aNewDomain –Recently I wrote about Rush drum master Neil Peart’s intense dislike of actually going out on tour — especially now that he has a small child at home. Peart cast doubt on whether or not his legendary band would go out on a much-anticipated “41st Anniversary Tour” to commemorate the members staying together without any breakups, additions or subtractions since the Summer of 1974.
I cast doubt on Peart’s doubt-casting. It turns out — fortunately for Rush fans — that I was right. As of today, the guys at work have made it official: they’re going on a 34-city Rush tour beginning May 8th in Tulsa, OK and finishing up on August 1st in Los Angeles, CA (where Peart currently lives with his wife and daughter). This is officially the R40 LIVE Tour, named for the commemorative box set of the band’s four decades of material which was released in 2014.
In early 2014, guitar player Alex Lifeson was already talking about the possibility of this now-official tour. Back then, he had things like this to say:
“We haven’t really talked seriously about what we want to do. But I think we’re probably going to lean towards making it a real sort of fan event, and really try to put something together that’s very pleasing for the fans across the board. That’s always been difficult, for us to sort of balance things…
“We want to try and play different material this time. I’ve always wanted to do some rarer Rush material, and this should be a good opportunity to do that. I also think it’s going to be a long tour. We just need to stay healthy until then.”
And in contrast to the ambivalent (at best) attitude that his drummer has about touring, singer, bass player and keyboard man Geddy Lee had added in September, 2013, after the Rush Clockwork Angels Tour had ended:
“We have had a great 10 years of tour, album, tour album. I can honestly say that the three of us enjoyed this tour more than any one we’ve ever done. We left on a high note.”
It looks like Master Peart did get his way in at least one sense: throughout the years, as the Rush shows have grown to three-hour extravaganzas, he has asked the guys at work if they could do shorter tours of about 40 shows. With the R40 LIVE Tour comprising 34 shows, this isn’t the “long tour” that Lifeson was anticipating.
But Rush fans can rejoice, because it is a Rush tour. These shows are going to be special ones because they’re going to be packed with a setlist that we’ve never seen before.
It’s true that this really might be the last Rush tour. Time will tell. For now, get your tickets and look forward to this event. See you there.
For aNewDomain, I’m Brant David.