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Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

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An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.


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Stars: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart


Cast overview, first billed only:
Geddy Lee ...
Alex Lifeson ...
Himself, Nine Inch Nails
Mike Portnoy ...
Tim Commerford ...
Mary Weinrib ...
Herself, Geddy Lee's mom
Melanija Zivojinovich ...
Herself, Alex Lifeson's mom
Ray Danniels ...
Himself, Rush manager
Bernie Finkelstein ...
Himself, True North Records


An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beyond the lighted stage


Documentary | Music


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Release Date:

24 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rush: The Documentary  »

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Did You Know?


Billy Corgan (of Smashing Pumpkins), who was interviewed for this documentary, has admitted to stealing a riff from Rush's "By-Tor & The Snow Dog". See more »


Geddy Lee: [During the end credits] I think we've been successful in destroying these people's film. I will remind them that I said 'you will regret it'. I said 'don't be surprised when you discovered how boring we really are.'.
See more »


Features Rush: Exit... Stage Left (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

All the world's a stage...
29 January 2013 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

I first got into Rush when I was 15 back in 1987 when a friend of mine left me a cassette with Signals on one side and Power Windows on the other. I had heard the name of the band before but that was it. I listened to that tape and immediately loved Signals - Power Windows not so much. I remember not actually being able to determine if the vocalist was male or female, which intrigued me. But I loved the synth-heavy, slightly fuzzy sound of Signals and I began playing it more or less on repeat and for the next couple of years became a Rush obsessive. At the dawn of the 90's my tastes changed and I moved on to alternative rock but as the years progressed I returned to some of my favourite Rush albums and still enjoy them quite a bit. For the record my favourite Rush period is the early 80's.

As a result, it was with some enthusiasm that I went into this documentary. It was like visiting old friends from the past, ones whom you only really have good memories of. Strangely enough, it was only once the film was underway did I actually realise just how little I knew about the band beyond the music. You just never saw them interviewed too often, so it was genuinely surprising to see them talk freely. For instance, I had never really realised that they abstained from rock 'n' roll excesses as much as they did, nor did I realise Neil Peart was so socially awkward. Details like these were fascinating to learn, I mean it is an achievement of sorts for a rock band active in the 70's and 80's to have been faithful husbands and to have avoided Class A narcotics! I guess it shows that Rush were no ordinary rock band. This was part of why they were so derided of course. The music press painted them as thoroughly uncool and preposterous. And I suppose they did appeal a lot to music fans who may have been disproportionately more on the geeky side. But on the other hand, they lasted the test of time and some of their music remains absolutely inspired. In particular their unique early 80's fusion of prog-rock, hard rock and new wave was entirely original and didn't sound in the least bit forced.

The documentary charts their progress from their earliest origins as a late 60's school band to the present day. Unlike most rock bands there isn't a lot of drama and excess in the Rush story. These are grounded and likable individuals who are just too normal for anything too Spinal Tap-ish to happen. The only event that really went beyond the music and into real life tragedy was the deaths of Peart's daughter and wife in quick succession. This awful event isn't really dwelled on here though. Mostly this is about the music. Most of the albums are covered in at least some detail, so this is great for fans of the group. Also, of great interest is the input of their many famous fans. There are talking heads segments from the likes of Kirk Hammett, Gene Simmons, Trent Reznor, Jack Black, Sebastian Bach and Billy Corgan among others. It was fascinating to hear what this wide ranging selection of folks had to say. Corgan and Reznor were particularly considered in their observations. I guess what it also showed was the influence of the band, as these were two respected figures of alternative rock and not guys who would necessarily be obvious descendants of Rush. And not only this, there was recent footage of one of their shows in Brazil. The energy of the crowd and the band was pretty impressive for a veteran rock band. I guess Rush still lives on as perhaps the biggest underground rock band of them all...

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