WHAT IS RUSHCON? RushCon 16: November 3-5, 2016, Toronto

RushCon is the largest North American gathering of fans celebrating the music of Canadian rock band, Rush.

Once a year, fans from all over the world gather for several days of activities such as games, a charity auction featuring rare and collectible band memorabilia, a tribute band concert, important guest speakers from inside the band's inner circle and much, much more!

RushCon is a by-the-fans, for-the-fans event where folks have an opportunity to raise money for an important charity whilst having an amazing time learning more about the band, getting to know each other and connecting with other fans from around the world. Over the past 15 years, RushCon members have formed life-long friendships and bonded over their fondness of this band.

It's a tremendously fun, informative and exciting series of events where fans are able to spend a weekend experiencing all the sites and sounds of Rush and simultaneously catch up with old friends who'll make you feel like you're not the only kid in the room who can recognize an odd time signature.

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Lotus Land

← Tribute Band of the Month


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Band Members

Chris Nelson
lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards and midi pedals

Bob Chartrand
guitar, back up vocals, midi pedals

Mark Dalton
drums, midi drums

LOTUS LAND: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE

Mary Jo, RushCon staff: Give us a little history of the band; how did you meet and discover your shared love of Rush?

Lotus Land: : The band, as configured today, began in the fall of 2009. Mark Dalton (drummer who always greatly admired the drumming of Neil Peart) met Chris Nelson (Lotus Land’s Geddy Lee) through a random classified ad in the paper. Bob Chartrand (Guitarist) played with Mark Dalton in original projects in the early 1990’s and when Mark & Chris needed a new guitar player, Mark called Bob, and the rest is history.

Mary Jo: How did you pick the name Lotus Land?

Lotus Land: The name was picked in one of the earlier line ups, but clearly, it’s from the lyrics of “Freewill”, we all thought it was cool, and that was pretty much it.

Mary Jo: Tell us about your gear and set up. Any special items you'd like to mention?

Bob: The keyboard & guitar rigs are as close to RUSH as we can discern. RUSH has definitely upgraded the last few tours (Time Machine and on..) but still kept much of the keys & guitar rigs similar. On the guitar side of things,I went thru several amps searching for his tone, and finally said“the heck with it” and purchased Alex’s Hughes & Kettner Triamp MKII. I (Bob) also have two Alex Lifeson signature series Les Paul Customs. Black & Crimson. Of course the SG double neck as well.

Chris: Two GL-Sig Fender Jazz • 1973 4001 Rickenbacker • Tech 21 SansAmp Preamp. Mark’s kit set up mimics part of one of Neil’s drum set ups from basically the mid 1990’s. He has a single 22” Bass Drum with a Yamaha double pedal; mounted toms sizes 8, 10, 12, and 13 inch; Floor Toms sizes 16 and 18 inch; a single timbale; a midi pad for various sound effects; 4 crash cymbals ranging from 16 inches in diameter to 19 inches, a single 20” Wuhan China Cymbal, and a 13” Hi Hat. The make of the drums is Premier Genista (from the 1990’s.)

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Mary Jo: What's your Rush preshow ritual?

Lotus Land: Chris runs some practice techniques learned from Dave LaRue. Mark will warm up on his drum pad, Bob will run thru the solos for as many songs on the set list as possible.

Mary Jo: How do you develop the set list for your shows?

Lotus Land: Painstakingly! We have approximately 4 hours of Rush's catalog down and it is very difficult to pick for a 2 hour show. We hope that we do our best always to satisfy all degrees of Rush fans.

Mary Jo: Are there any songs you have decided to not try to play? Are there songs you always mess up?

Lotus Land: Certainly they’re all very challenging to execute respectably. I think the greatest deterrent for us is if the synths and production sounds are so unique, and near impossible to recreate convincingly – that would be reason enough not to roll it out. That decision is indicative of the band’s high bar for quality, as well as an acknowledgment of our audience’s awareness.

Mary Jo: Who has the biggest Rush shrine? Tell us about any Rush memorabilia you have and the story behind it (if there is one)?

Lotus Land: Definitely Mark Dalton would be guilty of the RUSH shrine. More in band, song knowledge and passion than an accumulation of particular memorabilia. However, Mark has the Hemispheres large poster still up on his wall that he purchased in the 9th grade. He also had vintage Exit Stage Left and Grace Under Pressure posters but lost them over the years, much to his chagrin!

poster

Finally, he also has a pair of Neil’s drum sticks personalized with his initials from right out of his stick bag. They were given to him by an old high school friend whose ex brother-in-law is Matt Scannell, the front man of Vertical Horizon and a good friend of Neil's. Matt was kind enough to ask Neil for the sticks and Neil was kind enough to oblige!!!

sticks

Mary Jo: Who has a child, car or pet named after one of the guys or a song title/lyric?

Bob: I had a bichon named Angel, but I must admit, I got her long before the Clockwork Angels album. :-)

Mary Jo: Who's traveled the farthest to see the guys? Who has seen Rush the most number of times?

Lotus Land: Chris has seen Rush roughly a dozen times, and traveled from Boston to LA to see them. Mark has seen them on each tour, at least twice, starting with Grace Under Pressure.

Mary Jo: How is playing to an audience of Rush fans different than a general audience?

Lotus Land: Playing to Rush fans is like playing a room full of critics. Some tribute bands are all about the visual, let’s say a Kiss tribute for example. But with Rush fans, they are air drumming, watching guitar solos, and waiting for the high notes from Geddy. If you miss any of them, they notice. If you miss a drum fill, you can see the people air drumming looking like “Hey? What the heck?”. For guitar solos they are watching and watching, and only if you performed it well enough will they applaud and give you the thumbs up. It’s a constant audition performing this music in front of hard core Rush fans.

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Mary Jo: Tell us about your experience at RushCon.

Lotus Land: As many of RushCon fans know, we were fortunate enough to play at RushCon 12, 14, & 16. Each time was wonderful. As we mentioned earlier, playing in front of Rush fans is a constant audition. Playing at RushCon, and having a hyper concentration of Rush fanatics at a single show is the ultimate challenge if you will. Instead of having half the crowd knowing every drum fill, at RushCon you have 100% of every person there being a Rush expert in their own right. So, very fun, very challenging, and very worthwhile.

Mary Jo: Anything else you want to share?

Lotus Land: I think we are all committed to making this the best Rush tribute we can. People do share with us their gratitude for us being so true to the music and for keeping Rush music alive. We appreciate all of those comments and support and are grateful that people notice and comment on the hard work that we put into this tribute.

Mary Jo: Tell us about any upcoming shows you have.

Lotus Land: We post all our shows on our website, www.lotuslandband.com. We have a show on Sat, August 25th at the Nostalgia Music Festival in Ottawa, Canada – click here for info & tickets.

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All Contents ©2013 Rushcon. RushCon is a by-the-fans, for-the-fans event where folks have an opportunity to raise money for an important charity whilst having an amazing time learning more about the band, getting to know each other and connecting with other fans from around the world. RushCon has no official affiliation with Rush or Anthem Entertainment. As much as we wish we could, we have no way of getting anyone concert tickets or ways to meet the band.