Last night (August 10), Trey Parker and Matt Stone held the second of two concerts celebrating the 25th anniversary of their enduringly popular animated TV series, South Park.
Headlined – as was the case with the first show – by Primus and Ween, Wednesday night's show also featured a surprise reunion of the two surviving members of Rush, electric guitar hero Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee.
Taking the audience (and, it seems, Parker and Stone themselves) by surprise, the two quickly launched into a spirited rendition of the Rush classic Closer to the Heart, with Stone taking the place of the late Neil Peart on drums.
The unexpected cameo was arranged (opens in new tab) by Les Claypool, who – on and off since 2020 – has been playing Rush's A Farewell to Kings in its entirety on tour with Primus. You can see fan-filmed footage of the performance below.
In 2021, Lifeson said that though Rush would never formally reform without Peart, he remained open to collaborating with Lee on other projects.
“I talk to Ged every couple of days or so. We try to get together for dinner. That’s been a more challenging thing lately,” he told Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM at the time. “If there’s something that comes up in the future, an opportunity for us to do something, we’ll decide over a cup of coffee what that’ll be.
“There’s no urgency and there’s no preplanned thing now,” Lifeson said when asked if they had any musical plans together. “He’s doing whatever he’s doing, I’m doing whatever I’m doing, and we keep each other informed and stuff like that.
“We had such a great history and did so much great stuff together, it’s not really a big deal if, for the rest of our lives, we’re just best friends.”
Lifeson, for his part, has been busy of late with Envy of None, his band with bass guitar player Andy Curran, guitarist Alfio Annibalini and vocalist Maiah Wynne. Significantly more informed by industrial and electronic music than Rush, the band released their self-titled debut album in April.