Rush documentary goes well beyond the lighted stage
Any Rush fans out there? The band, not the talk-radio blowhard. Chris Stainton, vocalist and founder of Rubix Cubed (the official cover band of Stuck in the '80s) is here with a review of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which hit theaters for a one-day engagement on June 7. The stage is yours, Chris.
Hey SIT80s nation! Sometimes guest reporter, and self proclaimed Rush fanatic, I was lucky enough to catch one of the limited screenings of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage in the theater this week. As a die-hard Rush fan, the 2-hour documentary was a fun ride through their entire 42-year career. Ups, downs, commentary by other musicians, fans, parents, producers, managers, and the boys themselves, it was a very well done film. A must see, must have for any real Rush fan. The rest of you can catch on VH-1 Classic when it finally winds up there.
Since this is Stuck in the '80s, I'll spare you the details on their roots, influences, early years, and knock you straight into 1980's Permanent Waves album. This was the ending of their "progressive rock" period, where they started to write catchy, enduring rock songs that appealed to more than the legion of geeky closet Rush fans.
A year later (yes they released at least an album a year and toured relentlessly) they released Moving Pictures. This album, many critics and fans feel, is their best work, and definitely was able to put them on the map, permanently. All they had to do was last.
The film then highlighted the next few years Rush experimented with keyboards, synths and less and less rock guitars. It even detailed Alex Lifeson's increasing frustration as a rock guitarist when Geddy Lee continued to bring more and more keyboards, and Neil Peart's electronic drums into the albums. It was the '80s after all, so as they were being influenced by the new wave heavy keyboard sounds of mainstream music, they wanted to see how they could incorporate that into Rush's distinct sound.
Our favorite decade ended six studio and two live albums later with Presto (1989). Presto started the move to return them "back to their roots" as a guitar-driven, heavier power trio, which many feel they completed on 1993's Counterparts album.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is scheduled for released on DVD and Blu-ray June 29. Sorry, '80s fans, no Beta, VHS or Laserdisc.
Rush's Time Machine Tour starts June 29 in Albuquerque, NM, and finishes Oct. 2 in West Palm Beach, Fla. They stop in Tampa on Oct. 1.