The nationwide shutdown of the concert industry has forced musicians to get creative. Over the past month, everyone from Neil Young to Paul Simon to Elvis Costello to Joan Baez to the Backstreet Boys has released homemade performance videos.
The newest one comes from Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, in collaboration with Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and Suicidal Tendencies bassist Roberto “Ra” Diaz. The trio teamed up to cover the 1978 Rush classic “La Villa Strangiato.”
“Despite being an instrumental, the song tells a complete story, complete with plot and characters,” Benante wrote of the video. “It’s based on some nightmares Alex Lifeson experienced. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did playing it!”
Rush have been completely inactive ever since the end of their 40th-anniversary tour in 2015. The death of Neil Peart in January rules out any real possibility of the band ever playing together again, although it’s possible that surviving members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will find a way to honor the group’s legacy at some point down the line.
Primus booked a special tour this summer that was supposed to feature a complete performance of the 1977 Rush album A Farewell to Kings. “We’re trying to be very sensitive about doing the tour and not having it be, ‘Hey, all about Neil,’ ” Primus frontman Les Claypool told Rolling Stone. “It’s about admiration for these amazing musicians and friends.”
The tour has yet to be officially postponed, but the industrywide shutdown makes that a very likely scenario.