Lotus Land At Higher Ground February 8, 2014
Words by Tim Lewis.
I had a good time seeing music last night. I got out of work early, took a bus to Shelburne, and had dinner with Mom, Dad and my brother Ken. After that, Ken and I headed to Higher Ground to check out Rush cover band Lotus Land. Usually, I’m not that into cover bands, but many of my friends have been raving about them, and I though it would be an easy way to drag Ken out to a show. We arrived just after doors opened and chatted with some of Burlington’s coolest music people. We hung out with Mike Wilhide and his brother, Pat Cook, and all of the guys from Elephants of Scotland. Sadly, Rich Haskell could not be there as he was in New York celebrating the birthday of Scott Fultz by Seeing Cold Sweat. My expectations of the show were pretty high, but I tried to not let it influence me, and just listen. Shortly after 8, the band casually took the stage and set up. The opening guitar salvo signaled The Spirit Of Radio, and we were off. As the vocal kicked in, I was momentarily stunned. I expected them to sound close, but Chris Nelson’s voice was scarily dead on. Guitarist Bob Chartrand spiderwebbed his way through the solos and drummer Mark Dalton came as close to Neil Peart as you could hope. While the whole night lacked a little something (the fact that they weren’t Rush), it was so close that it was easy to wrap yourself in the veil of illusion and fly with it. Much of the 2+ hour set was taken from Signals/Moving Pictures/Grace Under Pressure/Power Windows era. Songs like The Body Electric, Big Money, Analog Kid (with that great surging guitar riff) sounded great, rocked hard, and were fun to sing along with. Red Barchetta, early in the set, brought me along for the ride. The Camera Eye was enchanting from first note to last. They played the hits like Tom Sawyer and Subdivisions (though the sound guy kept not turning up the guitar microphone for the title line, it was almost there for the last one). They had the drummer do an intense solo, that I think was from A Show Of Hands. Ringing cymbals brought forth a killer YYZ. The crowning achievement of the evening was a spot on Xanadu. It was truly majestic! They closed with a rocking Working Man, and threw in a little bit of Roundabout in the late part, but they did not make it off the stage before an encore was demanded. They saddled back up to the instruments and started Overture. They let it run through The Temples of Syrinx then morphed it into the Grand Finale, and that was that. It was obvious that the band loved the music and loved playing it. More importantly, they had me rocking from first note to last. I’m still more excited to see bands play their own music, but if you are going to be in a cover band, this is the way to do it!
This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.