Watch Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson appear onstage together at Gordon Lightfoot tribute show in Toronto

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee onstage with Blue Rodeo at Massey Hall, Toronto
(Image credit: Toronto Live Music)

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee appeared onstage together late last week at a show at Massey Hall in Toronto. It was a return to familiar territory for the Rush pair, whose live album All The World's A Stage was recorded at the 2700-capacity venue in 1976. 

Lee and Lifeson's appearance occurred during a tribute show for fellow Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot, who died last year, during a set by country rockers Blue Rodeo in which they were joined by Rick Haynes, Barry Keane, Mike Heffernan and Carter Lancaster from Lightfoot's backing band, and several special guests. 

The Rush duo's cameo came during a performance of The Way I Feel, the title track of Lightfoot's second album, released in 1967. Alex Lifeson played acoustic guitar during the song, while Geddy Lee shared the vocal with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. Lee and Lifeson also appeared at the evening's climax, when the ensemble gathered for a version of Lightfoot's Summer Side Of Life, originally released in 1971.  

Lightfoot played the Massey Hall more than anyone else – over 170 times during the course of six decades – while Rush performed at the venue six times, including four successive nights on the 2112 tour. 

Earlier this month, Lifreson revealed that he'd been playing songs from the band's back catalogue with Lee. 

"It's funny because we sound like a really bad tribute band for the first three or four run-throughs on these things," he said. "It's 'Oh, my God, what did I play there? Why did I play that so hard?' And then muscle memory kicks in, and we're having a ball doing it. It's good for the fingers. We're together in a room like we’ve always been."

Lifeson also told Classic Rock History, "So many people remember us, and there's sadness amongst our fans that it ended, and they want more, but you can’t go back. We can't just go and get another drummer, and go out and play concerts, and make new material; it just would not be the same; it would just be a money ploy.”

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.