Is R40 a Farewell Tour for Rush?

Rush R40

Updated: Read the R40 Tulsa Review

Rush fans everywhere began mapping out dates and clearing calendars after the announcement today of the R40 tour starting in May.

However, in all the excitement, many who jumped to the dates and places may have overlooked a notable sentence in the press release:

Rush is ready to celebrate with the most loyal fans in the world by embarking on their 21st tour, one which will most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude.

It’s certainly not definitive, leaves a window open for future plans, but the comment is telling and quite indicative that the band is closing in on calling it a career. While many Rush fans hoped for at least a new album or two and maybe even an R50 tour, it’s likely not the case.

Singer Geddy Lee recently said the band had enough “mojo” to put forth another album and he seemed bit with the itch to write new music and play live. But drummer Neil Peart, who hardly embraces the touring regime, clearly wants to spend time with family especially his young daughter. In an interview with Prog magazine this month, he said touring is a “true dilemma” and that he doesn’t like to leave his family. But last year, guitarist Alex Lifeson told Rolling Stone “I also think it’s going to be a long tour” when discussion future plans for an anniversary tour.

But all that is old news. The current news is Rush is indeed touring and many believe (or is it fear?) this is their curtain call. The planned tour is certainly not long – 35 shows – during the course of about three months but it looks to be geared towards the true Rush fan as old songs might be dusted off and songs never played could get the live treatment. One outlet is already reporting this to be the band’s last. Yahoo.com posted an article by the French news agency AFP entitled Rush to Mark 40 Years With Final Big Tour though it feels more like a rush to judgment especially with the silly comments on politics.

The band members are in their early 60s, certainly not old especially if you consider that 60 is the new 40 (or something like that) but the exertion it takes to hit the road and play a two-hour plus show every other night is a young man’s game.

If there’s a silver lining to not saying goodbye just yet to Geddy, Alex and Neil it’s in the wording of the press release. “…the last major tour of this magnitude.” Perhaps a little look at how U2 (no spring chicken themselves) is scheduling their 2015 tour offers a glimpse of what Rush could do in the future. Reduced travel and play multiple dates in one city. If there is a future for Rush beyond the R40 tour it’s likely a handful of dates in select markets.

For now, freeze this moment a little bit longer – Rush R40 Tour Dates below:

May 8, 2015 Tulsa BOK Center
May 10, 2015 Lincoln Pinnacle Bank Arena
May 12, 2015 St. Paul Xcel Energy Center
May 14, 2015 St. Louis Scottrade Center
May 16, 2015 Austin Austin360 Amphitheater
May 18, 2015 Dallas American Airlines Center
May 20, 2015 Houston The Toyota Center
May 22, 2015 New Orleans Smoothie King Center
May 24, 2015 Tampa Amalie Arena
May 26, 2015 Atlanta Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre
May 28, 2015 Greensboro The Greensboro Coliseum
May 30, 2015 Bristow (DC Area) Jiffy Lube Live
June 8, 2015 Columbus Nationwide Arena
June 10, 2015 Buffalo First Niagara Center
June 12, 2015 Chicago United Center
June 14, 2015 Detroit Palace of Auburn Hills
June 17, 2015 Toronto (I) Air Canada Centre
June 19, 2015 Toronto (II) Air Canada Centre
June 21, 2015 Montreal Bell Centre
June 23, 2015 Boston TD Garden
June 25, 2015 Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center
June 27, 2015 Newark Prudential Center
June 29, 2015 New York Madison Square Garden
July 9, 2015 Kansas City Sprint Center
July 11, 2015 Denver Pepsi Center
July 13, 2015 Salt Lake City Maverik Center
July 15, 2015 Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome
July 17, 2015 Vancouver Rogers Arena  
July 19, 2015 Seattle Key Arena  
July 21, 2015 Portland MODA Center  
July 23, 2015 San Jose SAP Center at San Jose  
July 25, 2015 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena  
July 27, 2015 Phoenix US Airways Center  
July 30, 2015 Irvine Meadows Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre  
August 1, 2015 Los Angeles The Forum  
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