Being Canadian, I’m well accustomed to hearing my national music industry being scornfully derided by those occupying space clear of our cozy borders. After all, considering some of the cringe-worthy major exports we’ve sent barreling out into the world, I’m fully willing to admit that we haven’t exactly done a spectacular job in ingratiating ourselves with music fans across the globe. To wit, thus far we’ve been responsible for launching the Barenaked Ladies, Nickelback, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, A Simple Plan, Nelly Furtado and Shania Twain, among many others of debatable value.
However, damn us as you all may, we as a country implicitly know that as much damage as we may have done, we can still take pride in being the birthplace of Rush, the highly influential, bestselling prog-rock trio – consisting of bassist/singer Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart – responsible for beloved ditties like “Tom Sawyer,” “Freewill,” “Spirit of Radio,” and many, many others.
Now well into the fourth decade of their career and — if “I Love You, Man” is to be believed — still totally relevant, the band has finally seen fit to have their life story chronicled in a sharp-looking rockumentary dubbed “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.” Directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, the documentarian duo behind 2005’s “Metal: A Headbangers Journey” and last year’s “Iron Maiden: Flight 666,” the film traces the various bumps and triumphs of the band’s rich, lengthy history, with appreciative input from artists such as Billy Corgan, Gene Simmons, Kirk Hammet and Taylor Hawkins.
We have a snazzy trailer for the film available below and I sincerely recommend you check it out. The breezy, honest tone and light-heartedness apparent in the various interviews and snippets indicate that it stands a good chance at entertaining even those not hugely familiar or even enamored with the legendary three-piece. The movie recently played the Tribeca film festival to adoring reviews and reception and will likely begin to filter into cinemas later this summer.
And who knows, if “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” bears even a fraction of the genius and power of its subject, it may just stand a chance at besting “Anvil!: The Story of Anvil” as the best Canadian rock-band documentary of the 21st century. Doubtful, I know, but never bet against the indomitable spirit of great rock ‘n roll!
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.