Friday was the second anniversary of the death of Neil Peart, the groundbreaking drummer for Canadian band Rush who inspired a generation of percussionists to hit harder, faster, and with more unhinged precision than those before him. Now, one drummer has paid tribute to Peart via a video in which he plays a portion of every Rush song. Yep, every last one.
The video comes from drummer Brandon Toews via the YouTube channel Drumeo. As a huge Rush fan, Toews decided to honor the legend’s death by playing a section from each Rush song, in chronological order. From the staccato party beat of “You Can’t Fight It” to the jazzy accent hits of “Distant Early Warning” to the closing crash of “The Garden,” Toews takes 24 minutes and change to rip through Peart’s entire career. Apparently, getting it right took a lot of practice, kit rearrangement, and laser focus, but Brandon was up to the task if it meant honoring his music idol.
“It’s hard to imagine that the world lost Neil Peart two years ago,” Drumeo says in the caption for the video. “We’re grateful that his legacy will live on through his incredible work with Rush. So today…you’re going to hear the best parts of every single Rush song ever.
“[Brandon] recorded full takes in their entirety (nope…we didn’t just piece this together song by song) and used transcriptions available in DrumeoSONGS to learn the parts
“The setup Brandon used for this performance incorporates different elements from the drum kits Neil used over his 40 years with Rush. This includes the legendary tubular bells, gong drum and electronic pads. Enjoy this Rush medley in memory of Neil Peart and original drummer John Rutsey.”
Check out Brandon’s career-spanning tribute to Neil Peart below and marvel at both drummers’ talent:
Everyone at The Pit wishes Neil’s family, friends, fans and collaborators the best during this difficult time.
Words by Chris Krovatin