I was in tenth grade when I went to my first Rush concert. The date was February 28, 1983, and it was the first of two Rush shows at Reunion Arena in Dallas on the Signals tour. The Analog Kid has seen Rush 17 more times since that amazing night, including the band’s first-ever show in Dublin on my honeymoon in 2011 (yes, I married a saint).

Honeymoon 305

You might think that I’ve seen Rush play just about everything that I would have liked to have heard during the course of 18 shows, and for the most part that is true. Rush always digs deep into their catalog during their live shows, and they have a rabid fan base that relishes the inclusion of deep album cuts in concert. Still, despite Rush’s impressive history of set list variation, there are a large number of Rush classics that have never been performed live in concert.

Here are five of my favorite Rush songs that I’ve never heard live– and neither has anyone else…

Permanent Waves

Rush: “Different Strings” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Permanent Waves

Mercury Records, 1980

Different Strings

Rush played “Entre Nous” for the very first time on 2007’s Snakes And Arrows tour, leaving “Different Strings” as the only song on Permanent Waves that has never been played in concert. I certainly never thought I’d get to hear “Entre Nous” live, so I am holding out hope that “Different Strings” will make an appearance someday.



Rush: “Losing It” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Signals

Mercury Records, 1982

Losing It

“Losing It” was the only song on Signals that Rush didn’t play that night at Reunion Arena in 1983, and I’ve been chasing it ever since. Rush’s last tour for Clockwork Angels featured a string section during the extended second set, and it raised fans’ hopes that “Losing It” and its beautiful electric violin might finally see the light of day. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen– but I still hope to live my fantasy someday…

NOTE: You can cross this one off of the list! Rush played “Losing It” for the very first time during their show in Toronto on June 19, 2015. I watched it live via Periscope, and I cried like a little baby. We truly live in a remarkable world, my friends.



Rush: “Hand Over Fist” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Presto

Atlantic Records, 1989

Hand Over Fist

I didn’t get to see a show on the Presto tour– Rush didn’t come to Austin, and I had an accounting exam at UT the afternoon they played in Dallas. It remains the only Rush tour I have missed since 1982. I actually left Austin for Dallas after the exam and drove by Reunion Arena about 11:00 PM, just as the show was ending. If you can’t tell, I am still pretty bitter about it. Rush didn’t play “Hand Over Fist” that night, and 24 years later they still haven’t played the song live. It’s a deep cut for sure and one likely never to see the stage, but it’s one of my favorites from a very underrated album.



Rush: “Cut To The Chase” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Counterparts

Atlantic Records, 1993

Cut To The Chase

One listen to “Cut To The Chase” and there’s no doubt that it came out in the early-to-mid ’90s. Grunge was everywhere in 1994, and even Rush toughened up their sound and left a lot of the keyboards in the closet for the Counterparts album. I saw the Counterparts tour in Dallas in January of 1994, and a lot of the kids sitting around me seemed lost when the band played “Limelight.” The same kids went absolutely nuts when they launched into the new song “Cold Fire,” so clearly Rush’s effort to reach a new audience was working.

“Cut To The Chase” didn’t make the cut that night, and it’s one of four songs on Counterparts that have never been played in concert.



Rush: “Sweet Miracle” [2013 Remix] (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Vapor Trails

Rhino Records, 2013

Sweet Miracle

2002’s Vapor Trails is a challenging album. It was the first Rush album released after a long hiatus prompted by the tragic deaths of Neil Peart’s wife and daughter. The dark material was made even more abrasive by the noisy mix, and over the years there have been rumors that Rush might someday release a remixed version of Vapor Trails. It finally happened earlier this year, and the results were spectacular.

“Sweet Miracle” was one of my immediate favorites upon the release of Vapor Trails, but the band didn’t include it during the album’s tour. It has been sitting on the shelf ever since, and I’m hoping the release of the remixed Vapor Trails may have opened up the band’s eyes to this fantastic song.

Rush are currently taking a well-deserved break from the road, but fans are hopeful they will return to the stage in 2015. The inclusion of any of these five songs will make the Analog Kid happier than a Canuck locked in a Moosehead factory.


Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

Permanent Waves

Rush: “Entre Nous” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Permanent Waves

Mercury Records, 1979

Entre Nous


Moving Pictures

Rush: “Limelight” (Music By Lee & Lifesonn/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Moving Pictures

Mercury Records, 1981




Rush: “Cold Fire” (Music By Lee & Lifeson/Lyrics By Peart)

From the album Counterparts

Atlantic Records, 1993

Cold Fire

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

22 responses »

  1. Randall Huff says:

    You know I like this post. Got you beat on number of shows by just a few. My first show was Permanent Waves, kimonos and all.

  2. I thought I’d been to more than 20 shows, but I went back and counted and I;m pretty sure 18 is the right number. I had tickets to a concert in Oklahoma City on “Snakes & Arrows” that I didn’t use for some reason– can’t remember what kept me from making the trip, but it must have been bad!

  3. FryingPan9 says:

    Great post. Totally identified with a lot of it, especially the part about “Losing It.” I was in 11th grade when you saw the Signals tour and I wasn’t able to get tickets. But there’s a picture of a kid in the audience in one of the photos in the Signals tour programme that looks so much like I did back then that I was able to convince people it was me.

  4. matt says:

    cold lire was played here in chicago i remember it

    • Definitely– I remember it being a high point of the show! Rolling Stone asked Geddy recently if they would ever consider “Cut To The Chase,” so maybe there’s a chance someday!

  5. So they’ve been soundchecking “Losing It” on the R40 tour 😉

    • Oh, I know! I was praying to hear the opening notes after “Roll The Bones” last night in Dallas, but it didn’t happen. It’s going to happen at some point on the tour, and that is pretty amazing!

  6. Isaac Koop says:

    I heard that they played Hand Over Fist in Hannover, Germany and changed the lyrics to to feature the name of the city.

  7. Pat Fields says:

    What about ‘we hold on’ from Snakes and Arrows. I couldn’t stop playing this song

    • Great choice! I was so happy when they played “Faithless” on the Time Machine tour after not including it on the Snakes & Arrows tour. I just live that entire album! Looks like “Losing It” is finally going to be played in the very near future, likely in Toronto when they film the shows. Wish I could be there!

      • Some RandomGuy says:

        Sorry dude I just had to say – I was there Friday night when they played show 2 in Toronto and Losing It (which has to be one of my favourite songs)….

        I saw them first in 89 in Hamilton… i was in grade 10 (so 15?)… it was my first road trip (I lived near Windsor; picture 24 high school kids in the back of a panel van), first time smoking a joint (they didn’t care in concerts back then)…. and it was perhaps one of the highlights of my young life.

        I’ve seen them every tour since. Friday night’s concert brought back all of the mystery, awe and wonder I experienced 26 years ago. They crushed it. And Losing It was every bit as brilliant is you’d hope.

        There’s a dozen phone-cams of it on Youtube as one would expect, but none of them truly do it justice. I look forward to the DVD of the Toronto shows.

  8. […] in 2012-13. One such fan, who goes by the Analog Kid online, offered his tribute to the song in a post titled “Five Rush Songs That Have Never Been Played Live” — a post that’s […]

  9. […] in 2012-13. One such fan, who goes by the Analog Kid online, offered his tribute to the song in a post titled “Five Rush Songs That Have Never Been Played Live” — a post that’s […]

  10. chopstix2112 says:

    since ben mink lives in vancouver, hopefully he and ‘da boys will repeat ‘losing it’ once they visit us mid july

    • chopstix2112 says:

      i also would sooo love to hear both ‘entre nous’ and ‘a farewell to kings’ played once more…but i know it won’t be so.

  11. FlatTimmy says:

    Just saw Losing It tonight (6/27/15) in Newark, NJ. Quite a surprise.

  12. afrizal says:

    The best song limelight I like

  13. Nick Ferrante says:

    I saw my first Rush show February 24th, 1983. Wo gotcha by 4 days! I was 13 and had been a Rush fan since my older sister brought home 2112 three years earlier. But this was a watershed event in my life as it was also the first time I ever got High. I do remarkably still remember quite a bit of detail from the show, including a really remarkable Camera Eye, and the performance of practically the entire Signals album, sans Losing It, which was fine with me as Signals may as well been the soundtrack to my life back then. Since then I’ve seen them countless times, and was somewhat awed to learn the Phoenix show I saw in 2015 was the third-to-last show they performed before retirement. And again, I remembered Camera Eye as special. But to then realize that was the last time they played that song likely ever, fills me with an odd mix of pride and melancholy, and brings me full cirlce to that February day in 1983, albieit less high – but close, real close… THANKS RUSH!!

  14. Des says:

    Hi. Have you updated this list recently?

  15. Marty says:

    I don’t believe Rush ever played my favorite song from Power Windows, Emotion Detector. I’m a big fan of a local Milwaukee group ‘Rush Tribute Project’. They are very talented. I hope some day RTP will consider playing Emotion Detector for us. Fingers crossed..

  16. Michael says:

    When was this posted? Actually not accurate… IIRC, Limelight was in fact played life during the Rush Time Machine tour; the whole album actually, front to back, in the second set. Absolutely mad, balls to the wall crazy! Awesome! Was there live myself.

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