Mike Portnoy, Frank Bello Play With Rush Tribute Band to Honor Neil Peart on Anniversary of His Death
This past weekend marked the third anniversary of the death of iconic Rush drummer Neil Peart, but the drummer was definitely celebrated at the 2023 Bubba Bash charity concert taking place in Glenside, Pennsylvania Saturday night (Jan. 7). Mike Portnoy, Frank Bello, Jason Bittner, Seven Antonopoulos, Joe Bergamini, Jon Dinklage and John Wesley were among the guest performers joining premiere Rush tribute act YYNOT to celebrate the music of Peart and his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Rush.
YYNOT opened up the night running through some of the Rush classics such as "The Spirit of Radio," "YYZ" and more before starting to bring out the night's specials guests. Anthrax's Frank Bello and Porcupine Tree's John Wesley were first up, getting a chance to rock out "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight," which can be seen in the fan-shot video below from the Keswick Theatre.
Bergamini joined the band for "Vital Signs," before Opiate for the Masses drummer Seven Antonopoulos took his spot behind the kit for "Freewill" and "Closer to the Heart." Overkill's Bittner took his turn behind the kit on "Natural Science" and "Red Barchetta," giving way to Dinklage for "Losing It." Portnoy then got the epic penultimate climax on drums for the night nimbly working his way through "2112 Part 1: Overture," "2112 Part 2: The Temples of Syrinx" and "La Villa Strangiato." YYNOT then closed out the night with "By-Tor & The Snow Dog / In the Mood / 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale." The full setlist can be seen below.
Portnoy posted a tribute to Peart over the weekend, commenting, "Once Rush retired, Neil and I always stayed in touch and I would get the greatest emails from him…always meticulously written (like his books and lyrics) and often including recent photos of him and his daughter Olivia. His passing leaves a huge hole for all of us fans around the world that loved and admired him. He was one of my biggest inspirations as a drummer and his passion, dedication and graciousness will always continue to inspire me every day. We miss you Bubba!" The Instagram post also shares some of the photos he'd taken with Peart over the years and the history behind them.
Proceeds from the 2023 Bubba Bash were directed to the Cedars Sinai Hospital in Peart's memory.
Mike Portnoy Joins YYNOT on "2112 Overture/Temples & La Villa Strangiato"
Frank Bello and John Wesley Join YYNOT for "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight"
Seven Antonopoulos Joins YYNOT on "Freewill" and "Closer to the Heart"
2023 Bubba Bash Setlist
"The Spirit of Radio"
"The Body Electric"
"Weight of the World"
"What You're Doing"
"Tom Sawyer" (with Frank Bello and John Wesley)
"Limelight" (with Frank Bello and John Wesley)
"Vital Signs" (with Joe Bergamini)
"Freewill" (with Seven Antonopoulos)
"Closer to the Heart" (with Seven Antonopoulos)
"Natural Science" (with Jason Bittner)
"Red Barchetta" (with Jason Bittner)
"Losing It" (with Jonathan Dinklage)
"2112 Part I: Overture" (with Mike Portnoy)
"2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx" (with Mike Portnoy)
"La Villa Strangiato" (with Mike Portnoy)
"By-Tor & The Snow Dog / In the Mood / 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale"