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The Ohio State Marching Band honored late RUSH drummer Neil Peart during its halftime show Saturday (October 9) at Ohio Stadium as part of Ohio State’s homecoming game against Maryland.
According to Ohio State News, to help recreate Peart‘s sonic impact, the percussion section was expanded by 20 toms and 20 extra cymbals mounted on four racks. They were at the front of the formation and played by the band’s five percussion alternates for this week.
The band blistered through some of RUSH‘s greatest hits, including “Red Barchetta”, “Fly By Night” and “Tom Sawyer”. Formations replicated Peart and RUSH guitar player Alex Lifeson, and spelled out “2112” and “YYZ”, titles of RUSH songs.
After the Ohio State Marching Band tweeted out a short clip of the tribute, RUSH‘s official Twitter account replied “We’re speechless” and added three “clapping hands” emojis.
Peart died in January 2020 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 67 years old.
RUSH‘s final show took place at the Forum in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015. Peart indicated at the time that he wanted to retire while he was still able to play well, along with a desire to spend more time at home with his young daughter.
Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee have repeatedly said that RUSH will never do a show unless all three musicians agree to take part. They haven’t performed as RUSH without Peart since he joined the band in 1974.
We’re speechless ??? https://t.co/spurwU1sn2
— Rush (@rushtheband) October 9, 2021