Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Tue, Jul 23, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jun 28, 2024@11:45AM | comments

A tribute concert celebrating the legacy of late Canadian music icon Gordon Lightfoot, who passed away last May, took place last month at Massey Hall in Toronto and Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson made a surprise guest appearance:

... Lee and Lifeson, billed on the private performer rundown and setlist only as "L+L," were backed by Canadian Music Hall of Famers (and the evening's house band) Blue Rodeo on Lightfoot's song "The Way I Feel," complete with an acoustic guitar solo from Lifeson. ... "It was important for us to pay tribute to Gordon," Lee told Variety. "Not being folk or pop artists, Alex and I were looking for one of Gordon's songs that might better suit our style of play and we found that in 'The Way I Feel.' Its structure was loose and more open to interpretation than many of his more popular tunes." ... "After the gig, Gordon's daughter Meredith [Moon] said to us, 'Leave it to Rush to make 'The Way I Feel' sound prog,' so I think we succeeded," Lee added. Lee and Lifeson also came out for the ensemble finale, "Summerside of Life," featuring all of the evening's performers ...

The CBC announced earlier this week that the concert will air on the CBC for Canada Day. Celebrating Gordon Lightfoot will be available to stream as of 9AM EST this coming Tuesday, July 1st on CBC Gem and CBC Music's YouTube channel, and broadcasts at 12PM on CBC Radio One and 4PM on CBC Music and CBC Listen. You can get all the details in the press release. Following the performance, Geddy Lee posted some photos from the evening's festivities to his Instagram along with the following caption:

On Thursday evening at Massey Hall in Toronto, both Alex and myself had the profound pleasure of paying tribute to a true Canadian musical legend, Gordon Lightfoot. A huge thank you to the gracious members of Blue Rodeo for sharing their stage and prodigious talents with us both- a tremendous evening full of compelling performances and warm remembrances. An honour to be there. ...

You can watch some fan-shot video of the performance on YouTube.

The late Neil Peart grew up in the St. Catharines, Ontario community of Port Dalhousie, the lakefront home of Lakeside Park which inspired the lyrics to the 1975 Rush song of the same name. Back in 2020 the St. Catharines City Council, with the full support of the community, voted to name the newly rebuilt pavilion at Lakeside Park the Neil Peart Pavilion at Lakeside Park in honor of the hometown icon who passed away over 4 years ago in January of 2020. The Council also established the Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force, with the objective to commission a public work of art commemorating Peart's life and legacy. Back in January of 2021 the Task Force officially began welcoming artists to submit requests for pre-qualification via the city's website, and revealed the finalists in September of 2021 along with the launch of a fundraising campaign for the Memorial. In November of 2022 the Task Force finally revealed that the artist who will have the honor of creating the memorial is Morgan MacDonald of The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry. The installation itself will depict two bronze statues of Peart - one as a young artist and the other in his later years. A pathway will connect the two statues with interpretive panels about Peart's personal and professional legacy. The project and its timelines are contingent on the Task Force raising the $1 million required for completion, and donations of any size can be made online at this location. A video depicting what the Neil Peart memorial will look like in Lakeside Park was posted online by the City of St. Catharines this past week as its citizen task force prepares to launch a major fundraising campaign, and you can watch it below or on YouTube. From the St. Catharines Standard:

..."We've got the assets ready, we've got the video produced so people can actually see it, we've got the sponsorship thresholds, so we're close," said David DeRocco, chair of the volunteer Neil Peart Memorial Task Force. "All we need is that dedicated push and as we get closer to the finish line to tap into the love people have for Neil." ... "It's going to be on the backs of fans to fund this. That's why we really wanted to build something that made it really special for people," DeRocco said. ... The statue will be really, really compelling to look at based on the renderings that I've seen. So, it's going to be quite spectacular," he said. "I think people, once they see it installed, they're going to be amazed. It's going to be a destination location for Rush fans and just casual lovers of art."

Earlier this week Rush and Henderson Brewing Company announced the addition of Big Al's Birdie Brew to their collection of Rush beers. They introduced the new brew in a social media post and hilarious video featuring Big Al yesterday morning:

Rush's Alex Lifeson was having a beer after a round of golf and thought to himself, 'I bet the guys at Henderson could make a great golf beer!'. And so the ball started rolling on 'Big Al's Birdie Brew'. This 4% Mexican-style Lager refreshes like no other and is great on its own or with a wedge of lime. To celebrate the launch of the new beer, we're releasing some limited edition Big Al's merch. ...

You can purchase the beer and all the related merch at this location, and watch the video below.

Speaking of Lerxst, this past week he participated in a celebrity golf charity event called Fairways Fore Hope at The K Club in Dublin, Ireland. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism. Alex posted a photo to his Instagram earlier in the week of himself and some pals on the way to the event:

In Dublin strolling past the oldest pub in Dublin with my pals Kevin, Mark, Brendon and Matt. On our way to K Club for the Fairways Fore Hope charity event.
~ Lerxst

He also appeared in an IG video post from @FairwaysForeHope last month where he talked up the event and showed a miniature replica of the guitar he signed for it. posted a review of Lerxst Amps' Lerxst By-Tor overdrive pedal this past week, giving it a 9/10 and saying the following:

There's no doubt that a few years ago, you'd be raising your eyebrows at the prospect of a $300 drive pedal - even one that effectively offers two in one. But we live in 2024 where premium US-made pedals come with similarly premium price tags, and in a crowded market the By-Tor doesn't feel overpriced. That's especially true when you consider the breadth and quality of the tones on tap - plenty of drive/boost pedals will give you a good array of tones on tap, but few will do it with such consistency and quality across the spectrum. When I am spending my own money on a pedal, I want more options so I can use the pedal in multiple sonic situations. This is not just a one-trick wolf - the thick and full sounds offered by this pedal on any setting make it one of the frontrunners in a crowded pack.

On the latest episode of Rush Roundtable (#233) on the Rushfans YouTube channel, the panel takes on the daunting task of choosing only 10 Rush songs to listen to for the rest of their life:

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!