The connection between Rush and Foo Fighters is well established at this point. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins inducted the Canadian three piece into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, pairing with Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz to perform a version of the opening overture to ‘2112’ at the ceremony. Hawkins appeared in Rush’s definitive documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage, and Grohl continues to sing the praises of the prog-rock masters any chance he gets.
Evidently, the trio had enough fun playing the track that they opted to record the ‘Overture’ as part of the 40th-anniversary reissue of the 2112 album back in 2016. Along with bands like Alice In Chains and Billy Talent, Grohl, Hawkins, and Raskulinecz donned their best kimonos to bring their stage-tested version on ‘Overture’ into the recording studio.
It’s probably best that the trio didn’t do the entire ‘2112’ suite. Not that they couldn’t, it’s just that they probably didn’t want to risk going that far down the Rush rabbit hole. That and Grohl probably doesn’t want to risk bursting a blood vessel trying to reach those insane Geddy Lee vocal notes, although Hawkins might be able to get up there.
The three musicians bring a fair amount of their own style to their cover of the ‘Overture’, with a bit more distinctly Foo Fighters-esque production style to the intro piece. Raskulinecz worked with both Rush and Foo Fighters, so he had a unique insiders perspective on how to get the best out of both bands.
It should be no surprise, then, that Raskulinecz is the one who keeps closest to the original sound of the record, replicating the midrange twang of Lee’s Rickenbacker bass tone in all its glory. Grohl and Hawkins bring their own approximations of Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart’s styles to their own playing, but any Superman looking for an exact reproduction might be slightly disappointed by how much the trio freely rearrange the song.
But overall, it’s a pretty close cover. More importantly, it’s practically dripping in reverence, with all three musicians bringing lifelong obsessions with Rush into their beyond-dedicated playing. We even get a little ‘YYZ’ reference at the end, which is sure to warm the hearts of even the most cynical and exacting of Rush fanatics.
Check out the cover, plus the live performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, down below.