Appearing at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Wednesday night (August 10), Lee and Lifeson played a rendition of ‘Closer to the Heart’, from the band’s fifth studio album, 1977’s ‘A Farewell to Kings’.
Marking their first performance since the death of their Rush bandmate, drummer Neil Peart, in early 2020, the pair were joined by Primus along with South Park co-creator Matt Stone who played drums. Rush last performed in 2015, before breaking up in 2018.
“This is one of the most amazing moments of my life,” Primus frontman Les Claypool told the audience mid-way through the song. “When I was a young whippersnapper, in my mind, the greatest human being on the planet that held a four-string [bass] in his hand is that man right there, Geddy Lee! That’s fucking Geddy Lee right there.” Watch fan-shot footage from the performance below:
Primus were well-placed to back up Lifeson and Lee for the moment. In August 2021, the band kicked off a tour in which they paid tribute to Rush by performing ‘A Tribute to Kings’ in full each night. The initial run concluded in October, with a second leg beginning in April of this year and running for the past few months.
Despite this onstage reunion, the surviving members of Rush have been insistent the band will not formally reunite. “There’s no way Rush will ever exist again because Neil’s not here to be a part of it,” Lifeson said during an interview last year. “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,” he added.
South Park creators Stone and Trey Parker announced the first of two concerts for South Park’s 25th anniversary back in March. They revealed Primus – who created the South Park theme song – would be on the line-up, as well as Ween.
“We’re so excited to go home and play at Red Rocks, a place that’s been known for hosting the most legendary artists and musicians. Until now,” Stone and Parker said in a statement when announcing the shows. In June, they added a second show, also with Primus and Ween.