Rush Announces Tour, Peart Shapes Up, April 15, 2002

Rush has announced summer tour dates in support of its forthcoming album, Vapor Trails. The road stint starts June 28 at the Meadows Music Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and runs through August 21 at the Journal Pavilion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More tour dates will be announced at a later time.

Vapor Trails, due out May 14, features the return of the band and drummer Neil Peart. Peart's wife and daughter died in the late '90s, leading the group to take a four-year hiatus. When Peart was ready to return to Rush, he had to reacquaint himself with his drum kit after the long break.

Given Peart's circumstances, bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson led the charge on Vapor Trails. Lifeson told LAUNCH about how Peart worked to get back up to speed. "For Neil, he hadn't played much in the four years, and he was a guy who practiced every single day for at least an hour. So, for him, it was a little bit of a job to get back into shape, but he worked very hard at it, and I think it was something that he really relished. It felt good to get really physical with his kit, and as he was getting material from Geddy and me he became very excited about his arrangements--drum arrangements--and within a few months we were in very good shape."

Although Peart was inactive during the band's hiatus, Lee and Lifeson kept busy. "Well, Geddy had just come off doing his solo record, so he was in top form, actually both vocally and playing-wise on the bass guitar," said Lifeson. "I have a studio at home. I play all the time, so I was feeling pretty good. I was working on a production project with a band, so I was playing and in pretty good shape."

Vapor Trails is Rush's 17th studio album. All of the Canadian band's 22 albums have reached at least gold status, a certification signifying sales of 500,000 copies from the Recording Industry Association Of America.