Rush in Equestria

by RustyNails

The Concert Plan

Back in Applejack’s barn, Geddy, Alex, and Neil were showing the Cutie Mark Crusaders how to be a rock band.
“If you press the strings like this,” Alex instructed Sweetie Belle. “You can make many chords quite easily.”
Sweetie Belle strummed chords with her hoof.

Geddy helped Scootaloo around the bass and keyboards.
“Wait, you play bass, keyboards, and sing lead vocals?”
“I do.” Geddy answered. “All at the same time.”
“How do you do that?”
“I have no idea.” Geddy joked. “And I’ve been doing it over 30 years...I’m kidding. It’s a lot of practice, and muscle memory.”
“Muscle memory?”
“You practice each part really hard so the muscles in your hooves, and brains, know exactly where to be and what to do.”
“Awesome! Maybe I’ll grow my mane long like yours.”
“Yeah,” Geddy laughed. “You’d look pretty rad with long hair.”

Neil showed Applebloom how to play the drums.
“So how you really want to hold the sticks is like this, and swing with your wrists…or ankles in your case. You’ll have much better control over how you drum.”
“Like this?”
Applebloom took the sticks in her hooves and tried as Neil showed her.
“Yes! That’s perfect. You’re a quick learner, Applebloom.”

“All right!” said Scootaloo. “Rockband cutie marks here we come!”
“Cutie what?” Geddy enquired.
“Cutie marks.” Applebloom answered.
“There these symbols ponies have on their flanks that signify their special talent.” Scootaloo explained.
“Oh, is that what those are.” said Neil.
“But ponies aren’t born with them.” Sweetie Belle continued. “Our flanks are blank. And we’re on a crusade to discover our special talents and earn our marks.”
“Wow,” Geddy laughed. “You’re quite a determined group of fillies.”
Neil pulled out a pocket notepad and pen.
“The philosophy of the cutie mark might make an interesting song.”

“Cutie Mark Crusaders Rock band!!” Sweetie Belle screamed.
Applebloom counted them off.
“And a one, and a two, and a one, two, three, four!”
The fillies played the instruments, but it was just really loud noise. They guys and Spike held their ears as the Crusaders jammed away, until Sweetie Belle couldn’t take it.
“Stop! Stop! Stop!!”
Scoots and Bloom stopped playing.
“That wasn’t music, it was just noise.”
“You know it wasn’t that bad.” Alex commented.
“That was worse than our act at the talent show.”
“Oh! I’ve got pictures of that!” said Spike.
“Spike! No!” Scootaloo whined. “Don’t show them....”
But Spike was already showing the band the Crusaders outrageous talent show act.
“It was hilarious. They literally brought down the house.”
The guys tried to hide their laughter.
“And I thought my raccoon hair was bad.” said Geddy.
“We’ll never be a band.” Sweetie Belle moped.
“Oh come on girls,” said Alex. “That was only your first time playing. Have you ever even practiced an instrument before?”
“Well…not really.” Applebloom answered. “Unless you count spoons as an instrument.”
“Well there you go.”
“Really girls,” said Neil. “Don’t feel bad if your first attempt at playing didn’t sound good. None of us sounded good when we first started. With a lot of practice and determination, you’ll be a great rock band.”
“Could we be like you three?” asked Applebloom.
“Sure you will.” Geddy answered.
“By the way Spike,” said Neil. “You never told us your joke.”
“My what?”
“That really good joke Twilight said you know.”
Spike smiled nervously.
“Ohh, that one. Here goes, There...”
The Mane Six threw open the doors of the barn.
“We’re back.” Twilight panted. “And we got all of the stuff you needed.”
“We even found three dryers, just like you wanted.” Said Pinkie. “One’s even complete with clothes inside.”
“Great! Thanks a bunch for doing that.” said Geddy.
The band was all set up to play. Alex’s amplifiers were turned on and he was tuning up his guitar. Geddy was tuning up one of his basses.
“So what are the dryers for again?” asked Applejack confused.
“They’re really kind of a joke.” Geddy answered. “I don’t use amps anymore and I needed something to fill my side of the triangle. We did dryers on a tour years ago and I thought it’d be fun to bring them out again.”
Applejack was still puzzled.
“But, why dryers?”
“Applejack,” Pinkie put a hoof around her neck. “Take it from me, just go with it.”

Rarity helped Neil put his drum set together, placing the last cymbals in their stands and screwing the bolts on to hold them. Suddenly she remembered her idea.
"Neil darling, I saw all your pictures in your drum room and noticed how you use different drum sets for your tours.”
“Yeah, I do like to resonate the theme of a tour with my drums.”
“Well in keeping with tradition, would you mind if I...well, resonate your drums for you?"
“You know, style them.”
"Uhh, sure. I guess?" Neil answered hesitantly.
Rarity lit up her horn and concentrated. Neil's drums magically changed to a beautiful set with rich lavender paint, golden rims, and poles, pristine shiny cymbals, gold engraved cutie mark symbols, and a ‘starpony’ emblem on the face of the kick drum.
"Oh wow! What a gorgeous drum set!"
"You like it?"
"I do, these are beauties!"

Finally, Geddy and Alex were tuned up and ready to play for the ponies. The three of them took their respective places.
"Let's hope they can play this time." Rainbow whispered to Twilight.
Neil twirled his drumsticks in his fingers.
"So what do you want us to play?"
"Play something awesome." said Rainbow Dash.
"Yeah, something awesome!" Scootaloo beamed.
The guys thought for a minute.
"Okay, how about this one?" said Geddy.
Neil counted them off on the hi-hat and the launched into Tom Sawyer.

The ponies watched the guys play. The sounds of thick guitar chords, a melodic bass line, impossibly complex drum patterns, and a catchy keyboard riff permeated through their bodies. The boys hit the last chord of the song.

"So," Alex smiled. "What did you think of that?"
The ponies stared at them...
“Maybe they didn’t like it?” Neil whispered.
Rainbow finally spoke.
"That was the most amazing thing I've ever seen," said Twilight.
"I’m sorry,” said Rarity snootily, “but rock and roll is not really my thing. I prefer classical.”
“Oh come on Rarity!” Rainbow snapped.
“Lan sakes girl!” Applejack added. “Ya’ll always have to be a prissy party pooper?!”
“Let me finish!” Rarity rebutted, “As I was saying, I normally prefer classical...BUT THAT WAS JUST AMAZING!!!!!”
"Play more songs!" Sweetie Belle beamed. “You must have more!”
"Oh, many many more," said Geddy.

The band launched into Limelight, then played The Spirit of Radio, and Red Barchetta. The ponies could not believe what they were seeing and hearing…
“Boy, these guys keep getting 20% more cooler.”
“Lan sakes, he can sing really high.” Said Applejack.
“I love the lyrics.” Said Fluttershy. “They’re so deep.”
“I love the lyrics too.” Twilight agreed.

They then played YYZ, and the ponies were amazed even more. Pinkie’s pupils darted back and forth watching Geddy’s and Alex’s fingers and down the necks of their guitars, and Neil doing impossible fills on the drums.
“How can they do that?” Scootaloo gaped. “That’s just…I don’t know.”
“Super powers?” said Sweetie Belle.
“Or somethin.” Said Applebloom.

Rush played several more songs: The Trees, Subdivisions, Force Ten, Closer to the Heart, and La Villa Strangiato. During La Villa, Alex went up to his mic and did one of his comedic monologue rants.

“Whoa, that triple espresso went right to my head. Hello everypony, my name is...Stinky Cheese, and my cutie mark is...well I don’t know, I never got one. I come from a faraway place where ponies slide down cheeseburger mountains into lakes of thick molasses. Oh it’s a lot of fun. Isn’t it something a pony would never get tired of? Well I did. I hated it. So I packed my saddlebags and mozzied off into the sunset like this, Lalalalalalalalalalalalala…. don’t know why nopony noticed I was gone.”

“Gosh,” Pinkie thought. “I could take some goofiness lessons from Alex.”

“So there I went on my own little pony way…” Alex continued. “minding my own little pony business, wandering to all the parts of Equestria. And then through the entirely, unexpected, unpredictably, utterly stupendous chance, of getting gum on my shoe, I met these two strange looking equines from nowhere, and we started the band you see before you. Let’s meet them. On the drums, a pony who can’t seem to do anything else but bang on cans, and read a book occasionally, the indomitable Can Kicker!”

Neil laughed from behind his kit.

“Now Can Kicker, show us what you do.”
Neil played a few rolls on his snare drum and toms.
“Nah do something better than that, more like on that schmaltzy heart song.”
Neil laughed, and played some more intricate drum rolls.

“There, how’d you like sucked. He’s really not that good. And then there’s this guy. Yeah, him; this dude with only four strings on his guitar. Found living in a dumpster in Ponyville, where he’s been since he was 7 years old…oh he had it rough I’ll tell ya, Long Hooves McGee! Let’s hear him play one of his signature tunes, take it away Long Hooves...”

Geddy played a few bent tuned lines on his bass, then went back to the melody.

“Well, I guess all that’s left is me. Little old Stinky Cheese, and here’s all that I do.”
Alex played the My Little Pony theme song on his guitar.
“Yeah,” he shrugged. “It’s not very much I know, but someday I’ll get there. Maybe in the next 200 years.”
Neil began a drumroll on his snare.
“Well time for my send off. You know how everypony would send me off? ‘Hey Stinky! Cut the Cheese!!!”
The guys strummed back into the instrumental.
“Incredible!!” Applebloom squeed.

After a few more measures of the song, the band hit the last chord and stopped.
“Bravo! Bravo!! Bravo!!!” Rarity clapped her hooves.
"You three are amazing," said Fluttershy. "How are you able to make so much music with just the three of you?"
“And how are you able to play those bass lines, the keyboards and sing all at the same time?” said Pinkie. “I play who knows how many instruments all at once and even I can’t sing at the same time.”
“And how do you play that mountain of drums!” said Applebloom. “And never miss a beat! It’s like you all got super powers or somethin.”
“Oh, it’s not super powers my little ponies.” Neil smiled twirling a stick his fingers.
“It’s all made by a love of music.” said Geddy.
“And a great spirit of friendship.” Alex grinningly added in.
"Now I'm really glad we found you guys,” Rainbow added excitedly. “With music like that, the crystal is done for!”

Twilight corralled the group together.
"Alright ponies...and people, we have a lot of work to do to put this show together. We have to make it the best show possible. Let’s get down to it. Rush, put together a set of your best, most powerful songs. We’ll need at least three-hours-worth of music."
"We can do three and a half, easy," Neil sneered.
"Pinkie Pie, you're the best at putting on parties in a short amount of time, gather the best stage decorations and special effects you can find. Also help me do the movies.”
"Yes sir ma'am sir!"
"Rainbow Dash and Applejack, spread the word about this event. Make sure everypony whose anypony knows about it.”
"Ahh yeah."
“You got it Twi!”
“Rarity and Fluttershy, we’re going to need some merchandise. Start sewing together T-shirts.”
“Of course.”
Rarity and Fluttershy hoof-bumped.
"We go!"
"What do we do?" asked Scootaloo eagerly.
"Yeah," said Sweetie Belle. "We wanna help too!"
“Of course you three are helping,” said Geddy. “In fact the three of us have an idea I bet you’ll love.”
“Really?!” the Crusaders beamed with excitement. Geddy called them closer and whispered in their ears.
“Oh wow!” said Applebloom. “We’re really doing that!?”
“Right,” said Twilight. “Now, let’s move!”
“Rush and Pony on!!” cried Pinkie Pie.
They all looked at her confused.
“What? That’s our battle cry! Every team needs a battle cry.”
“You know,” said Alex. “I like the sound of that.”
“Yeah,” Rainbow added. “It’s awesome!”
They all put their hands, hooves, and claw into a circle.
"Rush And Pony On!!!"

Preparation Music

The team got busy on their respective jobs for the show. Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Scootaloo posted posters all over Ponyville and Canterlot reading Rush: Tomorrow night at Satin Stadium, Canterlot. Come and help destroy the Grey Crystal!

They posted the posters on every blank wall they could find, even directly over signs that said ‘Post No Bills’. Scootaloo handed out flyers to curious ponies.
“A rock concert to destroy the cloud?” said a baffled Berry Punch…

…“Sure, we love rock concerts, don’t we Lyra.” Said Bon Bon.
“You bet best friend!”…

“I guess I’ll come.” said one stallion hesitantly.
Meanwhile, Geddy, Alex, and Neil rehearsed in Applejack’s barn, going through their set list over and over again, practicing each song until they were just right.

“Lets do a few from both those albums.” Said Neil.
“Yeah, we haven’t played any of those in ages.” Alex added in.
“Woah boy,” Geddy shook his head. “This is gonna be the biggest set we’ve ever done.”
"It's all for the ponies!" Alex joked. "For the Ponies!!!"
In Rarity’s sewing room, Rarity and Fluttershy went through different designs for T-shirts. Fluttershy drew the designs on paper and showed them to Rarity for approval. They went through several designs: A pony juggling red balls, a spotted pony next to a fire hydrant, three pictures of hooves in different poses, a scary looking dragon breathing fire, pony shaped gears and cogs. Rarity shook her head at all of them. Finally, Fluttershy drew an image of a pony in front of a star (like Twilight’s cutie mark). Rarity smiled and nodded her head. The two friends got busy sewing and stitching one shirt after the other.
Twilight used her magic to make patterns of colors and shapes in the air, which Spike filmed with a camera.
Pinkie Pie was filming the Cutie Mark Crusaders doing something.
“You sure about this Pinkie Pie?” Sweetie Belle asked nervously.
“Of course I’m sure! You three look absolutely adorable!”
“We look absolutely ridiculous!” said Scootaloo.
“This mustache is itching my muzzle!” Applebloom whined.
“Geddy said you’d have a special part in the show, remember. And this was their idea.”
“Yes, but do we really need to do it like this?”
“Come on Crusaders!” Pinkie beamed. “Turn those frowns upside down, and start playing!”
“Well...okay?” said Sweetie Belle nervously.