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Beyond the Lighted Stage

  07/02/10 22:05, by , Categories: Music News, Bands, Review, Steven Rask , Tags: alex lifeson, beyond the lighted stage, film review, geddy lee, moving pictures, neil peart, rush, steven rask, time machine tour

A Film Review by Steven Rask

Success is often measured on different levels. However it may be measured, true success is a result of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. In 1974, a band of ordinary guys with extraordinary talent had just been signed to a record deal. They needed to replace their current drummer who was diagnosed with diabetes, because touring would have killed him. They found that drummer, and embarked on a career that most thought was doomed after their second album. 25 platinum albums, countless awards, and thousands of shows later, that band is still going, and this week released a film documenting a story of their success as the result of longevity, persistence, and uncompromising determination.

The band is RUSH. The film is called “Beyond the Lighted Stage.” The story, for some, is ordinary. For the devoted fans (an all-ages crowd consisting mostly of musicians) who filled the sold-out Hazard Center Theater in San Diego for an exclusive one-time showing, however, it was exciting. It was like the excitement of seeing your best pals on the big screen. There was laughter when KISS’s Gene Simmons described Rush as a bunch of freaks who sat in their hotel room reading books and watching TV, instead of partying like rock stars. There were tears when the band described the period when drummer and lyricist Neil Peart lost his daughter to a car accident, and his wife to cancer within the same year. There was cheering when musicians such as Mike Portnoy, Billy Corgan, Kirk Hammet, and even actor Jack Black gave accounts of how Rush had changed their lives both musically and personally.

The film chronicles the band’s successes and defeats, and depicts a passion that has stayed consistent for over 36 years, through criticism, doubt, and devastating personal tragedy. It also shows that Rush is a band whose members have never been the focus of tabloids, drug rehab, breakup/reconciliations or the common stigmas affixed to most rock bands. The film proves that a band who considers hard work, friendship and family more important than the music can still be successful on their own terms. In the words of Geddy Lee, the band’s bassist and vocalist,”I guess that’s why we’re the world’s biggest cult band… I’m not sure why they wanted to make a documentary about us, we’re actually pretty boring guys.” “We make each other laugh, and that’s important to us,” says Alex Lifeson, several times voted Best Guitarist in Rock. “We work hard at doing something that we feel is the most important thing in the world,” says Neil Peart. In turn, their constant hard work and determination takes care of that friendship, family and ordinary necessities.

The film became available on DVD June 29th, which is also the starting date for Rush’s aptly named, “Time Machine Tour,” where they will showcase many of their older songs, two brand-new cuts, and perform their most popular, Multi-Platinum album, Moving Pictures in its entirety. This “feel-good film” gives devoted fans a deeper insight into the band, and also gives new fans of all ages a reason to support the band, and see them succeed for years to come. After all, everyone admires success, especially the success of ordinary guys who make extraordinary music.

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*****(5.0)
Comment from: That one guy Steve knows. (Shaun)
That one guy Steve knows. (Shaun)
*****

I gotta see this one. Rush is a different kind of band, the music is there and it’s cool to hear them on the radio, but much like Pink Floyd, to truly “get” Rush listening to a whole album is a MUST. It’s like a form of mental masturbation when those synth sounds join in with the barrage of drums coming from the one and only Peart. 2112, Moving Pictures… All great albums from a great band.

Long Live RUSH. Hopefully this great band will be remembered in 2112. If by some miracle i’m still alive, you know what’ll still be cranking on my ipod. (264th generation)

07/02/10 @ 22:41
Comment from: Ron
Ron
*****

Great article. I have always liked RUSH but never considered myself a die-hard fan. But I will definitely go see this movie after reading this review.

07/03/10 @ 06:49
 

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