Trey Parker and Matt Stone knew their South Park 25th Anniversary Concerts were going to be a big deal when they booked their longtime friends in Ween and Primus to join them at Red Rocks August 9 - 10.
What they didn't plan for was that one of the shows would feature the first public performance by Rush cofounders Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in seven years.
Parker and Stone are gigantic Rush fans. They depicted the band in a 2011 episode of the show and put "Closer to the Heart" in the setlist for both nights to be performed alongside Primus after the South Park classic "Blame Canada."
(Primus has been out on its 'Tribute to Kings' tour for the last year in which the band performs Rush's A Farewell to Kings in its entirety.)
Judging by Stone's astonished look, the South Park creators had no idea Lee and Lifeson would be joining them on night two of their show. The collaboration was organized by Primus' Les Claypool, who further needled Stone during the song by calling for a drum solo with Lee and Lifeson in front of him.
Knowing Lee and Lifeson would show up, Claypool apparently urged Stone well in advance to learn "Closer to the Heart" on drums, which he did reluctantly (he got through it with help from Primus drummer Tim 'Herb' Alexander).
A cut of the South Park 25th Anniversary Concert is scheduled to air Saturday, Aug. 13, on Comedy Central, and then become available a day later on Paramount+.
While Lee and Lifeson have remained close since Rush's final show in 2015, the pair have yet to collaborate on anything new musically, despite mutual interest. Lifeson has been busy with a number of collaborations with other artists, while Lee has been working on a pair of books, including his Big Beautiful Book of Bass and his forthcoming memoir.