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 University's homecoming game against University Of 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.
The Ohio State University Marching Band earned its name as The Best Damn Band In The Land by developing many famous marching band innovations, including floating and animated formations, script writing, and the fast cadence with a high knee lift. The band's Script Ohio is considered by many to be the most memorable tradition in college band history.
Carrying on the tradition of excellence that dates back to the late 1800s, the 228-piece "Pride Of The Buckeyes" is one of the few college all-brass-and-percussion bands in the U.S. and is acknowledged as the largest of its type in the world. An ensemble that includes student members from all over the country, the Ohio State University Marching Band strives to continue a legacy of hard work, determination and Buckeye pride while performing at Ohio State football games and other events during the fall semester.
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
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