Rush — Beyond the Lighted Stage
((Not on label) B003J27WFW, 2010, 3DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01
Beyond the Lighted Stage is directors Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's look under the hood at the venerable Canadian trio, with the bulk of the content based on personal interviews with guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist, keyboard player and vocalist Geddy Lee and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, as well as those who have been along for the ride including producer Terry Brown, manager Ray Daniels and Donna Halper, the WMMS DJ who helped break them into the U.S. But beyond simply recounting how Rush came into existence and tracking their history over the years, Dunn and McFayden have tried to get to the heart of what has kept the band together for so long and what has allowed them to endure in the face of perennial critical disdain. The film reaches its apex when covering the tragic loss of Neil Peart's wife and daughter in 1997. How they — and he — came back from that experience sharpens the focus on the bonds that tie the group together. The commentaries from musicians such as Billy Corgan and Gene Simmons are mildly interesting (while Jack Black and Sebastian Bach are just annoying), but pale next to hearing the band themselves talking about their lives together, at times while revisiting old haunts around the Toronto neighborhoods they grew up in. The second disk contains numerous featurettes, including "Rush Trekkies" (yes, it’s painful), rare footage of the band playing live in 1974 and 1978, discussion about the making of the Hemispheres album, and a hilarious band dinner meeting to top it all off. Whether or not Dunn and McFayden succeeded in explaining what makes Rush tick and why they've hung on for so long is up to the individual. But at a minimum you come away understanding why the guys in "the people's rock band" are something special indeed.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more