Rush Sign Stephen Colbert’s Hand, Perform “Tom Sawyer”

The other day I expressed my doubt that Neil Peart could fit his kit in Colbert’s even-smaller-than-it-looks-on-TV studio. Well he did, but just barely. (Jimmy noted Neil has eight toms in seven sizes, and a custom 23″ kick; later when asked how many pieces the kit has, Neil said “enough.”) Last night was Rush’s first appearance on American television in 33 years, and Stephen honored the event appropriately, giving over about 1/3 of the show to the prog trio. During the pre-performance Q&A Stephen asked one of the great interview questions of all time: “You’re known for some long songs. Have you ever written a song so epic, that you were being influenced by your own song, because it happened so much earlier in your career?” Stephen later got his hand autographed by the band, Neil signing on the condition that Stephen not put it up on eBay later. Ultimately the band performed “Tom Sawyer,” which Stephen interrupted because it’s only a half hour program.

First, Jimmy gets psyched for Rush:

And here Geddy speaks like an ordinary guy, before singing as high as always on “Tom Sawyer” (except in that “what you say about his company” bit):

Colbert’s got Nas on 7/23 and Crosby Stills & Nash on 7/30 (they’ll be in town for a show at the Central Park Summerstage), but it’s the Toby Keith appearance on 7/28 that oughta be the most entertaining.