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5 stars With the release of this DVD I had high expectations which were created by all of the critical acclaim this film received. Never the less I am pleased to report that my expectations were exceeded. The DVD is presented in XIV parts and each takes the viewer in chronological order beginning with the childhoods of Geddy, Alex, and Neil and ending with the Snakes and Arrows tour. The Documentary employs many big names such as Jack Black, Gene Simmons and Mike Portnoy to name a few. They share there thoughts and commentary throughout the film. The Documentary contains lots of great live footage of the band throughout there career. It also has some great home videos of the members. This brings me to my one dislike, or rather disappointment with the film and that is its lack of insight into the lives of the band members. I would have liked to see more about their personalities and such. However this does not greatly diminish the exceptional quality and seamless production of this must see documentary. 5 Stars!
Report this review (#289293)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars I'm a Rush fan, no doubt, no wonders, no nothing, I love them, period. Just said that:

First: A very funny movie!

Second: Sam Dunn really knows how to make documentaries, once I liked Metal: A Headbanger's Journey I was pretty sure he was a right choice to show Rush like they deserved in this Beyond the Lighted Stage.

Third: Affirm and shows to the world that Rush is one of the greater, interesting and full of integrity bands that showed its face on this Planet.

A perfect movie for this July 13, the 'Rock Day'.

I think this few words can't shown exactly how I loved to see this doc and I'm pretty sure I'll see it at least dozen times again, but I hope my 5 stars show how I love it!!

Report this review (#290199)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, who knew there's was a bit of Rush in so many bands?

Metallica, Pantera, Skid Row, Primus, Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Dream Theater, Nine Inch Nails, Kiss and Tenacious D all pay respect to Rush in the movie. Because, it's a movie. A real movie, shot like a movie with actors like a movie. The documentary side is so well brought with humor and fantastic montage that we feel more like watching a real movie than a biopic.

I like: the emphasis on their youth and the Toronto scene, the scenes with their own parents (funny), the lessons on being who you are and the fact that being an outcast or a nerd is your god given right (about bloody time somebody say something). One nice touch is the moderate emphasis on Peart's tragedies; spending too much time on the subject would've burden the movie.

I watched many biopics, and let me tell you that Some kind of Monster, Metal the Headbanger Journey or The Genesis Songbook pales in comparison to this.

I dislike: not talking or overlooking albums that could be dear to your heart (Roll the Bones, Grace Under Pressure or Farewell to Kings).

Hey, when Billy Corgan, Jack Black, Gene Simmons, Les Claypool, Sebastian Bach, Mike Portnoy, Kirk Hammett and Trent Reznor are saying that YOU generally means that you kinda made it pretty good into history.

Absolutely fascinating, done with obvious professionalism and good humor...even if you're not a fan.

Report this review (#290562)
Posted Friday, July 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I think, irrespective you are a prog freak or hard rock freak, I am sure in some way you like most of Rush music. As in my case, I am not a die hard fan of Rush but I always love their music and I always enjoy when I play most of their albums especially those the 70s and 80s. I have not seen Rush on stage by my eyes in a real concert. But I have seen many of Rush video / DVD concerts from the classic Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure as well as the later ones like Rush In Rio. Yes, I enjoy all of them but I am no longer eager to watch the live DVD again from Rush. Not that I don't want to, but more on predictability of the live recorded video because I have seen many of them,

The latest DVD by Rush titled 'Beyond The Lighted Stage' is totally different from their previous release as this is basically the documentary film capturing the band's journey from their inception right way through the recent years. I was so excited to watch the DVD especially with its tagline 'The band you know, the story you don't'. What a great tagline! I had a chance to watch this DVD last Sunday with other 8 people of my prog mates right here in Jakarta Indonesia as the DVD ordered by my colleague just arrived Tuesday last week. We watched the DVD in a mini home theater studio powered with great sound system with large screen. We only played Disc One of the package and did not have a chance to play the second disc because it's too late in the evening and some of my progmates would have to work on Monday. It's really a lot of fun watching th DVD with other people, prog rock lovers. (By the way, we had a regular gathering which we call it as Progring - progressive gathering).

The story that finally we know...

I have set my mind right from the beginning that what I was going to watch was a movie, and NOT a live concert DVD. I did not expect the songs would be played in its entirety because it would emphasize on the story of the band. But the live footage make the movie mre attractive to enjoy. I am impressed with the fact that the story really started when the members of the band was in a school. It's basically the meeting of two guys who in the future would be long-live friends: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. I reall enjoy seeing the beginning history of the band as the two guys were basically not accepted by their parents to build their career in music. Geddy and and Alex kept trying and started to recruit John Rustey sitting at the drum stool. The good part is that the parents of Alex Lifeson and also Geddy Lee were interviewed as well.

The movie tries to focus on how the friendship of Geddy an Alex grew up steadily and there was an emotional bond on how they shared the same taste in music. As John Rustey got some health problem finally he was replaced by Neil Peart ? a shy guy who played as drummer in other band. Since then the band grew significantly and landed its popularity in radio program. The movie depicts clearly on how the band started to take control of their music without the involvement of the label who had put their trust to the band.

Overall, I am impressed with this movie and as result of watching this movie, I kept playing Rush music. I believe you will find yourself entertained watching this movie. There are many excellent segments throughout the movie especially their long vacuum period due to Peart's personal problem with the loss of his love ones. Buy this DVD! Keep on proggin' ...keep on RUSHin' ..!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#291404)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#291908)
Posted Sunday, July 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Behind The Camera Eye..."

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of band DVD's. They typically consist of the same old thing: a concert or two, backstage tomfoolery and some tired-ass extras.

But this is RUSH we're talking about, so you know it's not gonna be anything standard. The film offers a rather intrguing glimpse into the lives of the performers; stuff you don't see every day, including school photos, early performances (whoever had the camera at that first gig was watching history in the making), and even some clips with Rutsey. In fact, the stuff you see here with him is NOT anything you can easily find on YouTube. So this simply lends credence to my idea this was and is a carefully thought-out package.

The movie as a whole is beautifully shot, and even the ancient, grainy footage of them still rings true with a powerful clarity. Dirk and Lerxst knew damn well what they were doing even back then, and as it stands, they still do.

The main DVD takes the viewer on a journey from pre-Mercury signings up to the "Snakes..." era. That's sweet in itself, but what is truly wonderful about the movie is that it gives you an in-depth look at Peart's mental machinery, which is something not often talked about. He's a brilliant lyricist and drummer, but until this came out, I don't think anyone really got the gist of just HOW smart he is.

What's even cooler about it is the discussion of the period of time between "Test" and "Vapor Trails". "VT" is considered by many I know(myself included) to be Rush's heaviest, rawest and angriest record (and most controversial). In fact, I would put it at number 1 on my list, right above "Moving Pictures". But that's a story for another time.

Regarding that era, the interviewer manages to coax out the band's emotions and thoughts following the deaths of Jackie and Selena. For a band as generally closed-off as they are, I can only say that this must not have been a terribly easy task. Neal seems to be in a sort of comfort zone, if you will, but even then, one can see the emotions and old pain that still courses across his face.

The only things I didn't really like about the movie are: Well, Jack Black for one. I think he's a douche, no matter how talented he might be. Instead of sticking to why he thinks Rush are so popular, he goes on an improptu (and inappropriate) rant about "rocket sauce". WTF is that? Then again, he seems to have the IQ of a bottle of mustard, so whatever... The other thing I didn't like about it was that, for me, it was simply too damn short. This could have been twice or three times the length, and I still would not have gotten enough. Then again, I am a total Rush-ophile.

So, there you have it. A wonderfully cohesive DVD trip brought to you, the unassuming fan, by one of the GREATEST bands ever.

Report this review (#293305)
Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
5 stars Really isn't much to say about this.

In short, this DVD is great. So much information, really cool stories, and just a spectacular coverage of the Rush legacy, which was apparently much more than I thought. Hidden stresses, conflicts, and intricacies of running this growing giant are easily pointed out in really great interviews with parents, fans, and the earliest supporters. Really great sample videos of really early performances make it a must too. Honestly, this album got me even more into Rush than ever before. I was basically a Rush noob before this! So much great info. Very, very highly recommended. 5+ stars.

Report this review (#350199)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#438612)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars Prog legends Rush finally given credit in brilliant Rockumentary.

"Beyond the Lighted Stage", a fantastic tour de force of Canada's finest power trio, is irresistible. The band take us on a journey from their early roots to the high impact tours of the 80s, right through to present day live shows. The live performances are only sporadically sprinkled in the movie as it is more concerned with the band's opinions and their influences on rock artisits, many of which are interviewed with gushing praise over the trio. We hear how Peart struggled with personal loss, and how Geddy and Alex met and how their friendship escalated into an unbreakable bond that has never been broken. The early years are of particular interest as the band seem to be emotionally overcome revisiting their past. The film takes the viewer through the memories and it is a powerfully moving experience. There is brutal honesty that draws the viewer in and provides a true picture of the rock scene with all its glory and power, and the inevitable disappointments and betrayals that occur from those that exploit the product, not in favour of the band's interests. The fiery razor editing is exceptional, it really is a polished production, from the general music choices to the exceptional juxtaposition of visual and commentary.

There are some real gems of information here and there that even the most stalwart Rush addict may not have known. It is great to hear the personal life stories and the best parts of tours are featured, with loads of adoring fan footage, as is the norm in these rockumentaries. We hear from fans, families, roadies and producers - little people to the giants of rock all give an opinion on how important the band has become over the years. There are comments from Jack Black, always a scream, and metal icons such as Alice Cooper, Kirk Hammett, Mike Portnoy and Gene Simmons who have their own take on how influential the band is for them. The quintessential Rush albums are mentioned chronologically and certain songs and gigs that empowered the band to super stardom. Time does not allow every album to be mentioned in detail but at least it whets the appetite for newcomers to the band, God bless their souls, and it is a potent reminder for those who have grown up with their powerhouse prog rock since the 70s.

The special features include a plethora of concert footage, rare takes and a lot of fun goodies to revel in such as pre gig warmups, Rush Trekkies and dinner with Rush at a Hunting Lodge, fly on the wall style. There are extended sections of interviews unseen in the movie and some various humorous anecdotes as can be expected from Rush. The menus look very special and the overall packaging is glorious. Look no further if you want to explore the enigmatic Rush machine.

Report this review (#500563)
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage is the documentary of the band, spanning their entire career, from how the band got started to where they are now. This is an absolute classic for a Diehard Rush Fan. Rush is my favorite band of all time! I've been a Rush fan since I was 8 years old. I'm 17, about to be 18 in a week from now, so that'll make it a 10 year anniversary in which I've been with Rush no matter what they put out. Their 3rd studio album, Caress Of Steel, was considered a disappointment by the record company, which led to a series of concerts, named "Down The Tubes Tour". It was a very depressing time for the band, for the fans too. It was hard to find road dates and they were performing in smaller areas. People thought this would be the end of Rush, but in reality, you know it's just the beginning, as they flipped the script on their follow up, 2112, which sold 3x platinum, 3 million copies sold. In 1996, Rush released Test For Echo. The band underwent a very sad tragedy. Neil Peart's daughters, they passed away. The band took a 6 year break to recover from these very sad tragedies. Test For Echo, I thought this would literally be the end of Rush. they went through very hard times, tragedies. But in 2002, Rush returns, with their follow up, Vapor Trails. To be honest, I thought on Test For Echo, I found out that Neil's daughters passed away. And that, I thought that would be the end. It obviously wasn't, as they released their follow up, Vapor Trails. I'll say this: Rush has went through some very hard times. What did they do? they didn't give up and they stole wrote music no matter what. In fact, Rush is an inspiration. You see why Rush is my favorite band of all time. and as a matter of fact, they are still at it, they made some new ones such as Snakes and Arrows and upcoming album, Clockwork Angels, which is to be released May 29, 2012. I'm ready, their upcoming album, Clockwork Angels, is a highly anticipated release. It's been 5 years without a Rush studio album, because of the 2 legs of the Time Machine Tour, one during the Summer of 2010, and during the start of Spring 2011. But now it's 2012 and it's counting down. I'm ready to hear the album. I've only heard two songs from the album, Caravan and BU2B (Brought Up To Believe), as they were played during the Time Machine Tour, as they played Moving Pictures in its entirity for the first time. Rush - Beyond The Lighted Stage is a classic for a Diehard Rush Fan. Rush seriously deserves the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. they were qualified for so many years, but they haven't inducted them. I consider it the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, there's no good bands in the Hall of Fame. bands that are in: Metallica, Van Halen, Run DMC and a lot others. Bands that aren't in it: Rush, Def Leppard, Dream Theater, Anthrax, Iron Maiden and a lot other awesome bands. C'mon, These awesome bands that I just stated really deserve the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! not inducting those bands is disrespect and I won't put up with that. ever. I will use force to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induct them.
Report this review (#696404)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best documentary on the subject of a rock band. Not a live show with bonus commentary, just the story told by the main persons involved. Period.

It's emotional, endearing and can touch both fans and unlighted alike. Even my mom can enjoy this movie.

I can't recommend it more. For the fan it's so emotionally threatening that you can really feel the tears in your eyes when Rutsey is gone, the market failure of Caress of Steel and the redemption of 2112. Not mentioning their most difficult time on the passing of Neil's wife and daughter. Being a father and a passionate husband I really can't imagine how someone can recover from such terrible losses. Maybe the anglo-american sensibility and the fortitude of the man involved can explain it, but for my latin-Brazilian feelings that is such an unthinkable path to cross what makes their return and Peart's survival so great.

Along with The Beatles Anthology (although its lenght will fright the non-afficcionado) and The Pink Floyd and Syd Barret Story this is the only documentary of a rock band that I think can be appreciated equally for music and non-music fans. It's a shame that so many great bands never got the treatment that Rush received in this work. Congratulations for the directors. 5 stars easilly.

Report this review (#806887)
Posted Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the early eighties I listened to Rush for the first time with a song called "The Spirit of the Radio", and I didn`t like it very much. It was until 1983 when a friend lent me their two official live albums which were available at that time ("All the World is a Stage" and "Exit...Stage Left") that I particularly really appreciated Neil Peart`s drums playing as I was learning to play the drums then. That friend also lent me other albums from the band which at that time I liked, and I also bought thier "Signals" album that year, an album which I still like but I don`tplay it very much these days. By the time of the release of their "Power Windows" album I really lost interest in the band and I only watched their videos on TV without being interested to buy their albums. Anyway, I still consider that this band is a very good band, even if I don`t agree with the thematic of some of their lyrics. So, I recently watched to this documentary to learn more from the history of this band. It is a good documentary for a long history that this band has (more than 40 years of playing as a band with few conflicts; I think that it is really amazing for bands like this to do that). I think that this band is now far from my musical tastes, but it is good anyway. The documentary has some very good interviews, and shows that Neil Peart has been a very important member in that band, not only writing the lyrics but also writing the concepts for some albums (which, as I mentioned before, sometimes I don`t like them very much). He is maybe one of the best drummers in Rock music. He has survived some really hard times in his life (which are mentioned in this documentary) with the solidarity of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and it is very good that the band is still working after all these many years. Well. It is a good documentary, which is similar to other documentaries that other bands have produced. So, I consider this documentary more dedicated to the long time fans of the band.
Report this review (#1019632)
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 | Review Permalink

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