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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The Rushians

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rushians

Band Members

Erik Masselink
Vocals

Ronald ten Bos
Guitar

Edwin Boer
Bass

Martin Platenkamp
Keys

Richard Zopfi
Drums

The Rushians: Beyond the Lighted Stage

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

Ronald: We did not know each other until 2 years ago. I am a Rush fan since 1974. I grew up with Rush. Alex lifeson was my virtual teacher. I play in a rock band called “Enorm”. 2 years ago I wanted to start a new band to play only Rush. I advertised on the internet and met Richard Zopfi, "The professor on the drum kit". We started searching for other musicians to join us. At that time Richard was playing together with Edwin Boer in "Rush Mania", also an occasional Dutch Rush tribute band. They asked me to replace the guitar player for one gig. This was a huge experience for me. So I started looking for a singer and keyboard player. Happily we found Erik Masselink on vocals and Martin Platenkamp on keys . And so The Rushians were born!

Erik: Since my youth Rush is one of my favorite bands and I'm also a huge heavy metal fan. When Ronald called me and asked, “Can you sing the vocal parts from Geddy Lee?” I had to say yes even if it was only for the challenge. And here we are! We've managed to play almost everything except for some parts from the very early work 1977/78, depends on what key it is played in. It sounds like a Heavy Geddy, hope you like it.

Martin: When Ronald asked me to join The Rushians, I did not have to think very long. I enjoy the process of creating sounds and see it as a challenge to recreate the synth sounds Rush used in their songs.

Edwin:I have been a Rush fan since the early eighties. I have seen every Rush show in Holland except Pinkpop in 1979. Rush music has been a part of my life for over 40 years. The 'story-telling' bass lines of Geddy have always influenced my approach to the bass. It is my ambition not only to play the right notes reproducing Rush music, but also to try to put in the right energy and power. On some rare occasions, I think I am close...

Richard: After asking Ronald to help us out with a Rush Mania gig in 2015 (which turned out to be the last gig for that band), we all noticed that the chemistry was there. Rush needs to be played by determined and dedicated musicians who are fans themselves but also feel and understand the concept and sounds of Rush. So Edwin and I felt privileged and delighted for being asked by Ronald for The Rushians and make an immediate re-launch as a Rush tribute band. There were people who just couldn't believe The Rushians did their first gig after just two rehearsals, not knowing our overall experience in general and the Rush-related background in another band of some members. We left it that way, LOL! It was good for the buzz around this new band "outta nowhere". I believe that playing Rush songs makes every musician better, the stakes are always high and it takes discipline, focus and guts to execute songs like La Villa Strangiato, Xanadu, Jacob's Ladder, Marathon etc. As a drummer, I literally needed to lock myself up for many, many hours to even understand what Neil Peart is playing. Years of metal and thrash drumming weren't enough for me to "just" pick up all the crazy patterns and musical turns, such as the intro of The Spirit of Radio, the jazz-fusion section of LVS or all the many different time signatures in that one song Jacob's Ladder... I really had to study the music and although being a Rush fan since 1979/1980, with every song I learned to drum my appreciation for Neil Peart kept growing and growing! He is such an incredible GENIUS and my life time inspiration!

holland

Mary Jo: How did you pick the band's name?

It was Edwin's idea and we liked it. THE RUSHIANS ARE COMING !!!

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

Ronald: PRS ELECTRIC, imported from America in 1991, a Gibson U2 1990, an Eastman T486 RB hollow body for the classical Rush sound. My effects come out of pod HD 500 X and I use a Koch Kc 50 tube amplifier and bogner 4x12 cabinet.

Martin: I use the combination of a Nord Wave and an Access Virus TI keyboard. For some sequences I also use a Macbook.

Richard: I play a 30 year old double bass Pearl World Series with a smoky chrome finish. It looks a little bit like Chromey!

Mary Jo: What's your Rush preshow ritual?

Ronald: Having Fun and drinking Beer

Erik: Having fun and biting fingernails. I've played a lot of gigs in my life but playing for the most dedicated fans in the world always makes me nervous.

Martin: Just enjoy!

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

Ronald: Looking for balance. Build up to more bigger Rush "hits."

Erik: That's not always easy. Everyone has his own wish-list with his favourite Rush songs, so we try not to kill each other in the process.

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

Ronald: If the vocals are too high for Erik, some parts of the very early Rush, we are not able to play them. Otherwise we are able to play all Rush songs.

Erik: Some songs are a real challenge and take a lot of time to make it our own but for now we manage. Fortunately, there are five of us!

Richard: I marvel at the way we've managed to play certain songs, such as Jacob's Ladder, Marathon and Farewell to Kings. Personally, years ago they would have seemed almost impossible to play, but our years together have brought confidence in the sum of us as a band. Furthermore... technically, we love the entire Rush catalogue but making a song sound really convincing also depends on the right sounds. That might influence our choice of songs. We also love to receive feedback from the audience. It makes you aware of different perspectives that might have value for the future.

Mary Jo: Who has the best piece of Rush memorabilia??

Edwin: Being a regular customer of our local guitar shop, the staff there told me about the new bass Geddy had just ordered from them. When they shipped the bass, I suggested we send the ‘punch plate’ to Geddy's technician along with a self-addressed envelope, and a few weeks later it returned with Geddy’s autograph!

punch

Mary Jo: Tell us about your upcoming show.

We really look forward to play at this year's Dutch Rush Fan Meeting in Utrecht, right in the middle of Holland! From that we will play more gigs all over the country.

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Mary Jo: Have any of you been to RushCon?

Our Dutch Rush Fan Event organizer Alex van Loon did attend RushCon in 2015 during the R40 tour in Toronto together with some other Dutch fellow fans. They were all very excited by the well-organized program by the RushCon team! The features and excursions were very enjoyable and interesting, the like-minded atmosphere was great! Nice to mention that a Dutch fan won the first raffle prize (Hugh Syme book) and we've got a brief appearance in the Time Stand Still DVD at RushCon!

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Upcoming Shows

Dutch Rush Fan Event 2017!

Organized by a group of Rush fans, The Rushians will celebrate the 39th anniversary of Hemispheres by performing on Sunday, October 29, at the EKKO venue in the Dutch province Utrecht. The Dutch alternative prog rock band PROFUNA OCEAN is also performing at this event.

Click here for tickets

concert

Songs/Videos

Xanadu

Jacob's Ladder

Madrigal

Links

The Rushians on Facebook






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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.