Dream Theater's John Petrucci On Rush: 'That Was The Band That Changed Everything'

The Guitarist's First Concert Was Seeing Rush In 1982 At The Nassau Coliseum

By Spencer Kaufman, Consequence Of Sound, March 22, 2019

With the recent realization that Rush are no longer an active band, fans and musicians alike are reflecting on the legacy of the legendary prog-rock group. In a new interview with Heavy Consequence, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci shares his thoughts on Rush and what the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act?s music meant to him.

While there was never an official announcement from Rush, Neil Peart has retired from drumming due to physical ailments, while singer-bassist Geddy Lee stated, "There?s no chance of seeing Rush on tour again as Alex, Geddy, Neil." Most recently, guitarist Alex Lifeson said he is at peace with the end of Rush, explaining, "I don?t want to be in a band and tour anymore. I don?t feel the need to carry on with what I did for almost half a century."

Dream Theater have been flying the flag for prog music for more than 30 years themselves, with Rush cited as one of the biggest influences among their members. We sat down with Petrucci to discuss Dream Theater?s new album, Distance Over Time, and their just-launched North American tour, and at one point the conversation turned to Rush.

"To me, [Rush] was the band that changed everything," Petrucci told us. "When music just hits you in such a way, especially when you?re young ... and you?re sort of developing your tastes - that band, there was something about it. I just loved it. And so I got completely sucked into all things Rush."

He added, "One of my greatest musical memories has to do with them ?cause Rush was the first concert I ever went to. Back in 1982, they were on the Signals tour, they were playing the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island - I went there and had the worst seats ever. They were so far away, but I just couldn?t believe that this was a band that I was listening to all this time, and here I am in the same building as them. How was that possible? I was just blown away by the show and the production. And you can imagine what impact that had on me, eventually making that my career."