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Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage CD (album) cover

BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.66 | 226 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Let me preface the review by saying that I like this documentary quite a bit, especially since Rush was one of the first bands that I ever deeply got into (and one of the very few bands I've seen live). BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE tells as in depth of a story of a very well respected, yet not-quite-mainstream band as a two-and-a-half hour documentary can.

The very early history is discussed with great care and detail, and by early history, I mean snippets of the childhoods of the three Rush men. The early history stuff is what I'm most attracted to on this film simply because most of the information was new to me the first time I saw this. For example, Geddy and Alex visit their first gigging sites, and there is footage of Neil playing in bands before he joined Rush. A brief synopsis of the remaining items covered including ''Working Man'' first breaching into rock radio, Rutsey leaving the band and Peart joining, the CARESS OF STEEL experiment, the negative press Rush got, the complexity of HEMISPHERES, the shift to electronic music, the hiatus period, and the number of people Rush influenced.

The first problem I have with BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE is the vast number of musicians that have taken influence from Rush. It's great that there are so many fans of Rush that happened to be in massive bands of their own, but there are simply too many of them. Danny Carey of Tool and Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society appear in what are equivalent to cameos. It's great that we get Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Trent Reznor (NIN), Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and ever South Park co-creator Matt Stone appearing, but their commentary comes of as little more than fandom. Rush actually DID get a couple of fans' interviews into the film, both of which are actually quite interesting to me for some strange reason. The second problem I have with the film is Jack Black. I know a lot of people like his comedy style, but I never found it to be that interesting; his comedy here seems like buzzkill, being neither funny nor relevant (at least from my perspective), and it makes me want to find the mute button.

BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE is a no-brainer item for Rush fans to have, and those with a general interest in hard rock, heavy metal, or (for purposes of PA) prog rock ought to put this on a wish list. It is bloated with guests, but there are enough interviews of the band, producer Terry Brown and manager Ray Danniels to balance things out. I am wary about giving a high rating to a documentary, but the depth, adequate music breaks and a few really heart-felt moments make me believe that BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE is one of the best documentaries about a band that I've ever seen.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |

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