Watch Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee reunite to perform Closer to the Heart, with South Park creator Matt Stone on drums

Alex Lifeson (far left) and Geddy Lee of the band Rush, and Matt Stone (background) perform at The South Park 25th Anniversary Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on August 10, 2022 in Morrison, Colorado
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.