn't much chance to really see what security was going to be like. So I just joined the queue and waited nervously to see what was ahead of me. My heart missed a beat or two when the gates opened and I saw that it was the local Police Force who were on security duty but people were moving quite quickly so I figured that they weren't searching everybody. I positioned myself behind a couple of guys with bags just to be sure and checked the positioning of my recording equipment about a hundred times as if that extra millimetre or so would make the difference between being caught and not. In the end I walked straight through the Police barrier without anyone bothering - they seemed only to be interested in people carrying bottles. Then it was up the stairs and into the Arena to get wired up.
It was still 45 minutes until show time so I could relax and drink a few beers.This time I had opted to record from the Floor just to see what difference it would make (in Mannheim I was in the Tribune). I decided to take up position dead centre about 2 meters in front of the soundboard. I was guessing that this would allow a good balanced sound and also avoid a lot of the crowd noise, as everyone would be pushing forward. Looking around I could see a couple of people with camcorders. A guy with a MD recorder even walked right past me blatantly wiring up - so I think this show was preserved for posterity by several sources.Although the Datch Forum is a much smaller venue than the one in Mannheim, I decided to start with a slightly higher recording level as I wasn't as close to the PA as I had been in Mannheim. As the intro video started I saw my levels shoot off the scale and quickly adjusted them back to the same as two nights previous. It was looking good for this recording, as the few people around me were being pretty quiet from the outset. I settled back to enjoy the show. What I hadn't counted on was your average Italian’s pathological need to talk to their friends whenever they can. At various points in the show there were people chattering away behind, to the side and in front of me. So I had to walk around in order to try and get away from whoever was talking at the time - so if you detect the sound wavering then that was the reason why. I didn't manage to avoid all the talking but fortunately it's not as distracting as it could have been. On the upside, the smaller venue seemed to allow for a much better sound quality than the Mannheim show. The boys were rocking really well on this night. It was a much better concert than Mannheim from a performance point of view but I think to a large extent the crowd made it extra special (it had been the same on the R30 Tour). There was one nice moment in the show as Geddy introduces Mission and the crowd is chanting "Geddy, Geddy..." and he had to stop himself laughing. Another highlight was the crowd signing along at the beginning of YYZ - brilliant atmosphere.
At the end of the show I ran out to make sure that I got near the front of the queue for the bus back to the subway station. Once it showed up everyone piled on until there was no room for sitting, standing or even body surfing. I reflected briefly on the chances of the bus being able to take the corners with so many people on board. When we were deposited back at the subway station we all (Italians and Tourists alike) found to our immense displeasure that the last train had gone and we were now all stranded about 20 km outside the city centre. Of course, being Italy, there was nothing resembling timetables, instructions or even knowledgeable bystanders. The good thing was that there were about 60 of us all in the same boat and that's a great icebreaker. I teamed up with a guy from London who had come over with his son for the concert. Through a variety of transport modes - night bus, night tram then another bus that seemed to tour every part of the city before I finally arrived back at the hotel around 3 in the morning completely shattered (3 and a half hours after the concert had finished). I was way too tired to listen to the discs so I went to bed as I had to be up again to catch a train about 3 hours later. In the morning I listened to some of the recording as I packed and thought, well it's Ok but probably Mannheim was better. After a little magic from Liquid Grace Productions, well what can I say - the recording has turned out extraordinarily well - a much warmer sound than Mannheim and although the chatter is there in places - it is not half as distracting as it sounded to me on the night. This was the end of my mini-tour with Rush and I'm really proud of both shows I recorded and especially this one. I hope you will share my enthusiasm and get a lot of enjoyment from them. The title 'A Milan Grazie' was triggered by Geddy saying 'a mille grazie' to the crowd on a couple of occasions. I decided to go with that out of respect for my Italian friends instead of the working title which had been ‘Shudup ya face’ in reference to the chatterers. I'm extremely happy to contribute this recording to the trading community, and once again give back a little in return for all the great shows I've received over the years. Huge thanks to Liquid Grace Productions for working his magic.
This recording was made by Fans for Fans and should be distributed freely to whomever wants it. Never pay for a copy of this recording.