What to do when Rolling Stone tags your favorite band as music’s No. 1 guilty pleasure? Celebrate. “We know we’re nerds, and we embrace it,” Jillian Maryonovich says. “People play fantasy football—that’s nerdy. We listen to Rush.”
- June 24, 8 p.m., $65-$167. MGM Grand Garden Arena, 891-7777
- RushCon Kickoff party, June 24 after the show, $20, Hard Rock Cafe (Strip), 733-7625. Convention, June 25, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., $50, Hooters Casino Hotel, 739-9000
Canada’s polarizing power-trio returns to Las Vegas Friday night for its fourth tour stop in five years. And Maryonovich, who lives in Chicago, will be back on the Strip for the concert and its daylong afterparty, annual fan gathering RushCon. “It’s normally in Toronto, since that’s where the band is from,” explains Maryonovich, RushCon’s creative director and convention hostess. “But Rush didn’t play Toronto this year, so we thought Vegas would make a nice alternative. A lot of people fly in for the Vegas shows anyway, so it makes a lot of sense.”
RushCon kicks off right after Friday’s MGM Grand show, at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Rush games, Rush songs and Rush videos are on the itinerary, but mostly RushCon is about getting together with fellow zealots capable of debating which part of “Natural Science” is best. “It’s a cool way of kicking back with people you have a lot in common with,” Maryonovich says. “But we don’t take it super seriously. No one will be asked to explain the origin of 2112 to get in.”
The bones continue rolling at Hooters Casino Hotel on Saturday, when RushCon hits full stride with game show-style competitions, a 3D photo exhibit synced to music and a collectibles auction benefiting the Japanese Red Cross. Food will be served, though that won’t be Rush themed. “There aren’t any Hold Your Fire meatballs,” Maryonovich laughs. Maybe next year?