Watch the Ohio State University Marching Band's magnificent tribute to Rush

The Ohio State University Marching Band on the field
(Image credit: The Ohio State University Marching Band)

As 99,277 fans gathered at Ohio State University's Ohio Stadium in Columbus this weekend, few were expecting to see history unfold before their very eyes. 

And no, were not referring to The Buckeyes' routine demolition of Maryland State (66-17, with Ohio quarterback C.J. Stroud picking up 406 passing yards and leading his team's offense to eight straight touchdown drives).

Instead, we're talking about the halftime entertainment, when the Ohio State University Marching Band paid tribute to Canadian prog legends Rush with a 14-minute, fiendishly well-choreographed medley of classic tracks including The Spirit Of Radio, 2112, Limelight, Closer to the Heart, Fly By Night, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Tom Sawyer.

The performance was a tribute to Rush drummer Neil Peart, who died last year. The marching band bolstered their usual artillery by adding 20 extra cymbals and 20 extra toms for the performance, and choreographed their movements to spell out the words 'Rush', '2112' and 'YYZ' and to portray the band members.    

Reaction from the Rush camp was swift, with a single tweet conveying the band's delight: "We're speechless 👏👏👏"

The Ohio State University Marching Band was formed in 1878, and is nicknamed 'The Best Damn Band in the Land.' They've released a number of albums over the years, including Stadium Favourites In Brass, Across The Field, The Pride Of The Buckeyes, Buckeye Battle Cry and the classic Stars, Stripes 'n Brass.

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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.