Music News

Is Tonight the End of the Road for Rush? Looks Like It.

[This originally appeared as my weekly column in the Metro papers. – AC]

I’m standing onstage at the MGM Grand Garden with Lorne Wheaton, the guy Rush’s Neil Peart trusts with his drum kits.

Rush in Vegas 1
As a life-long drummer (and Neil Peart fan), standing here was pretty, pretty, pretty cool.

“This set,” he says, pointing to the kit that Peart has been using for the first half of each show on their 40th anniversary tour known as R40, “is made from an oak tree that was dredged out of the River Olt in Romania. It was carbon-dated to 1,500 years old. The guys at DW (Neil’s preferred drum maker) turned it into this. Amazing, right?”

Lorne spoke of his boss with awe and respect. But other Rush employees are facing an uncertain future. They know something is going to happen this coming Saturday night. When the lights go up at the end of the show at the LA Forum, the last stop on R40, that might be the last time we ever see the band onstage.

A Canada — a world — without Rush seems almost inconceivable, but that’s exactly what fans may be facing. The band has pushed pause on their career a couple of times in the past, but this time, things look serious. Very serious. There have been rumblings for months that this is definitely The End.

Keep reading. Meanwhile, here are some pictures from that Las Vegas show.

CLARIFICATION: This probably won’t be the end of Rush as we know it–they have some other plans for the future, apparently, including a Clockwork Angels movie–but it may be the very last time they perform live.

Rush likes passes
Getting backstage at a Rush show requires many, many passes.



Rush - Las Vegas


Rush - Neil Peart (Las Vegas)


Rush - Alex Lifeson (Las Vegas)


Me, Alex and Geddy in Las Vegas copy

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37445 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Is Tonight the End of the Road for Rush? Looks Like It.

  • Love ya, Alan, but while it is true we’ve probably seen the last long tour, I doubt we’ve seen the last live Rush concert. Geddy and Alex have both suggested they will find a way to perform again, perhaps in one city (like Toronto) for a few days at a time. For now, I am profoundly grateful for how Rush changed so many lives, including mine!

  • Ya, no major tours, but occasional one-off tours for sure. They love their “jobs” too much to just hang up their instruments. Thanks Donna Halper for 40 years of support, you are awesome, and have really really really good ears for musical talent.


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