RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage – Review

My wife and I saw the RUSH documentary ‘RUSH: Behind the Lighted Stage’ last night, and man, oh man what a show.  I was glad that I went, and it exceeded all my expectations – a great documentary.

We saw it at the Rave theater in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The large theater room was about 2/3 filled.  I did not see a single person leave during the entire show – no bathroom breaks, no popcorn runs, nothing.  We were hanging on every word.  Including my wife, I think there were three women in the audience.  When it comes to RUSH, women mostly don’t seem to ‘get it’.  On the other hand, I am not sure that many of the men who were there were … ‘getting it’ if you know what I mean (RUSH is kind of nerd rock after all), which might also explain the lack of women in the audience.  At the end of the movie there was applause.  Real, mature, appreciative applause.

The movie follows the lives of the band members from the very beginning (I was born…) up to today.  You get a great feel for the personalities and character of each member.  There is an impressive amount of very early footage from their humble beginnings.  The balance of the talking and the music is just right, and I love how they would show some of the original lyric drafts during many of the songs.  Live concert footage and music video accompanies many of the songs.  What struck me most was what a genuine friendship and love these guys have for each other.  Also how willing they were to make fun of themselves – it was a very open, honest look inside.  The bad critical reviews, the horrible fashion sense, the (unfortunate?) synthesizer era, the geek/nerd perceptions were all there with no sense of defensiveness.

The endorsements of many rock celebrities was interesting to hear.  KISS, Metallica, Sebastian Bach, Jack Black, etc. all gave such insightful, genuine compliments and observations.  Jack Black seems like a true fan, as does Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), and Kirk Hamett (Metallica).  It was nice to see and hear this. 

Also this movie was quite funny.  The sense of humor of RUSH is very underrated.

There also seemed to be a subtle purpose to this documentary – get these guys in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  This was not a major part of the film, but the HofF snubbing of Rush was presented – almost like some quiet conspiracy at Rolling Stone to forever keep RUSH out.  Again, this was not overdone, just presented.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  If you missed it, I am sure you can view it through Netflix someday – I highly recommend it.

20 Responses to “RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage – Review”

  1. 1 Craig W. June 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I was planning on renting it later. Is it worth it to see it in the theatre?

  2. 2 Eric Nielson June 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    That is an interesting point. This to me is not that much of a visually striking film. More information and music. I think it would translate well on a TV screen.

    Also, I just learned it is going to be broadcast on VH1 in it’s entirety on June 26 at 9ET.

  3. 3 Richard June 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Saw it last night in Toronto. Great movie. Agree with your review, great sense of humour. A lot of laugh out loud moments 🙂

  4. 5 Jim J. June 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Saw it last night in Albany, NY (sold out show) and I absolutely loved it. Part of the theater experience was seeing it with so many other people who were so pumped up for it – it’s not about the quality of the visuals or the music (both of which were great), it’s about the experience of learning a ton of new stuff about a band I already loved, and doing it in a high-energy social atmosphere. See this film, it’s great.

  5. 6 Double D June 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Totally worth seeing in the Theater. I saw it last night in Seattle with my daughter. It was AWESOME! My daughter enjoyed it too! Rush Rules!! See you all at the shows this year! Yes, multiple shows!! BTW, Rush fans don’t need the rock n roll hall of shame; it is a sham anyway. Rush has built it reputation on touring and being the best players in the business. Sold out shows say it all!

  6. 7 Todd June 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I see it tonight in Portland Oregon! Cant wait- this band is part of my being since I first got hold of Chronicles and listened to those first three albums on the double cassette! How many times did I rewind and try to write the lyrics down… Caress of Steel…

    I have seen them many times at different points, the first show was the Permanent Waves Tour, the last this past year… they validate my place in time and make me feel young and alive.

    thanks for the article and my repsect goes out to Rush and their great fans.

  7. 8 Eric Nielson June 11, 2010 at 8:25 pm


    Good point about the social experience.

    Double D:

    Still touring and selling out the largest gigs. Not bad.


    Your welcome. 2112 is what got me hooked.

  8. 9 Dave C. June 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Ah yes, the great Canadian rockers.

    Today’s Tom Sawyer! He get’s high on you, and the space he invades, he get’s by on you.

    Cool music, eh?

  9. 11 Dave C. June 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Rush is in Salt Lake County later this summer.

  10. 12 Eric Nielson June 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Great Music for sure Dave. Hope you get to see them in SLC.

  11. 13 John Scott June 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    We went to the showing. I have been a Rush fan since 1975 . My son’s went also. the show was great. I lost my wife to Breast Cancer at age 46 about the same time Neil lost his wife. His books and Rush music helped me stay sane. We are going to buy the DVD and would tell every one to go out and see it.

  12. 14 John Scott June 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    We were also at the show at the Rave in Kalamazoo. What a small world. The first time I saw they were warm up to REO SPEEDWAGON. How things change.

  13. 15 Eric Nielson June 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Small world indeed John.

  14. 16 Carol June 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Seeing it tomorrow night in Nashville, TN! Rush is my all time favorite band. For several years they just about ruined all other music for me. Being one of the few women that “get it”, I LOVE going to the live shows…FOR ONCE THERE’S NO LINE AT THE WOMEN’S RESTROOM!!!! 🙂

  15. 17 Eric Nielson June 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    HA! Enjoy the show Carol.

  16. 18 Sezme July 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Palladia (Dish Network) had it and thanks to a friend I got it recorded. I have watched it three times because there is so much info packed in the film. I learned more from this than years of reading interviews. I will be taking my son, whos fave song is Subdivisions, to the 8-2010 concert in Denver, CO. I will most likely have tears in my eyes looking down at him enjoying the show. Hope it will be one of the best father-son moments of my life.


  17. 19 Eric Nielson July 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I took my son to the Snakes and Arrows tour. He was about 14 at the time. He still talks about it. Great time.

  1. 1 2010 in review « Small and Simple Trackback on January 12, 2011 at 8:13 am

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