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Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage CD (album) cover




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4.67 | 275 ratings

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4 stars Just between us...

To cut to the chase, it's an old Rush fan's dream. It's the kind of documentary a rock fan longs for, one where the band is personally involved and the story told by them, their entourage, and their families/friends. The film takes us back to the beginning and gives us those rare, intimate views into the lives of the boys from childhood. We learn that Alex and Geddy were friends from a very young age, that they grew up together. They take us back to their old stomping grounds and the church hall where they played their first gig. They explain in their own words why John left the band and that first magical jam with Neil. We hear from their parents about the doubts that parents have---in fact they even include an argument between Alex and his folks at the dinner table over rock and roll, which must date to the early 70s. (Why they had a video camera rolling for that is something I couldn't figure out, but they did.)

We get commentary from the likes of Jack Black and Billy Corgan and others, explaining why they love this band. There is conversation about touring, the business side of things, and fashion (or in Rush's case the lack of fashion sense.) We find out why Neil is somewhat anti-social in that he will not do the "meet and greet" thing with fans. He is quite introverted when it comes to the whole fame thing. Poignant recollections are given about the loss of his wife and daughter and how he coped with that period of his life. We are finally told just how truly nice and normal they are, and how genuinely nerdy. I think it was Gene Simmons who said that while all of the other musicians were out chasing women after the shows, the members of Rush would be tucked away in their hotel rooms by 9pm reading a book. And then there is the music. They walk us through the story of their albums in chronological order, skimming briefly over some, but providing some good commentary on the best work.

Of course the biggest problem is that there is never enough time. We want more stories and we certainly want more music. They do their best to rectify this with generous bonus footage and live clips, including two tracks from 1974 with Rutsey. But the big cherry on top of the cake and the reason I bought this was to have the live 1979 performance of "La Villa Strangiato" on DVD. An amazing performance it is---no silly frills or stage tricks, just the band giving a raw, straight forward attack of this classic. All in all it is over 3 hours of Rush stories and music, and completely essential to every Rush fan. The packaging and booklet are notable for providing some very cool still photos from the early years. I commend Rush for allowing their fans to have a real inside look into their private lives, something not all bands are willing to do.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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