For most bands of a certain vintage and commercial stature, a set list can design itself: “What are our 20-25 most popular songs? There we go, done.” But Rush never really had that luxury — in the prog-rock world, success is rarely measured by hit singles, and deep tracks often become crown jewels of an artist’s catalog.
Plus, what Rush die-hard would crave a predictable show? The Canadian trio has written conceptual sci-fi suites and breezy pop-rock tunes — why not cover the whole spectrum in the way only you can?
Over their four-decade run, fan favorites moved in and out of their live show; some stayed virtually planted in cement, and “new” songs from recently issued LPs made brief cameos, only to be phased out. The list of Rush’s 25 most-played songs is fittingly comprehensive: full of the classics you’d expect, with a few minor curveballs sprinkled in.
As one might expect, the overwhelming bulk of the list is ’70s and ’80s material, with the majority falling in the sweet spot from 1975’s 2112 to 1984’s Grace Under Pressure. (The only later track is 1991’s “Dreamline,” and that one’s technically a tie at No. 25.)
Which songs have Rush played most in concert? The final ranking, courtesy of Setlist.fm, could make a killer set list of its own. (Note: As glorious as they may be, we did not count Neil Peart‘s standard drum solos as a “song.”)