Friday, June 11, 2010

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Thursday 6/10 in Minneapolis!

6/11/10 1:36AM
So I just got back a bit ago.

Fun night. Very entertaining film.

The people interviewed and the depth of early footage are probably what stands out most from seeing it. The cast of people includes: Gene Simmons, Jack Black, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Vinnie Paul, Sebastian Bach, Kirk Hammett, 1 of the guys from The Foo Fighters (not Dave Grohl thankfully) and 1 of the guys from Death Cab For Cutie. Of course Portnoy was in there, but actually he wasn't shown all that much. Not nearly as much as I figured/hoped. Perhaps more of his discussion will be included in the DVD.

Other industry people: Terry Brown, Ray Danniels, Kevin Shirley. Others I'm blanking on right now. And neat to see Ged, Alex and Neil's family. Plus among the early footage, a clip of Alex talking about not wanting to go to school. Vintage Alex Lifeson at 17 years old. It was kind of surreal to see that.

Some of the sarcastic comments and jokes, both in their lives today and going back really made this without many if any boring moments.

In fact, I'd say having seen the other 2 (known) documentaries Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen have made, I'd say this is their best in terms of flow, entertainment value, and focus. This was on RUSH and nothing else really.

That being said, and being a meticulous music fan and Rush fan specifically, I can't avoid citing at least off the top of my head, what was not included in this film.

-Nothing about 1991's "Roll the Bones." No music, nothing about how on the title track, they tried a rap. And (some-of) their fans turned on them. Was this lack of mention of that due to the positive, uncritical nature of the film? Maybe, or was it not researched? Less significant? I guess the dvd may add something to that. But that album was as significant a record to me, since really it was their 1st less than par (at the time) record going back to pre-Caress of Steel period.

-No mention of "Take Off" with Geddy recording/performing with Doug and Bob Mackenzie. Sam Dunn is from Toronto. Surely he knows about that. I also hoped to hear about them appearing (or being offered to appear) on SCTV, but that has always been a mild curiosity of mine, with no mention over the years, it's probably unlikely.

-Nothing about Alex's run-in with the Law a few years back in Florida. It made headlines of course, but obviously not the positive kind the band want to see. Still it's a bit surprising it wasn't even briefly mentioned. On the DVD maybe.

-Nothing about the biography "Rush Visions" which I brought to the movie tonight.
-Nothing about the solo projects
-Nothing even about how they got their name.

-They show footage from South Park (and they had 1 of the creators from SP talk about Rush), yet no mention (like on the "I Love You Man" dvd commentary) of the Freaks and Geeks with Rush and Neil Peart.

-No Guitar, Bass or Drum magazine polls/articles or even interviews from the editors.

-The way they talked about the 80's albums and the synths changing them. Making them less of a "rock band" and less of a "power trio." This has been a small issue I've had with many in their fan base over the years. I personally find the 80's Rush albums to be among their best work of their career. And I'm mostly referring to the Grace Under Pressure-Presto records. I would put those 4 albums up against the 2112-Signals records any day. Yeah, those mid-late 80's albums didn't lend them any really big *hits* like "Tom Sawyer" or even "Subdivisions," but the writing and textures really seemed to work on those albums. And they frequently get forgotten or overlooked. I also think among the 70's progressive rock groups still making music in the 80's, Rush were the only one who really effectively implemented the new 80's music elements into their sound. Yes, Genesis, Tull, Kansas, and yes, even Crimson, frankly have pretty much forgettable catalogs from the 1980's. Rush is the one group who managed to survive and make memorable and significant records past the heyday of progressive rock. And I have felt for a long time, the 80's Rush is a sadly unknown, uncredited, and overlooked mass of good music. And only a small portion of the really dedicated fans appreciate it. I actually would go for them someday doing a tour of songs JUST from that period. It won't happen, but maybe even a tribute band would consider that someday.

-The way Caress of Steel and the whole progressive rock period is portrayed; the fact they said they were done with music like Hemispheres on Permanent Waves, yet PW's includes 2 semi-epics in "Natural Science" and "Jacob's Ladder." Caress of Steel still remains an under-rated gem in their catalog. "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth" are both excellent and often overlooked, even by the progressive rock fans. At the same time, the way they make the post-Hemispheres period having so many "songs" that radio could play, yet on Hemispheres, A Farewell to Kings, 2112 and even Caress of Steel, they still include a number of shorter songs that were just as mature in ways and refined as normal-length rock and roll songs, it almost came across as a double standard way of looking at their history, just because they had more commercial success with the songs after Hemispheres.

Well, given my present situation, I'm gonna call this done for now. I am looking forward to seeing the DVD. There were a ton of laugh-out-loud moments. Jack Black was good, although given how much time they gave him and how little Portnoy, I was not as thrilled with that. The guys themselves, Geddy and Alex namely, were quite quote-able (of course I can't pass along any of those at this hour unfortunately). Just remembering, 1 scene with a waitress in a restaurant and Alex going "whoa, that's Geddy!" and the waitress then asking for Geddy's autograph for more than 1 person. And Geddy tries to have Alex sign too, but the waitress doesn't ask Alex for his autograph, lol. Also 1 story they told about taking the others tests in school. It was cool to see them, in their own personal element, telling stories. Something very rarely seen (Rush in Rio documentary?). It was also interesting to see some interviews with the late John Rutsey.

6/5/10 10:41PM

Thursday June 10th 9PM @ The Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis.

event link

I have my ticket purchased. $9 including fees. What I don't get is why they wouldn't screen it more than just the 1 time that evening/day or next week?..

as for the new single "Caravan" it's pretty good. Geddy's vocals still aren't as good as they used to be. But Alex's solo is one of the better things he's come up with in awhile.