Rush knows a thing or two about badass intros, having written several of the greatest in rock, but one that stands out is their show opening medley that starts with the old-school classic “Finding My Way”. The medley is from their show in Frankfurt, Germany in 2004 and from the get-go, the band sounds like a rampaging rhinoceros. Guitarist Alex Lifeson opens the medley with a slithering riff, before the rhythm section Neil Peart and Geddy Lee crash the party, creating a thunderous groove.
“Finding My Way” is a classic from Rush’s self-titled debut album all the way back in 1974. Back in those days, Rush were somewhat more of a straight-ahead hard rock act, which makes it a perfect opener for the set to provide a bit of rock ‘n’ roll biffo. You can check out the video below, which features the band playing an 11-minute medley of songs and attracted 18 million views on YouTube.
The medley that the band plays to open the set is a retrospective that features part of one song from each of the band’s first seven studio albums. It’s fascinating to hear how the band blends so many different songs together in just 11 minutes. It’s also a good showcase for the band’s artistic development from 1974 to 1980, from the hard-edged rock of the debut to the sophisticated progressive songwriting found in the later releases.
It’s really awe-inspiring to see how much power Rush put out onstage, despite being a three-piece band. Thanks to clever arrangement and featuring three of the finest players in the business, Rush put out a freakishly huge live sound that belies the fact it’s just three guys up there. The band created another memorable medley for their Toronto show in 1984, which as you can hear below features three of their classics “YYZ”, “2112” and “Tom Sawyer”.
Rush broke up in 2020 following Peart’s death at age 67 from brain cancer. Numerous fans celebrated the band’s 52-year career below the first video, adding comments such as “I find it so hard to hold tears knowing that this will never be heard live again. Thank you Rush for everything!” and “Three intensely intelligent musicians ran into each other and created this masterpiece band. One in a zillion. Saw them many times. Miss you so very much Neil.”
While fans will never be able to see Rush perform with the incomparable Peart again, Lee and Lifeson have since hit the stage together. The pair performed Rush songs at the South Park 25th anniversary concert in Colorado in August 2022, and again a month later at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in London and Los Angeles.
In the wake of Peart’s passing, the surviving members initially swore off working as Rush ever again. However, since playing together in 2022, Lee said that he would not rule out performing under the Rush name again with Lifeson. The singer told the Washington Post last month that “It was nice to know that if we decide to go out, Alex and I, whether we went out as part of a new thing, or whether we just wanted to go out and play Rush as Rush, we could do that now.”