On August 1, 2015, "Rush" took the stage for the last time and made the last appearance of it's glorious career.
This was the final performance of the "R40" tour, which was held at the Los Angeles Forum on August 1, 2015.
The tour was limited to North America only and included 35 performances held from May 1 to August 1, 2015.
The reason for the short and focused tour was due to the wish of legendary drummer Neil Peart.
At the end of the tour that accompanied the band's latest album "Clockwork Angels" from 2012, Neil Peart expressed his desire to retire from performing. Peart suffered from chronic tendinitis and had shoulder problems, so the load on his body during the tours was huge and he feared it would impair his playing. The band's performances lasted about 3 hours and included a complex and massive drumming, with drum solos that weighed heavily on the body of Peart who was then 63. Another reason for his retirement was Neil's desire to spend time with his wife and little daughter.
His bandmates Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee understood and agreed to the retirement move, but had one last wish, to embark on one last grandiose tour. Alex reminded Peart that he too had arthritis that could affect his playing, and begged for one last round. Peart agreed to a limited and focused tour in the US only.
The three members put a lot of thought into building the limited tour that turned out to be the last of the band. From the selection of songs to video clips projected during the set's stunning design, "Rush" has carefully planned what turned out to be the last show of its career, the latest Canadian trio waltz.
The tour included songs from all of the band career, with the performances lasting about 3 hours and starting with songs from the latest album of "Rush", when as the show progressed the band returns i a reverse chronologically in time and plays songs from almost all albums, finishing the show with a song from the first album and then 16 bars from the song "Garden Road" that the band recorded even before the release of their first album.
During the performances, the band performed a song they had never performed on stage before - "Losing It" from the album "Signals" which was released in 1982. During the song, Ben Mink who also played the violin solo on the record itself came up on stage to play with the band. The lyrics of the song speak about artists who are losing it and are no longer at the peak of their careers - a hint of Peart and the situation he was afraid to reach.
During the show the whole set changed and went back in time along with the songs played simultaneously. The set resembled the stage settings as it was in each specific tour of the band, in a way that matched the song played at the time, with stage workers spinning throughout the show, assembling and disassembling amplifiers, equipment, scenery and instruments to match the spirit of the song. At the end of the show, the set included two guitar amplifiers on chairs with microphones aimed at them, just like at the beginning of the band's journey in the basements in Willowdale Ontario...
In the band's last show which took place today in 2015, the excitement was felt on stage throughout the set. The friends realized that this was probably the last time they would be on the same stage together.
At the end of the show, Peart came down in complete surprise from the stage on which his drum set sits, and joined his two friends for a final bow in front of the audience. It was a very unusual gesture that surprised both of his friends as well, as the shy Peart never got off his set of drums to the front of the stage at the end of the performances. For almost 40 years of performances he waved at the end of the show to the audience behind his drum set. Watch the last song performed by "Rush" on stage and the closing moments that follow:
This stunning ending image was immortalized and engraved in the pages of the band's history, and for about five years evoked hope for a kind of reunion among the fans.
As is well known, in a very sad way Neil Peart was found dead in 2020 from a violent brain cancer, which had been diagnosed in him three and a half years earlier, but kept secret at his request.
The show held today in 2015 has become the band's last show ever...