Friday, 11 June 2010

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

I saw the Rush documentary (see A Good Year For Rush Fans) on Monday night and I've been meaning to write something about it ever since.

I guess it is difficult for documentaries to get wide distribution but it seems ridiculous that it only gets one night in a really restricted number of cinemas so I was pleased to see a few more showings have been added in July. (See More Screenings For Rush Movie.) I am on record as saying, on more than one occasion, that Rush are the greatest band in the world. Therefore, my opinion is not entirely unbiased, but the film was outstandingly good! If you get the chance to see it go.

It is not just for Rush fans although clearly there were a large number of fans in the cinema when I saw it: I think it would appeal to all music fans, or at least all rock music fans. The film is really well structured and gives a good flavour of how their music has changed and developed over the years they've been together. For Rush fans it had some really early footage of them performing. For the general rock fan they had a veritable who's who of rock musicians praising them, analysing their appeal and playing air drums. I particularly enjoyed Jack Black's "rocket sauce" section and I identified with Sebastian Bach when he described how he went to the library to borrow a book by Ayn Rand (see Rush in Concert for my own version).

There were so many great sections and quotable quotes I could write much more and may come back to some in future posts. For now, however, I will content myself with noting how great it was to see three people who clearly love what they do and, who after nearly 40 years together, still have a passion and an excitement for making music. It's worth seeing the film for that reason alone.

One final point. I went to see the film with a friend from work. The cinema was more or less full with only a few seats empty when it started. There was one empty seat beside me and about five minutes into the film someone came in late and sat beside me. It turned out to be the chap I went to the last Rush gig with. Neither of us knew the other was coming and he just happened to sit beside me! As the saying goes, it's a small world but I wouldn't like to paint it!


bearockr said...

Oh my ! Thanks for giving me this news David, I look forward to watching it, though documentaries don't enjoy a much wider screening nor a big fan base here in India, So, I think I'll have to get it somewhere from the internet :)

David said...

Hello there

Glad to be of service! I think the DVD will be released at the end of July in the UK. Hopefully you'll be able to see it some time!

Jeff said...

I finally saw this last night after my wife picked up the DVD for me. It's incredible! I will never listen to Rush's music the same way again (and I'm actually planning to listen to all of it in chronological order sometime soon).

I was really surprised to see Trent Reznor in it - I don't think I had ever heard him mention Rush as an influence, but what he said made complete sense.

I also found it kind of funny when they said how people "didn't get" Caress of Steel, while that was the album that actually turned me into a hardcore fan (albeit 20 years after it was released). I had a copy of 2112 on vinyl, which I wanted to upgrade to CD, so I ordered a copy of it from BMG. A few weeks later, Caress of Steel arrived in my mailbox. After my initial disappointment, I took a look at the track listing, which looked quite epic, and decided to give it a listen. By the time "The Fountain of Lamneth" had finished playing, I knew that I wanted to hear a lot more of this band and soon started collecting their other albums. I think that if I had received 2112 like I wanted, it would have taken me a lot longer to want to explore the rest of their discography. I never did figure out if the error was on my part (i.e. I copied the number down incorrectly) or BMG's, but I'm very thankful for it either way. :)

David said...

Hello Jeff

Happy accident! For me, I discovered Rush because I sat beside Ian in the Maths class. His bother was into Rush, and Ian brought his big brother's copy of A Farewell To Kings into school so I could listen to it...

What are the extras like on the DVD? Is there much beyond the documentary itself?

Jeff said...

There's actually a whole other disc with the extras on it, so there's quite a bit more than just the documentary. I haven't gotten all the way through it yet, but so far I've seen a few deleted scenes from the film (including a GREATLY expanded version of the dinner scene at the very end) and some older performance videos. It will be well worth picking up when it's released there.