The concert that brought Rush back together: “Getting to that point felt impossible”

Meta Description: Discover how Rush overcame immense personal tragedy to continue their journey in prog-rock. Learn about Neil Peart’s return to drumming and the band’s resilience.

Rush’s Resilience: Overcoming Tragedy and Returning to the Stage

Rush was the one prog band that seemed determined to play until they physically couldn’t anymore. For a genre known for artists frequently experiencing fallouts, the Canadian power trio of Rush maintained an unbreakable bond over decades. While challenges did arise, one show marked their triumphant return after a near-death experience.

Rush’s Unwavering Commitment to Their Music

Throughout their career, mainstream success didn’t seem to matter to Rush. Unlike many bands pressured by labels to conform to modern sounds, Rush’s fans embraced their evolution, from synthesizer experiments in the 1980s to heavy guitars in the late 1990s.

The Tragedies that Nearly Ended Rush

After the “Test for Echo” tour, Neil Peart faced unimaginable loss, with his daughter dying in a car accident and his wife passing from cancer shortly after. The band went on hiatus, with Alex Lifeson noting in “Beyond the Lighted Stage,” “Everything about the band ended at that moment. It just wasn’t something you even thought about thinking about.” Peart embarked on a cross-country journey to find himself, leaving the future of Rush uncertain.

Neil Peart’s Return and the Making of Vapor Trails

The path back to drumming was difficult for Peart, but he eventually returned to work on “Vapor Trails,” dedicating himself to his craft. The true test came when Rush performed their first show in Hartford, Connecticut. Geddy Lee recalled the tension, saying, “I think that’s the first time we ever had a group hug. It wasn’t lost on us that getting to that point was almost impossible. Neil was really nervous, so I figured my job was to go over there and make him not nervous.”

Rush’s Triumphant Return to the Stage

Despite some initial rust, the crowd felt transported back to 1978, with classics like ‘The Spirit of Radio’ sounding better than ever. Peart admitted it felt miraculous to reach that point after such profound loss. While most bands never recover from such tragedies, Rush demonstrated that their music could guide them through even the toughest times.

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