Rush Members Perform With Dave Grohl, Danny Carey + Chad Smith for Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
Since the death of drummer Neil Peart, Rush members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been very selective about how and when they perform together. But one thing of significance had them back playing together Tuesday night (Sept. 27) in Los Angeles when they united for the second time to play the second of two Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts.
While no one could ever replace Peart in the minds of Rush fans, this special concert gave Lee and Lifeson a chance to perform a trio of classic Rush tracks with three of the top modern rock drummers – Dave Grohl, Chad Smith and Danny Carey.
The set started with an intro from Jack Black, who noted the remarkable lineup of performers who came out to salute Hawkins. "What an incredible show, what an incredible tribute to a beautiful man," stated Black, who then recalled two previous experiences watching Hawkins at the Kia Forum – one in which he furiously played for Dave Grohl's birthday bash and a second where he was just an audience member loving every minute of watching Rush's performance. With that, Black introduced Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, the living members of the band.
"Thank you, it's a privilege to be here," stated Geddy Lee to the crowd, before kicking off the "2112 Part I: Overture" with Dave Grohl on drums and The Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin helping out on keyboards. That led into a quick switch behind the kit, as Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith showed his nimble drumming skills handling the Rush song "Working Man."
Before the final portion of their three-song set, Lee addressed the crowd stating, "I'd just like to cast back to a moment in time, 2008, when we were contacted by the Foo Fighters, to see if we would go down to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and play Taylor Hawkins favorite song with him onstage. That was the beginning of quite a beautiful friendship. So in honor of that and in honor of our own lost brother … we'd like to bring out Danny Carey to play 'YYZ.'" And the Tool drummer then took his turn on the Rush classic and fan favorite.
These were the same three tracks the band performed at London's Wembley Stadium, though Grohl and Omar Hakim handled drumming duties for that performance.
Fans will likely remember that it was Hawkins and Grohl who had the honors of inducting Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a long-term friendship has continued ever since.
Lee and Lifeson also dusted off some of their Rush material just last month when they appeared with members of Primus and the creators of South Park onstage to celebrate the long-running animated Comedy Central show's 25th anniversary. For that show, they played "Closer to the Heart."
See footage of Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson playing a trio of songs with Dave Grohl, Danny Carey and Chad Smith at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in Los Angeles, shot and shared online by Saffron Gold Entertainment, LLC.
You can also see who played what at last night's show here and revisit recaps of the Def Leppard with Miley Cyrus and Wolfgang Van Halen performances as well.