Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn

BY Keith CarmanPublished Jul 6, 2010

Peeling away the layers of rock's self-proclaimed "biggest cult band," Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage endeavours to discover what has kept these Canadian progressive rock superheroes not only together, but relevant for the past four decades. Thanks to the adoring eye of Banger Films (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey), we are treated to a warm, friendly chronology of Rush's past, from the meeting of bassist Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson as children straight through until today. Yes, it's actually rather interesting and the Bangers do a wonderful job grasping every key moment in Rush's legacy throughout those years. Moreover, because of the band's (completed by drummer Neil Peart) relatively sober past, Dunn and McFadyen are able to eschew the standard format of highlighting dramatic occurrences in favour of working through exactly what makes the band tick. While we all come out the other side of that intense inspection minutely wiser, we are treated to an unusual saga of generally down-to-earth guys who made good on promises, never gave in and attained the levels of success generally reserved for those who do have myriad woes, wrong-doings and legal battles to counter their stardom. As expected with Rush's stature and their fans' ravenous collecting tendencies, the DVD better have some prime offerings, lest the legions tear everyone to bits. Given the inclusion of eight valuable deleted scenes and seven performances, including never-before-seen material with original drummer John Rutsey, circa 1974, the band's pre-gig warm-up routine, a candid dining experience between the trio, their thoughts on Hemispheres and some wince-inducing, fan-dedicated portions, we are not only exposed to rare sides of the band, but also some of their more personal moments not experienced in the film, giving these extras incredible merit.

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