A Farewell to Tours? Rush Conclude ‘R40′ Dates
The members of Rush have concluded what may well be their final large-scale tour.
The group marked the last date of its R40 trek on Aug. 1, closing out a run of shows billed in advance as "their last major tour of this magnitude." Although that statement was obviously parsed carefully enough to make room for further performances, the band members have made it clear they're really starting to feel all the miles they've racked up over the years.
Even before the R40 tour was announced, drummer Neil Peart was candid regarding his reluctance to head back out on the road, admitting that having a young daughter at home can't help but temper his enthusiasm for spending weeks out of town. "People say to me, ‘Are you still excited when you go on tour?’ Should I be excited about leaving my family? No, and no one should," he explained. "It’s as simple as that: If you put aside the fantasy of it, it is what it is and has to be done. And that’s fine, and I pour my entire energy and enthusiasm into it, but of course, I’m of two minds about the whole idea."
Peart's pain was partly mended by bringing his wife and daughter (who attended her first Rush show on this tour) out for visits, but decades of playing music have also taken a physical toll; as previously reported, Peart battles tendinitis in his arm, while guitarist Alex Lifeson is coping with painful arthritis that makes it difficult for him to play.
"It kind of hurts me to see him when he’s having a bad day, physically. He’s one of my oldest and dearest friends," said bassist Geddy Lee. "And when he’s been at rehearsal and he’s not playing his best, it’s not nice to see your friend suffer like that. This thing is in the back of his mind, and he’s afraid of it."
It's all added up to a series of dates that Lifeson recently admitted left the band in a reflective mood. "In the past when we’ve celebrated our anniversary — like, for example, our 30 tour 10 years ago, it was a bit of a retrospective as well. We kind of tried to reach back and balance the live set with material from our entire career," he explained. "But this time we focused a lot more on looking back from the present right back to the very beginning."
You can see fan-shot footage of "Working Man," the closing number of Rush's Aug. 1 show at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., above.
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