A specially extended lineup of the Ohio State Marching Band covered a selection of Rush classics during their half-time show on Saturday.
Designed as a tribute to late drummer Neil Peart, the 14-minute performance featured arrangements of “The Spirit of Radio,” “Fly by Night” and “Tom Sawyer,” among others. The show can be seen below.
“To honor the early 2020 passing of one of the greatest drummers in history, Rush’s Neil Peart, the Ohio State Marching Band added a little more percussion to the mix for the halftime show Saturday,” the university said in a statement. “To help recreate Peart’s sonic impact, the percussion section was expanded by 20 toms and 20 extra cymbals mounted on four racks. They were at the front of the formation and played by the band’s five percussion alternates for this week.”
Responding to the performance, a tweet from Rush read simply: “We’re speechless!” followed by three applause emojis.
We’re speechless 👏👏👏 https://t.co/spurwU1sn2
— Rush (@rushtheband) October 9, 2021
Guitarist Alex Lifeson emphasized in July that he and Geddy Lee had no intention of reviving the band name without Peart. “There’s no way Rush will ever exist again, because Neil’s not here to be a part of it,” he said. “That’s not to say that we can’t do other things, and we can’t do things that benefit our communities and all of that. I have lots of plans for that sort of thing.”
He added that he had no current plans to work with Lee, saying: “Geddy and I started writing together when we were, I don’t know, 14 years old, I guess. We are best friends. I love the guy so much. He means so much to me. … We had such a great history and did so much great stuff together. It’s not really a big deal if, for the rest of our lives, we’re just best friends.”