Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (4 stars)

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

(12A) 106min

Despite massive success during the Canadian trio’s 35-year career, ‘The world’s most popular cult band’ have always existed alongside the mainstream, never in it. It could be argued that the showy musicianship and lyrical subject matter beyond standard rock fare (Reaganomics, Ayn Rand, the Freewill vs Determinism paradox) made sure of that, but, just as there’s nothing as uncool as trying to be cool, there’s nothing cooler that not giving a shit, making uncompromising music and being successful.

Whilst the heartfelt contributions from fully signed-up Rush fans Billy Corgan, Trent Reznor, Jack Black and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett make clear their considerable influence, documentarians Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn (whose previous collaborations include Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey), aren’t scared to address the easy targets (the high voice, the critics, the highbrow lyrics, the conspicuous musical virtuosity) either.

Access to early footage from the band’s personal archives shows the friendship between school friends Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and ‘new boy’ Neil Peart as one of music’s most endearing. However, being a band of intelligent and funny individuals, there’s less of the Spinal Tapisms that gave Metallica doc Some Kind of Monster or Anvil: The Story of Anvil appeal beyond the fans, but those with any love for Rush, either current or (in my case) dormant, will love this film.

Cineworld Edinburgh, Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew St


Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

  • 4 stars
  • 2010
  • Canada
  • 1h 46min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen

With this film about 'the world's most popular cult band', documentarians McFadyen and Dunn blend heartfelt contributions from fans such as Jack Black and Metallica's Kirk Hammett, with a ballsy address to the easy targets (the critics, the highbrow lyrics, the conspicuous musical virtuosity).