When you think of Canadian progressive rock, you naturally think of Rush. Sure, some know-it-all types will beg to differ concerning the group’s quintessential importance to the music scene in the 1970’s – and in the 21st century, for that matter. But, rest assured, when the final chapter is written on classic progressive rock from the Great White North, it will be Rush that gets the central role in the saga.movingpic rush album cover

To date, the group has released two dozen albums, sold millions of records and played thousands of shows. The unique lyric style and drumming virtuosity of Neil Peart, coupled with the inimitable voice and bass skills of Geddy Lee, forms a solid foundation for the soloing skills of Alex Lifeson, one of the foremost electric guitarists of his generation.

Falling Record Sales Are An Issue

They may be the national treasure of Canada, but even our heroes can’t fix the sad state of the record industry in the 21st century. American veterans of the scene, such as Kiss and Aerosmith, have released records in the past few years which have sold in pitiful quantities compared to the gold and platinum heights they once scaled.

American record sales have fallen by an astonishing 80 percent in the past few years. And Canadian figures aren’t much better. Even when you add in the international totals, the outlook for a new studio album is rather grim. Of course, one should never say never, but it seems that the 2015 national celebration of the band’s history will probably be accompanied by a new DVD or anniversary-themed compilation, rather than a brand new studio release.

And who wants to hear a drum solo while sitting at their laptop? The place to hear music is on the live stage, and let’s be thankful that the band still brings their “A” game to each and every concert they play.

2014: The Long Layoff

However, long time fans of the group were in for a rude shock during the course of 2014. The trio suddenly ceased performing, preferring to remain oddly dormant. Many critics and aficionados were left scratching their heads and wondering if this strange silence signaled the end of the road for the Canadian powerhouse.

Even though the group didn’t tour behind their “Clockwork Angels” release, it didn’t mean that they were ready to throw in the towel. The group is simply taking time off to rest. After all, the group has been on a seemingly endless cycle of recording and performing for the past decade.

As it happens, 2015 will mark the 40th anniversary of drummer and lyric wizard Neil Peart’s first appearance on an album by the group: The immortal rock classic, “Fly By Night.” As every concert goer knows, no show would be complete without a Neil Peart tour de force on the drums. It seems likely that a 40th anniversary celebration of Peart’s arrival will be cause for an extra special show of virtuoso skill on his part.

Working up the energy to travel and perform music all over the world takes its toll on these hardened veterans of the progressive rock scene, especially after four decades. However, for the next touring cycle in 2015, electric guitar wizard Alex Lifeson promises some well-earned surprises and thrills for their legions of long time fans, in Canada and beyond, who have stayed loyal to the group, including the performance of some rarely heard 1970’s classics.

And, finally, in 2015, they’re going to play live again. Granted, they’ve certainly not been slackers in the live performance arena in the past. In fact, the group has been on a seemingly nonstop treadmill of sorts for quite some time. Over the past ten years, the group has released several studio albums, all of which have been accompanied by jaunts all across the civilized world.

The announcement that the group will play live in 2015 is the very best news long time fans could receive for the new year.

What is your most memorable Rush concert? Share your memories with other Rush fans.