Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

Directed by:
Sam Dunn
Scot McFadyen

Written by:
Scot McFadyen
Sam Dunn
Mike Munn

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Rated: Unrated | Runtime 107 | AKA: Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

Susan Stepple / Attryculious
Video Jerks Customer

REVIEW: I have to admit that I came to "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage" knowing almost nothing about Rush. Of course, I was aware of the song, "Tom Sawyer", but other than that I was a complete neophyte. I thought maybe my unfamiliarity with the group might allow me to judge this documentary without sentimentality.

Firstly, my eyes filled with the most glorious illuminated colors. It was as if I was returning from a day of fishing near my village, only to be blinded by the sun reflecting in the cool waters that had just provided me with my fishy bounty.

The movie starts right in the beginning, giving us a look into the humble beginnings of Geddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib) and Alex Lifeson (Alexandar Zivojinovich) in suburban Toronto, Canada. The band even visits the location of their first performance (a church basement). The group continues in an upward trajectory through endless touring, losing their original drummer, John Rutsey, and gaining a new one, Neil Peart.

We had a grain mill outside my village, where the women would bring wheat and flax for milling. For many years, the process of turning grain to flour was slow and tedious. One day, a traveler from a far away land saw how we milled our grains and offered to improve our mill in exchange for food and lodging. The village elders thought upon it, thinking perhaps the traveler was a shapeshifter, looking to steal our women to breed more shapeshifters with. Finally, they decided to allow the traveler to improve our mill. His improvements to our mill were subtle, but did allow grain to be milled more briskly and with less waste. Although the elders had the traveler killed before he could turn into an eagle and fly away, I think his opportune appearance greatly improved our lives, much like the arrival of Neil Peart improved Rush’s

The group finds newfound confidence with Peart as main lyricist, finally fighting off the pleas of their own record company to stop making epic-length songs and to be more "mainstream". This is when the group hits its stride, making a series of albums that are still seen as rock classics even today.

At the same time, the bassist/singer, Geddy Lee becomes entranced by the alchemy of sounds provided by the synthesizer. Much like the witch woman who lived in the glittering cave in the low, dark mountains beyond the line of foreboding, the synthesizer drew Lee into its dark, spiny clutches and cause much unrest and many a furrowed brow within Rush.

The group eventually resolves their musical disagreements and soldier forth, only to suffer a great personal loss when drummer Neil Peart loses his daughter and wife within the span of a year. After an extended period of mourning and reflection, the group re-emerges stronger than before.

I remember as a small boy, my father, who also was a fisherman by trade said unto me. "The complexities of the world are made minute by the comparison of the complexities of the heart". I find that the sojourn of this merry band of minstrels to be fleet of foot and their longevity could only be possible due to the proper balance of their bodily humors. I give them salute.

The Blu-Ray is packed with a healthy amount of bonus features, such as deleted scenes and several live performances spanning their entire career.

We both highly recommend renting "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage"

Susan Stepple is a long-time Video Jerks customer. She is a spiritual medium who channels Attryculious, the spirit of a 35,000-year-old fisherman from Atlantis. Attryculious teaches seminars on personal growth at the Dusty Shelf Paperback Xchange on Sunday afternoons.

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