Are There Really 261 Rush Tribute Bands?

There’s a great site on the Internet called Rush Tributes of the World that lists 261 Rush tribute bands, most of them in the United States, but Brazil, Canada, and the U.K. have a lot, too. Brazil, especially, is impressive. Probably one of every six bands is from there.

The 261 bands is an impressive number. A comparable site for the Rolling Stones only lists about 40 bands.

But we took a few minutes to look at each of the 261 bands in the database and the number isn’t quite that high.

Of the 261, 42 have been disbanded, 23 list no contact information (pretty tough to get asked to play if you don’t give people a way to contact you), and about half a dozen appear to be listed twice under different names. So, if you add those all up, you get 190 tribute bands. That’s still quite a number!

Of the 190 remaining bands, there are a few that probably stretch the definition of a tribute band in the sense that they’re actually a band. In a couple of cases, only one person is listed as a member, which I would imagine makes it hard to play a set. That said, there is one one-man band, Haste, in which the solo performer plays all the instruments on his two recorded pieces, “Closer to the Heart” and “New World Man.” I tried to listen to one of the pieces on his website but the recording didn’t come up. Maybe it’ll work for you.

At least one band is virtual. That is, it’s several musicians who apparently have recorded tracks, share them with their collaborators over the Internet, then mix them together to cover songs that way. Very appropriately, the band’s called Digital Men.

With many of the bands, you wonder how much they actually play together or if they ever played a gig anywhere. I say this because their listing includes little more than names and an e-mail address. The database includes a place for pictures and other information, and you’d think in today’s world of information overload, any band that played a gig somewhere would have pictures or a YouTube video or something of the event. Maybe they just haven’t gotten that first gig yet.

A number of bands, more than a dozen, I’d say, have nothing but a YouTube video or videos. This suggests they got together for a while, played a gig, posted the video, and that was that. Are they an ongoing entity? It’s hard to know.

If you eliminate those that just have a YouTube video and those that have no information except names and an e-mail address, then you’ve reduced the number even further, to somewhere in the 100-130 range. (Honestly, I didn’t count them all up.)

On that basis, it might be accurate to say there are maybe 115 tribute bands that are functioning, going concerns. I’m still impressed!

Of these, here are a few that I selected purely at random:

Shred Barchetta (Del Mar, Calif.) 

The Spirit of Rush (Uppingham, England) 

Dog Years (Porto Alegre, Brazil) 

Fly by Night (Toronto) 

Limelight (Hopewell, N.Y.) 

Zush (Japan) 

My hat’s off to Lerxstnj for putting together what, in the end, remains a great database.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

 More This and That.

~ by rvkeeper on November 4, 2011.

One Response to “Are There Really 261 Rush Tribute Bands?”

  1. Thanks for the mention! Please check out our Facebook page as well… -LerxstNJ (Steve)

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