Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Take Part in a Surprise Reunion at a Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Concert

A star-studded tribute concert for late Canadian folk legend Gordon Lightfoot was held on Thursday, May 23, at the famed Toronto venue Massey Hall. The show featured a surprise performance by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, who teamed up with the band Blue Rodeo for a rendition of Lightfoot’s 1966 tune “The Way I Feel.”

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According to the Toronto Sun, Lee quipped to the crowd, “Fancy meeting you here.”

[RELATED: Alex Lifeson Believes Any Rush Reunion Would Be Nothing but a Cash Grab]

Lee and Lifeson also took part in the grand finale, which featured all of the show’s participants on stage for a performance of Lightfoot’s 1971 song “Summer Side of Life.”

Lightfoot died on May 2, 2023, at age 84. Massey Hall has been nicknamed “the house that Gord built,” because of the many times that the singer/songwriter performed at the venue. The concert was filmed for an upcoming episode of the CBC Music Live at Massey Hall performance series.

More Details About the Tribute Show

The show also featured performances by ex-Guess Who frontman Burton Cummings, “Life Is a Highway” singer Tom Cochrane, Sylvia Tyson, Kathleen Edwards, Allison Russell, and Lightfoot’s daughter Meredith Moon.

Lightfoot’s backing band and Blue Rodeo split duties serving as the evening’s house band. Cummings performed a rendition of the 1967 Lightfoot tune “If You Got It.” Burton also entertained the crowd by doing an impersonation of Lightfoot singing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.”

Cochrane sang Lightfoot’s 1976 hit “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Lee Discussed His and Lifeson’s Participation in the Tribute

Lee explained to Variety why he and Lifeson wanted to take part in the event. He also discussed the song they chose to perform.

“It was important for us to pay tribute to Gordon,” Lee said. “Not being folk or pop artists, Alex and I were looking for one of Gordon’s songs that might better suit our style of play and we found that in ‘The Way I Feel.’ Its structure was loose and more open to interpretation than many of his more popular tunes.”

Lee and Lifeson’s Previous Post-Rush Performances

Rush retired after their 2015 R40 Tour. Drummer Neil Peart then passed away from brain cancer in January 2020. Since then, Lee and Lifeson have only performed together at a handful of events.

The Lightfoot tribute show marked the first time that they had played together in public since the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in London and Inglewood, California, in September 2022. They also played together on August 9 and 10 at events celebrating the 25th anniversary of South Park in Morrison, Colorado.

Lifeson and Lee Have Been Jamming, but Don’t Expect a Rush Reunion

In a recent Ultimate Classic Rock interview, Lifeson revealed that he and Lee have been getting together lately for weekly jams.

“We just picked some Rush songs and we started playing them,” the guitarist explained. “[W]e sound like a really, really bad Rush tribute band.”

While this news may sound somewhat encouraging to Rush fans, Lifeson said in a separate interview that there are still no plans for any kind of Rush reunion.

“We can’t just go and get another drummer, and go out and play concerts, and make new material,” he told “It just would not be the same. It would just be a money ploy.”

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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