Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, premiered on VH1 plus VH1 Classic Saturday night featuring Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart. This documentary spanned 2.5 hours (including commercials), discussing the history of the iconic band, using home movie footage; studio and concert footage; old photographs; interviews with band members, other musicians, and those who’ve worked with this group. Sam Dunn with Scot McFadyen directed Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. Fans of classic rock will get a smorgasbord of quality music throughout the film.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Features Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, and Gives Lots of Insights to Those Fans Not Familiar with the Band’s History
How many fans of classic rock music are there who enjoy bands like Rush, but don’t really know that much about the members? For those folks especially, this documentary opens the eyes on this band’s humble beginnings, where they had to play at high school functions and a church basement for peanuts, to their rise as one of rock’s greatest bands with a real hard-core following. One interviewee quipped during the film, “Rush fans are like NASCAR fans.”
The interviews with band members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart on Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage give insight into these musicians plus their ups and downs both professionally and personally along with their artistic vision. Neil Peart addresses the perception that he’s not “fan-friendly”, and the aftermath of his daughter’s passing was even focused on. Former bandmate John Rutsey is discussed, too. Other thoughts and remembrances on the band elicit more insight and even humor.
None of the current bandmates were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Lee had parents who escaped the Holocaust (his father died when he was 12). One moment that stands out in Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is old footage of Alex Lifeson arguing with his parents about finishing high school. When Rush toured with KISS, Gene Simmons quipped about how shocked he was that the group wouldn’t wholly partake in the pleasures of the flesh. By the time Rush had recorded 2112, the group thought they’d be pretty much out of the rock ‘n’ roll spotlight (but on their terms). But this album saved them from oblivion and gave them the creative freedom they so much desired.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Is Riveting and Engaging Throughout
The mix of great-sounding concert and studio footage in both color and black and white as well as the reflections of other musicians who’ve been influenced by the band’s creations makes for an insightful and riveting documentary that chronicles a nice slice of rock history. Fans who hang on and analyze every chord of Rush music will get insights into the hows and whys of the released tunes. The cinematography of Martin Hawkes and editing by Mike Munn keeps this film riveting and nicely-paced. This band of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart sounds good no matter what decade they’re recording in.
For more information on future showings of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, go to the websites of VH1 and VH1 Classic. The DVD set is scheduled for release on June 29.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, June 26, 2010, VH1/VH1 Classic