Twenty minutes had passed since Rush finished their first set. The crowd of ponies was growing restless, eager to hear the next half. They stomped their hooves, cheering and chanting "Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!"
Backstage, things didn't look good. Geddy’s voice had become low and gravelly, eliminating his ability to sing.
“What do we do now?” Neil asked nervously.
“I don’t know,” Geddy responded in his new low pitched voice. “But we gotta think of something.”
“Could we play everything in a lower key?” Asked Alex.
“We’d have to go pretty low.” Geddy responded.
“What if ya'll played a different kind o’ music?” Applejack suggested. “Like country, soul, or blues or somethin’?”
“We rehearsed only for our stuff.” said Neil. “We couldn’t do something like that on the fly.”
“I could take over for Geddy!” Pinkie broke in.
“Pinkie, I don’t think…”
Pinkie suddenly showed up dressed like Geddy, with a long wig, sunglasses, a goatee, and similar clothes, holding his Rickenbacker.
“How hard could it be?”
She inhaled helium from a balloon, then strummed the bass and sang a few lines of Closer To The Heart.
“Pinkie!” Neil interrupted. “Although it’s a valiant effort, you were never part of the band so it wouldn’t work if you did it. We can’t do it without Geddy.”
The clothes and wig deflated, sliding off of Pinkie.
Panicking, Twilight began pacing around the room.
“Oh this is terrible! Of all the things that could possibly go wrong!”
“Twilight,” Spike interrupted. “remember about your blood pressure?”
“Forget my blood pressure!”
Twilight started to freak out.
“I mean…we all went to all this trouble, taking an enormous gamble putting on this concert to prevent endless eternal darkness, and this is what happens! Of all the worst things that could happen, this is THE...WORST....POSSIBLE...THING!!”
Rarity raised an eyebrow.
Rainbow Dash shook Twilight wildly.
“Twilight Sparkle!!! Get ahold a yourself!!”
Rainbow stopped shaking Twilight, the unicorn’s eyes rolling around in her sockets.
“This is no time to go crazy on us! We have to solve this!”
“You’re right.” Twilight panted. “I’m sorry.”
“Oh, where’s Zecora when you need her?” Rarity fretted.
Twilight suddenly gasped.
“That’s it! Zecora! She’ll know a way to help us. Rainbow, fly to the EverFree and go find Zecora.”
But before Rainbow could take off, a cloaked pony appeared in front of them.
“Fly to the forest you won’t need to do. For the zebra you seek is here, to help you.”
Zecora pulled down her hood to reveal herself.
“Who is this?” asked Alex.
“Zecora, the zebra.” said Twilight. “She’s our oracle and shaman. If anypony can help Geddy it’s her.”
“Zecora!” Pinkie wailed frantically. “Geddy’s voice has gone from all high and springy and nice like my voice to low, gargley, and not nice, like Fluttershy on poison joke.”
“Don’t remind me.” Fluttershy grumbled.
“To stop the music and victory, a changeling came down and poisoned Geddy.”
“Poisoned!? gasped Rarity.
“But how?” Rainbow demanded.
“I saw the whole thing with my own eyes, the poison they used was no surprise.”
Zecora showed Twilight the water bottle which glowed red.
“Of course, I read about this one. It’s like poison joke, but much more potent.”
“Had a feeling this was a sabotage.” Neil commented.
“Gosh, Chrysalis must be really scared if she went this far to stop us.” said Alex
“Zecora,” said Neil. “Is there a way to cure Geddy?”
The zebra nodded wisely.
“If the key to the music is the voice of Geddy, I knew there had to be some remedy. Back to the forest I flew like a flash, and searched all the potions I held in my cache. Through brewing and toil, a cure was did made, an antidote that would help in your aid.”
“Does she always talk like that?” Alex whispered to Rainbow.
Zecora poured her antidote potion into a wooden cup.
“With flowers, leaf oils, and hairs from a mane, drink this down Geddy, and you will sing once again.”
Geddy stared at it hesitantly.
“You really think this’ll work?”
“It’s your only chance buddy.” Said Alex. “Unless we start playing Barry White songs.”
Geddy drank Zecora’s potion. Alex, Neil, and the ponies held their breath.
“Come on Ged.” Neil murmured.
After a few throat clearings, Geddy sang a few notes…
“Hey! My voice is back!!”
The guys and ponies were elated.
“Not only that,” Neil added. “It sounds amazing!”
“Wow! I haven’t sounded this good since we recorded Counterparts.”
“Could we finally play Fly By Night again?” Alex asked excitedly.
“Maybe not that one, but I can certainly do Hemispheres, in key.”
He turned to the Zebra.
“Zecora, I don’t know what we’d have done without you.”
“It is my pleasure to help save the band, but a task more urgent is still at hand. A crystal of grey remains to be gone. To defeat Chrysalis...”
Zecora took off her cloak revealing a Rush t-shirt.
“...the show must go on!”
“All right!” Geddy fired up. “Second Set! You guys ready?”
“You bet! said Alex.
“Let’s do it!” Neil answered.
They all put their hooves and hands in a circle.
“Lets kick that changeling's ass!” said Neil.
“Rush and Pony On!!”
They all headed back to the stage.
“Wait!” said Pinkie. “Why would we want to hit some poor donkey?”
The stage darkened, the lights pointed toward the screen and the opening video for the second set began.
A sandwich board read "The Great & Powerful Trixie Pinkie Pie". A purple curtain rose on a stage revealing Pinkie Pie in a magician's costume, with a top hat on her head. Pinkie took a bow and topped the hat off with her hoof.
Striking a dramatic pose, she showed the hat to be empty and placed it on a small table. Pulling a magic wand out of her coat, she waved it around the hat. Sparkles and harp music danced around the hat, finishing with a puff of smoke, making her cough. She stuck her muzzle into the hat, and pulled out a potato in her teeth. She cringed and spat out the potato. Undeterred, she stuck in her muzzle again, pulling out a trout. Surprised, she threw the fish away.
Sweating nervously, Pinkie stuck her hoof inside the hat, fishing around for the rabbit. With a snap, she tearfully pulled out a mousetrap stuck on her hoof. Shaking off the trap, she reached deep down into the hat again. She pulled out a pineapple, a bowling pin, a picture of her dancing in a bikini, making her blush. She reached in and pulled out a chain, which seemed to never end. She pulled and pulled and pulled, until something big got stuck inside. Climbing up on the table, she gave three big heeves, thrusting out an anchor which hung in the air before clanging on her head.
Pinkie quickly recovered, reached in the hat again, and proudly presented...a stick of lit dynamite! Freaking out, she tried to dispose of it, then threw it back into the hat and sat on it.
There was no explosion. Pinkie got up and looked inside. A big explosion of soot blackened her face.
Finally, two white bunny ears rose out of the hat. Pinkie excitedly grabbed hold of the ears with her hoof and pulled out the rabbit with a big TaaDaa!!!!!...only it wasn’t a rabbit, but Fluttershy wearing bunny-ears. Pinkie looked back to Fluttershy, who just smiled and blushed with a squee. Pinkie’s jaw dropped, eyes rolled back, and she fainted onto her back, lying on the floor with her tongue hanging out and her hooves sticking straight up, twitching occasionally.
Fluttershy wriggled her way out of the hat. Taking the magic wand in her mouth, she waved it at the hat. In a sparkling pop, the hat twirled in midair, coming to rest with the brim facing up. A purple/magenta light glowed from underneath as the music built up. Suddenly a bow-tied bunny rabbit appeared out of the hat.
Show Don’t Tell
In a burst of color and sound, Rush was back onstage.
On the screen in black and white, ponies dressed in vintage clothing boarded and loaded luggage onto a train. Rarity, dressed as a dame, conversed with Spike, dressed in a trench coat and hat.
“Rarity, my dear. I don’t think I can do this. I can’t leave you.”
“Spike darling, If you don’t get on that train you’re going to regret it. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon.”
“Bangkok is so far away. Won’t you join me? You’re going to miss all those sweet Jamaican pipe dreams and golden Acapulco nights.”
“Golden Acapulco nights! Why didn’t you say so! Where’s my ticket!”
Rarity leaped aboard the train taking Spike with her.
“The Thailand Express leaving for Acapulco, Marrakech, Kathmandu, and Bangkok!!! All Aboard!!!”
The whistle screamed and the train chugged out of the station.
A Passage to Bangkok
Alex played is Gibson ES 335, Geddy played his Rickenbacker.
With the solo, the screen showed footage of the Friendship Express steaming down the track with close ups of its pistons and boiler. Blended overtop were scenes exotic dancers, lush tropical landscapes, food and tropical fruit drinks, and smoke from pipes. Mixed in were shots of the Mane Six and Spike smoking a hookah. The smoke brought high a happy reaction to Twilight, made Rainbow hold her muzzle, Applejack puff out her cheeks; Rarity was repulsed; Fluttershy coughed on the smoke; Pinkie Pie took a big whiff, and drunkenly rolled her eyes, hanging her tongue out while the smoke seeped from her ears.
Neil began playing a steady drumbeat as Rainbow gave Alex a blue PRS guitar, and Applejack gave Geddy his Wal bass. Geddy came up to the mic.
"Thank you! How's everypony doin’ out there? Welcome to the second half of our show. We've got lots more music to play. We're going to do a few songs we haven't played in a really long time. Let’s get fired up with something from our Hold Your Fire album, this is Prime Mover!"
The stage glittered with lights from all directions, as three large red balloons inflated overtop the front rows.
"Lan sakes! Never seen balloons that large!"
Colors and laser patterns lit up the stage with each guitar, bass, drum, and synth pattern. The crowd of ponies stomped to the beat of Neil's drums. Backstage, the ponies were having the time of their lives dancing and singing.
"They are just on fire!!" said Spike.
"Anything can happen!!" Sweetie Belle cheered. "Anything!!!"
Building up to the outro, the ponies hummed along with the low choral voices. Suddenly with a snare roll, the balloons were released into the crowd. Ponies everywhere bounced the balloons all over the stadium. Rarity let out a high pitched "WoooooHoooooHooooo!!!!!"
"Well, you all seemed fired up. We'd like to do another song now that we haven't played in ages. This one from our Presto album. A song about vanity, this is War Paint."
Two giant inflatable rabbits rose on either side of the stage. Every other chord change, bright lights lit them up in magical colors.
For the first chorus, an image of Rarity appeared onscreen looking in a mirror. Her reflection changed to illusions of her as a glamorous movie star, then as a grinning school teacher, a construction worker which made her jump, on a beach in a bikini, as a corporate executive shouting on the phone, and last as a famous supermodel. Her supermodel fantasy exploded in the mirror leaving her staring at herself in a mope while her image faded away.
For the second chorus, Spike looked in the mirror. First he was shown swimming in a pool of money, then stepping out of a limousine in a tuxedo with Rarity by his side, as a hot shot fighter pilot, a wise guru in a lotus position, a celebrated hero for stopping a wagon from crashing, in a spa bed being pampered by spa ponies, and last in his big muscles from the muscle spell. He flexed them while grinning to the audience before his muscles popped, leaving his normal reflection. Spike pouted as he faded off the screen.
For the final chorus, Rainbow appeared as a Wonderbolt, Applejack winning a contest for a prized apple, the CMC showing off fancy new cutie marks, Fluttershy being massaged by a bear, Twilight spreading a pair of wings, which then melted away. Pinkie Pie bursting out of a cake in a skimpy outfit.
The outro featured the ponies and band morphing one by one into each other singing the lyrics, until Pinkie Pie dowsed the mirror in black paint finishing off the song.
Leave That Thing Alone
The rabbits bounced up and down to the music, slowly deflating.
Silhouettes of the Mane Six appeared one by one the screen, dancing to the song in their own unique way. Each body was black save for a mane, tail, and cutie mark and lit up in a respective aura. Some frames showed only a hoof stomping, head banging, tail swishing, flank swaying, or mane thrashing.
"Thank you so much! Before we play the next song we just wanted to say what an amazing world Equestria is. To see all different kinds of ponies with different gifts and talents living together in harmony. It's a magical thing to see. We hope one day, our world can do the same. This song is from our Test For Echo album, this is Half the World."
Half The World
An animated sunrise rose on the screen, the warm red and orange glow lighting up a giant inuksuk. The time of day and weather slowly changed around the stone statue. Blended on either side, ponies acted out the emotions in the song’s lyrics.
Luna suddenly teared up.
“Sister, are you alright?”
“What he sang about a torn up photograph,” Luna sniffed. “It just got to me. That long time when we were…”
Celestia wrapped a hoof around Luna’s.
“Not torn up anymore.”
Luna wiped her tears away and smiled, then clopped her hooves with the mid-song applause.
Distant Early Warning
Blue lights lit up the stage, changing with the guitar licks. Lasers and red lights shot across the stage with the keyboards. The screen displayed in red 'Red Alert', 'Incomplete', 'Obselete'.
Wavy lights and lasers draped the stage in aurora like patterns. The screen showed multi-colored ripples in water.
"Oooh! Mystical!!" Pinkie squeed.
Chrysalis hovered back to her vantage point.
“Drat! How could they have an antidote to the voice poison!”
She called one of her changelings over.
“We’ll have to stop the show another way.”
They hovered away.
"Thank you! You ponies are an amazing audience. This next song we pulled out at the last minute just for this occasion, as a tribute to the two royal sisters, Celestia and Luna.”
The princesses eyes lit up.
“This is called Between the Sun and Moon."
Between The Sun & Moon
The screen showed beautiful stained glass images of Celestia and Luna, chronicling their alicorn powers and relationship as sisters and princesses.
The songs’ lyrics brought tears to both Celestia and Luna. When the song finished, they clapped their hooves a little louder. Alex, Neil, and Geddy looked up to the royal box, and smiled. Celestia and Luna smiled wide, and nodded back to them.
In a barren dystopian CG landscape, a tough looking stallion pony put on leathers, spiked gauntlets, and a helmet. He climbed onto a motorcycle and revved it up. A backfire burst out of his tail pipe as he took off down the road.
An explosion went off onstage with the backfire.
Geddy came down to the edge of the stage for his bass solo. As he played, Alex did a goofy dance behind him. Geddy stopped playing, looking back. Alex stopped dancing. Geddy played again, Alex danced again. Geddy stopped, Alex stopped. Geddy played some more, and turned around, jokingly pointing a finger at Alex. With a slide of the bass, they went into the second part of the song.
The image focused onto the stallion’s eyes. His look grew more intense, fires burned in his pupils. In sync with the drums and guitars, fires burst from beneath the ground. Through the second movement, the pony sped down a windy road, dodging plumes of fire, hot ash, and brimstone.
Twilight muzzled around backstage where the power cables were. She took down a chart and paged through it. Applejack spotted her.
“Twilight? What are you doin back here?”
“Spike told me there was something wrong with the power. Thought I’d take a look.”
“Fair enough.” said Applejack. “Be a might drag if the lights went off.”
Applejack went back to her station. Suddenly, Twilight smiled malevolently, eyes and horn glowing green.
Twilight, reviewed a chart on effects for the next few songs.
“Guess there was nothing wrong with power huh?” AJ commented.
Twilight looked up from the chart confused.
“What are you talking about?”
“You said there was somethin wrong with the power cables. I just saw you back there.”
“Applejack, I was here the whole time.”
Applejack raised an eyebrow.
“If you’re here then who was…”
Their eyes filled with dread.
The band finished off the song.
The stage flashed into darkness as ponies all over the stadium stomped their hooves in applause. What they didn’t know was that the sudden lapse into darkness was not part of the show.
“What happened!?” Neil gasped.
“The lights are all off.” Geddy replied.
They all touched their earpieces.
“Twilight? Rainbow Dash? Pinkie Pie? Can anypony hear me?”
“Yes Geddy,” Rainbow responded. “We hear you just fine.”
“Girls, the lights just went off.” Neil spoke. “What’s going on back there?”
“We’ve got a hoot’n’nanny of a problem back here boys.” Said Applejack. “The main cable that powers the lights has been cut.”
“Cut!?” Alex gasped. “How?!”
“One of Chrysalis’ changelings got back here n’ cut this wire like a hot knife on a hot apple pie.”
“What about the lasers?” said Alex.
“They’re out too.” Rarity answered.
“Well this is a tight spot guys.” Alex commented.
“Is there anything being done about it?” Neil asked.
“Affirmative.” Twilight answered. “Shining Armor and Big McIntosh are fixing it right now.”
Shining Armor used his horn like a welding torch to fix the cables. Big Mac, wearing a welding mask, directed him.
“How long will it take to fix?”
“They said about five to seven minutes.”
“We can’t wait that long.” Said Neil.
“What do we have that works?” Geddy demanded.
“The camera for the screen still works.” Said Fluttershy.
“Girls, the lights and lasers are critical for the next song. We've gotta do something.”
Twilight thought for a minute.
“I’ve got an idea, but everypony’s going to need to help.
A minute later, the guys were wondering what was going on.
“Ponies, what’s happening back there?”
“One minute boys.” Twilight answered. “We’re just about ready. Okay everypony knows what to do?”
“You bet!” said Rainbow.
“We’re ready.” Said the CMC.
“You sure about this darling.” Rarity asked worriedly. “I don’t know if my magic can do this.”
“You gotta try Rarity.” Twilight responded. “It’s the only way.”
“Go for it Rarity.” Spike encouraged “I know you can do it.”
“Thanks Spikey-poo. Let’s do this thing!”
The ponies all got in their assigned positions backstage.
“Rush, we’re ready.” Said Twilight. “Start playing.”
Red Sector A
The stage flashed red in time with the bass tempo. On a lighting rig above the stage, Applejack shined a red spotlight while Rainbow flapped her wings in front of it. Pinkie and Fluttershy did the same thing. Neil counted off with four beats on his kick drum.
Lights and lasers from off stage lit up the space above the band. Off both sides, the CMC each shined rows of colored flashlights through prisms to light up the stage. Hidden behind and below, Twilight and Rarity fired laser-like beams from their horns. All together, the efforts of each pony produced a spectacularly improvised light show.
The ponies changed the patterns to the guitar and synth notes, growing tired as the song went on.
I’m getting too pooped to flutter my wings.” Fluttershy whimpered.
Rarity strained to keep the beam alight.
“I can’t hold this much longer.”
“Keep going ponies!” said Rainbow Dash.
“If we don’t keep going, Chrysalis wins.” Twilight urged.
The ponies mustered up more strength and kept going with the display. Spike wiped the sweat from Rarity’s forehead with a towel.
For Alex’s solo, Twilight lit up her horn and created a dazzling display of magic, matching each guitar note. Twilight pushed her magic as hard a she could, intensifying the magical patterns. The guys and ponies were amazed. In a flash of light, the patterns swirled around as Twilight reignited her laser beam spell.
“Way to go Twilight!” Spike cheered.
The ponies pushed even harder till they reached the end of the song, and dimmed back into darkness. They collapsed exhausted.
“I hope I never have to do that again.” Rarity panted.
Geddy and Alex left the stage.
“Girls, that was amazing!” said Alex.
“That was the most spectacular show of effects we’ve ever seen.” Geddy added. “You really did a great job.”
“And Twilight,” Alex continued. “Those patterns were incredible!”
“Thanks.” Twilight panted taking a drink of water. “They were all improvised.”
Shining Armor and Big Mac came up.
“Cable is all fixed.” Shining wiped sweat from his forelock. “We’ve got power again.”
Twilight hugged her brother.
“Thanks big brother.”
“I should get back in the crowd. Great show you guys. And my wife sends you a shoutout. She thinks you’re the best.”
Shining went back to the audience. Geddy and Alex laughed quietly.
“What’s so funny?” Rainbow enquired.
“Throughout our career we’ve been thought of as a guy’s band. Girls didn’t always dig us.”
“Well ponies certainly dig you.” said Pinkie cheerfully. “We did you deep!”
Geddy and Alex smiled awkwardly.
“Still on stage.” Geddy answered. “He’s going to do his solo.”
“Ponies, you have to see this.” Said Alex. “Marvel at the Professor.”
Neil’s voice spoke over the PA.
“Drum soloing is like running a marathon, and solving equations at the same time. You have to practice…and trust yourself.”
Spotlights lit up the drumset as Neil began his solo.
Everypony in the stadium watched in amazement as Neil banged away on the drums. Some ponies air drummed along with him.
The ponies backstage were also amazed.
“He’s...like, he never misses a single beat.” said Fluttershy.
“You know girls,” Alex commented. “Ever since Neil first drummed for us at his audition, he never ceases to blow us away.”
“No wonder he beat Pinkie in the drum off.” Rainbow whispered to Twilight.
During later part of the solo, Rarity got onstage to change the clothes in the dryers. At a rest, she tossed Neil a towel. He wiped his face off and tossed it aside.
With a fast snare roll, Neil launched into a big band melody. On-screen in black and white, vaudeville dancing ponies and jazz player ponies played along with him. With a gong crash, he finished to roaring applause.
A pair of doors appeared on the screen, revealing a dark spiral staircase. Down this staircase was another door. Behind this door was a blurry purple figure surrounded by thick smoke. The figure turned out to be Spike wearing a big turban, and waving his claws around a large crystal ball.
“Welcome to the chamber of inner sanctimony. Please have a seat. This is the place that holds all the answers to everything you want to know about your innermost emotions. The spirits of your emotions will tell you. To hear their words, gaze into the mystical orb of Fate’s Destiny. Look deeper, deeper, deeper…”
~Twilight appeared in the ball dressed in monk like robes.
“I’m foresight. I know everything there is to know about everything. I know that the square root 546 is 23.36664289109, and I know how to factor Pi down to the last micro-digit. Not only do I know everything, I also foresee everything that happens to you. Remember when you stubbed your hoof on the bed last week, I saw that coming like a freight train. And I can see you falling into a well on your next birthday. There isn’t anything I don’t know or foresee.”
“Did you know or foresee this?” said a voice that sounded like Alex.
Twilight was pied in the face.
“Never saw that coming.” ~
The image backed away from the orb.
“Okay,” said Spike. “That was a little weird, but your other emotional spirits may have better answers. Take a look.”
~ Rarity appeared in the ball with sinister looking green eyes and a snake body.
“Ooooh, I’m envy. I’m so full of contempt, I’m practically green with envy. You think you’re so cocky with all your stupid accomplishments. I barely passed the entrance exams to Kindergarten.”
She hissed a forked tongue.
“I deserve everything you have more than you, and I can’t wait for you trip a hoof and have it all come crashing down!!! HAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!”~
“Still no answers?” Spike asked.
The image turned away.
“No! No! Wait! Wait! Wait!!”
He pulled the image back toward him.
“Please, just give this one more chance. You’ll find answers if you just try hard enough. Trust me.”
~The orb image staticed like a television. First Rainbow and Applejack appeared with Rainbow pulling AJ like a stuck mule.
“I’m ambition,” said Rainbow. “And I’m trying to get somewhere!”
“I’m stubbornness,” said Applejack. “And I’m staying right here!”
Second, Neil appeared sitting at a type-writer.
“Mundaneness.” He threw a coffee mug at the camera.
Sweetie Belle appeared gushy big eyes.
“Aren’t I just the cutest thing!!”
Fluttershy appeared from behind a door dressed as a flower.
“I’m meekness, and I’m kind of busy right now.”
Pinkie Pie appeared as a ditzy cheerleader.
“I’m excitement, and I’m just so excited! Are you excited cuz I’m excited I’ve never been so excited, except for all those other times I was excited but now I’m more excited then I’ve ever been more excited…”
Pinkie inflated like a balloon until she exploded.~
“Well,” said Spike. “it seems this experience is a far cry from what you’ve expected, but take one last look into the orb, and you might find what you’re really looking for…”
The image slowly zoomed into the ball, falling into complete blackness.
In an instant, Rush was back on the stage. Two giant inflatable snakes coiled around arrows emerged above the stage, with piercing red eyes and fangs wide open. Throughout the song, their neon skin and eyes changed color. At one point, sparks flew from the snakes’ open mouths followed by a sudden white bang!
La Villa Strangiato
Pinkie produced a bag of popcorn at her lightboard.
“Great! The goofy song!”
Out in the crowd, many ponies were starting to get tired.
“How long has this show been?” Asked Minuette.
“Almost three hours.” Lemon Hearts replied.
“Three hours!” exclaimed Twinkleshine. “And they don’t even look tired. How do they keep going?”
Everypony laughed with Alex as he did his mid-song antics.
The guys touched their ear pieces.
“Everypony ready back there?” asked Neil “It’s time for the big epic to destroy the cloud.”
The ponies all nodded to each other.
“We’re ready boys.” replied Rainbow.
“Give it all you got.” said Twilight.
“Time to show Chrysalis the power of our friendship.” Alex said to Geddy and Neil.
A starfield appeared on the screen; planets turning, shooting stars swooshing, and a galaxy slowly turning.
White spot lights lit up the band with each chord and rest in the intro.
An abstract shape slowly emerged from the darkness. With the opening note of the overture, a green 'StarPony' logo flashed onscreen.
All over the stadium, ponies jumped and shouted along with the music. Backstage, the Mane Six, CMC, and Spike were also rocking out.
For the chorus’s to Temples of Syrinx, a large eyeball (similar to Twilight’s) looked down on the band and audience.
Up at her vantage point, Chrysalis seethed with rage.
“Nothing seems to be stopping this...trio of miscreants.”
She buzzed to two of her changelings.
“Bring the crystal out. That’ll stop them.”
At the end of the Grand Finale, Twilight appeared in a sci-fi empress gown, bathed in smoke, lipsyncing the final words. The image zoomed in on her mouth.
Geddy swapped his red Fender with his regular one, Rainbow gave Alex his twin neck.
Fog flowed over the stage, courtesy of a spell from Twilight. A soft blew light lit up the band from behind, making them appear as shadows. The light slowly changed overtop Alex’s long guitar notes. As he played faster, lasers lit up in sync with the notes. The lights changed faster to the bass and drums.
While Neil played the chimes on his keypad, Alex rested his elbow on the guitar, and looked at Neil pretending to be bored. He signed a goofy ‘hurry up’ sign with his hands. Neil made a silly face and thumbed his nose at Alex, then hit the drums back into the song.
Lights and lasers danced around with the second movement.
In the third movement, the pages of a book were turned by a purple hoof. The pages showed pictures of a beautiful turquoise river, an ice cave, a table of sliced honeydew, and a giant glass of flowing milk. The hoof turned the pages and found a map with an icon named “Xanadu”.
From a first-pony perspective, the traveller scaled a tall snowy mountain. Reaching the top, a giant mystical dome came into view.
The fourth movement, the traveller waded her way into the dome. Inside was lush green grass and trees. Coming up to Kubla Kahn meditating on a throne (Rarity in an Oriental gown and headdress.) The Khan shook hooves with the traveller (Twilight dressed like Marco Polo). Khan showed the traveller the sacred river, and caves of ice, presented a table of honeydew, and a gold cup of flowing milk.
Pinkie Pie was suddenly eating a melon at her station. Fluttershy and Applejack turned and stared.
“What?” her mouth was full of melon. “Dining on honeydew, like the song said!”
Twilight took a big drink from the cup of milk. In an instant, her eyes widened…
Synched with the opening sound for Hemispheres, the image zoomed into her pupils, and down a blue lit tunnel. A brain appeared, flashing colors with the notes. Applejack appeared on one side, dressed in a suit and hat. She rigidly tapped a cane to the beat of the drums. On the other side, Fluttershy danced gracefully, her mane and tail flowing freely in the wind.
Fluttershy suddenly blushed, and hid behind her lightboard.
“What’s the matter darling?” asked Rarity
“Everypony...just saw me. I’m a little embarrassed.”
“Oh don’t worry dear. You’re quite a beautiful pony. ”
“You really think so?”
“Of course. And besides, it’s not really you, it’s just a dazzling image of you.”
Fluttershy felt better.
“Never imagined myself as...dazzling.”
Blue light lit up the back of the stage under the screen, while blue and green lights and lasers darted around to each note.
Twilight looked up to the cloud with binoculars. Green fissures were appearing in the cloud, and growing with every note.
“It’s breaking up!”
Applejack spoke to the band.
“Guys, the cloud’s breakin up. Keep playin, you’re doing it.”
The guys took the chance at a rest in the song to turn up the volume on their equipment. Twilight signalled Vinyl Scratch and Octavia to turn up the vocal volume.
Geddy belted out the vocals as high as he could push it. The crowd roared in applause. The loud music and shrieking vocals made bigger cracks in the cloud.
“We’re gonna do it!” beamed Rainbow Dash. “We’re actually going to destroy it!”
Suddenly with the last note of the song, a booming voice called out.
“STOP THE MUSIC!!!”
Ponies all over the stadium stopped applauding and gasped…