30 July 2021 7:00 pm
LIVE ON OUR STAGE!
$99/Vehicle – Max 4 occupants. Includes Festival Seating.
YYC- Calgary’s Tribute to the Music of Rush, saw its beginnings take root in the mind of the band’s drummer Christian Dallaire (ex-BlindBox, currently of Krank’d), in the summer of 2019 when he decided to make good on forming what for him was a long-desired passion project: to put together an ensemble of some of the Calgary-area’s finest musicians to pay tribute to the music of what is arguably Canada’s greatest musical export- RUSH.
Dallaire sought established musicians who were equal not only in their passion for Rush’s extensive catalog of music, but in their drive and desire to recreate the band’s signature sound as painstakingly and faithfully as possible. Dallaire soon connected with guitarist and fellow Rush über geek Brian Winter (ex Sonic Addiction, Strangelove), who would not long after recruit former band mate from local bar band Strangelove Greg Kristianson (ex-Disposable Heroes, Junk, currently with Static) to helm bass duties. As the three began in earnest hammering out some of their favourite Rush tunes, an offer came in for the band to play a 45 minute slot for a local charity event YYC Rocks Against Bullying.
It became apparent that the band would very quickly need players to assume vocal and keyboard duties, if only for this one-off event- enter John Sinclair (Big Yellow Van, Police Squad, Pink 4reud), vocalist and bassist extraordinaire, who Kristianson suggested would be a great fit for the band, having played with Sinclair in a number of projects over the prior decade. Rounding out the lineup would be Keith Campbell- Hope, master skinsman (Steve McQueen Band) and fellow disciple of Neil Peart with Dallaire; being a gifted multi-instrumentalist, Campbell-Hope would take on the role of deftly recreating the keyboard textures that would come to help define Rush’s signature sound.
With limited rehearsal, the band assembled a searing 45 minute set of Rush favourites, which they performed live on March 15th 2020- on the literal eve of widespread lockdowns enacted in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which brought life, as we all then knew it, to a screeching and very abrupt halt. Despite this not so minor setback, what was clear to the members was their collective passion and enthusiasm for recreating the music of Rush, not to mention the praise and accolades from the many in attendance for the band’s inaugural set, which spurred the group to move from pick-up-band to full-fledged project with plans for further and extensive live performances. The band would stick with its makeshift moniker “YYC”- a cheeky nod to the Rush instrumental “YYZ” (the airport code for Toronto’s Pearson International Airport) which also gives a nod to YYC’s Calgary roots.
Plans, of course, came nose-to-nose with the new realities of living amidst a global pandemic.
What to do to keep the momentum going?
Make a “quarantine video”!!
To keep themselves amused and engaged, the band set about recording respective individual video and audio tracks for the song “Freewill” from their respective quarters of isolation, which were then through the miracle of technology assembled by Brian and Christian and subsequently shared over social media and YouTube. Having garnered significant buzz and praise, the band would follow the Freewill video up with subsequent “quarantine” videos produced in a similar fashion, utilizing increasingly sophisticated and ambitious means to both accurately and faithfully re-create the Rush originals sonically, as well as provide some engaging and entertaining visual accompaniment to the audio tracks. Videos for “Digital Man”, “Fly By Night”, “Subdivisions”, “Red Barchetta”, and “Marathon” would be subsequently released, all to increased acclaim and enthusiasm.
Now, with the global engine slowly roaring back to life, and people the world over ready to engage in life which resembles some semblance of pre-pandemic “normal”, YYC- Calgary’s Tribute to the Music of Rush is primed and ready to take its show to live venue settings everywhere, faithfully re-creating the spirit and sound of the music of Rush from across the band’s career-spanning catalog of 19 studio albums.