Chrysalis and her changeling minions hovered above the stadium, the Grey Crystal suspended in the queen's magic. They lowered the hideous jagged rock onto the stadium grounds with a thud. Arcs of green energy sparked up towards the sky, re-sealing the cracks made by the music.
“You three and your pony friends have put on quite a show, but it’s all been futile. As you can see, your music is no match for my crystal. You have failed!!”
“Oh no!” Fluttershy cried.
The Mane Six and CMC hung their heads sadly. Applejack pulled her hat off
“Looks like all this work was for nothin.”
But Geddy, Alex, and Neil weren’t intimidated. Instead they grinned, sensing opportunity. Geddy quietly touched his ear microphone.
“Ponies, we’ve got an idea.”
“What is it Geddy?” Twilight responded.
“Chrysalis has the crystal directly exposed. I bet if we hit it now, we can destroy that thing for good.”
“How?” Rainbow Dash added in.
“It just so happens we’re at the last song in our set; the one song that has always defined our musical friendship.”
Neil and Alex smiled in anticipation.
Geddy went up to the mic to address the Changeling in the middle of the stadium
“Oh mighty Changeling queen, we can see that despite our best efforts we’ve been horribly defeated. But before you commence in your conquership of Equestria, we ask if we could play one more song...just one.”
Chrysalis paused for a few seconds, her eyes glowing with venomous contempt.
“I don’t see why not.” She hissed. “I’ll let you get away with one last fling.”
Neil touched his earpiece.
“Ponies, get ready.” said Neil. “You’re about to be blown away.”
On the screen appeared a yellow kick drum with a sign reading C-Rushhh written in crayon taped on it. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were dressed up as Rush from the 1970s, with wigs of long hair and kimono-like robes. Applebloom was on the drums, Sweetie Belle was on the guitar, and Scootaloo was on the bass and keyboards.
“All right everypony!” said Scootaloo. “Time to Rock and Roll!”
Applebloom counted the girls off on the hi-hat.
“And a one, and a two, and a three and four…”
The girls started playing a really sloppy version of Tom Sawyer. Scootaloo sang the words.
“Tom Sawyer is a guy with a mean mean story, a modern day warrior with mean keen stride, as he floats down a river with a lean bean pride!”
The girls messed up the notes and got the rhythm wrong. Applebloom sweated nervously struggling to play the drum part. Scootaloo continued to sing, trying to sing really high like Geddy.
“You know his mind it’s not too spent, he’s neither meek nor arrogant, his defence’s a quiet reserve, you know these words are so absurd….the river!!!”
The girls kept playing until Sweetie Belle halted the song.
“Hold it! Hold it!! Stop!! Stop!!”
They awkwardly stopped playing the song.
“What the hay was that?!”
“I thought we were playin’ Tom Sawyer.” said Applebloom from behind the drums.
“We were playing Tom Sawyer.” Scootaloo answered. “We were just getting to that cool keyboard riff.”
“That sounded terrible!” said Sweetie Belle. “That was nothing like the real song.”
“How are we going to sound like the real Rush?” said Scootaloo.
“Maybe we just need different outfits?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Yeah, that’ll do it.” said Scootaloo. “Who would play in these robes anyway?”
The image side-walked to show the Crusaders dressed up as Rush from the early 80s: Scootaloo had big bushy hair, and they all were wearing skinny ties with bowling shirts.
“This oughta do it.” said Sweetie Belle. “Let’s try it again.”
Applebloom counted off again.
“And a one and a two and a three and four…”
They played Tom Sawyer again, but it was still sloppy.
“Hold on! Stop! Stop!” said Scootaloo. “It still doesn’t sound good.”
“New outfits?” Sweetie Belle grinned.
The image side walked again to the Crusaders dressed as Rush in the late 80s, with Applebloom wearing a skin tight black tank-top, Sweetie Belle with a new-wave style mane cut, and Scootaloo with her mane in a mullet.
“Okay this should really do it.” Sweetie Belle said excitedly.
Applebloom counted the girls off again, but was much less enthused.
“And a one, and a two, and a three, and four…”
They played Tom Sawyer once again, and it still sounded bad.
“Ughh!” Scootaloo moaned. “We’re never going to get this right!”
“Hold on girls,” Applebloom got up. “How ‘bout we stop worryin’ about how we look and just play the song.”
“Yeah,” said Scootaloo. “Rush doesn’t worry about how they look.”
“Alright.” said Sweetie Belle. “Enough with the cheesy outfits.”
The image side-walked again showing the Crusaders normally.
“Okay, let’s do it right.” said Scootaloo.
On stage the band secretly turned the volume on their equipment up to 12 and nodded to each other. The ponies watching from off stage plugged their ears.
“Here it comes.”
Applebloom counted the band off.
“We’ve got sour apples all on the ground, and now it’s time to squash them down. One, Two, Three, Four!!!”
A pulse of sound thundered through the stadium. The stage glowed white from the power of the band’s friendship.
Green cracks reappeared in the cloud.
“It’s working!” Rainbow screamed.
The crystal began to crack.
“They’re doing it! The crystal’s breaking apart!!”
With each note, the cracks grew bigger.
“No!!” Chrysalis screamed. “It’s impossible!!”
All the changelings held their ears, overpowered by the music.
“It cannot be!!”
Rush played the song harder than they ever had before. Every note, chord, and drumbeat sent the Changeling queen further toward defeat.
They finally blasted the closing chord, sending a pulse of friendship energy out from the stage.
Chrysalis and her changelings were once again blown out of the stadium, and out of Equestria. The crystal exploded into millions of sparkly pieces, vaporizing into thin air; the giant cloud disintegrated to reveal a gorgeous, star-lit sky.
The stadium erupted in applause, everypony screaming in celebration.
“They did it!!! They did it!!!”
Geddy, Alex, and Neil were exhausted, but astounded at what they had just done.
“I can’t believe it. We actually did it.”
They waved to the audience and left the stage. The ponies gave them all water and towels.
“That was awwwwweesooomee!!!!” Rainbow loop-de-looped.
“You guys did it!” Twilight cheered. “You really did it!”
The guys took big drinks of water, then took a deep breath.
“No, not really.” Said Alex casually.
“What ya’ll mean?” Applejack’s eyes widened.
Geddy smiled at the ponies.
“We all did it, Everyone of us.”
The ponies and band joined in a group hug.
“Thank you Rush.” Fluttershy teared up.
“Thank you ponies.” said Neil. “We couldn’t have done it without each of you.”
“Oh Yeah!!! That meanie old crystal is gone! gone!! gone!!!” Pinkie bounced excitedly. “Time for a party!!!”
“We’ve got something better.” Alex replied. "More music!"
They grabbed their instruments again, and headed back onstage. Geddy came back up to the microphone.
“Thank you Equestria!! We’re going to celebrate our victory over Queen Chrysalis and the Grey Crystal with some more music. But before we do, let’s all extend a big round of applause to the group of incredible ponies who made this occasion possible! Twilight Sparkle!”
Twilight came out on the stage and waved a hoof at all the ponies in the stadium.
Rainbow Dash did a loop de loop above the band and landed on the stage raising her hooves in the air.
Applejack waved her Stetson.
Rarity gracefully waved.
Fluttershy bashfully waved.
“Pinkie Pie for her amazing show design!”
Pinkie Pie blew one of her party cannons on the stage.
“Applebloom, Scootaloo, & Sweetie Belle; The Cutie Mark Crusaders!”
The CMC joyfully waved to the crowd.
“And last but certainly not least, Spike!”
Spike came out and took a bow with everypony.
“Let’s hear it for this amazing group of ponies!”
The crowd of ponies and three musicians cheered for the ten friends as they waved. They left the stage and took seats in the front row.
“And now without further ado…”Geddy continued. “Time for a grudge match in Tobes of Hades.”
By-Tor & The Snowdog
In a wrestling ring lit by torches, Rainbow Dash, as By-Tor, was dressed in goofy Greek-like armor squared off against Rarity, the Snow-Dog, with floppy ears, a dog snout mask, and white snowflake armor. They humorously fought throughout the song, doing many silly things to each other. At one point, Rarity sat on top of Rainbow and tickled her hoof with a feather. Rainbow screamed like a filly.
The ponies laughed while Rainbow blushed. Rarity whispered to Twilight.
“Rainbow doesn’t want to admit it, but she screams like a little filly.”
Twilight giggled quietly.
With one long chord, Rush finished off the concert. All through the stadium, under a beautifully restored starry sky, ponies stomped and cheered for them. Up in the royal box, Luna clapped her hooves, Celestia whistled.
The three guys took the clothes out of the dryers and tossed them into the crowd. Coming down to the edge of the stage, they hugged each other, then smiled waving to all the cheering ponies. They joined shoulders and took a bow. Neil threw his sticks into the crowd. Lyra and Bon Bon pushed each other trying to catch the sticks, but Derpy flew up and caught them. Neil laughed and waved at Derpy, who waved back.
“Thank you all so much!” Geddy called out. “Thank you for being an incredible audience, and making this show in this extraordinary world as magical as it was! Farewell!”
The guys all waved goodbye and left the stage.
Pinkie Pie came back on the screen.
“You’re all still here? The show’s over. They didn’t play Tai Shan.”
The screen irised out into darkness.