As soon as this DVD begins you know it is going to be a special treat. I had no prior knowledge of Rush, although I have seen them once before and it's the memory of seeing the legend of Neil Peart play that monster of a 360 degree drum kit that made me interested in watching this feature length documentary. It soon becomes apparent, with the early appearances from many of music's big names; Taylor Hawkins, Billy Corgan, Jack Black, Gene Simmons, Kirk Hammett, Tim Commerford and many more, that this band are special.
The main feature is divided into chapters, starting with bassist / keyboardist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson being raised in Canada through to replacing original drummer John Rutsey with Neil Peart and their evolution from their 70's progressive rock to the heavier style they play now. It shows the lows and highs of a band who never played music that was popular at the time, but played what they wanted to even if they sacrificed their record contracts and fans. This has seen them grow to be quite possibly the number one cult band in the world.
A nice touch on this documentary are the images throughout the story, be it the highlighted handwritten lyrics accompanying the songs or the live band photographs, cut out into layers; very striking indeed. Then there's the family interviews and constant band interviews, showing how likeable and hard working this band really are (and modest, their song 'La Villa Strangiato' is described by many as the hardest song to play ever, and the band say they had to record it in three parts after trying for months to get it in one.)
Then there's the special features, amounting the running time of this DVD to over three hours. There are deleted scenes from the film, titled such things as Rush Fashion and Rush Trekkies, original footage featuring original Rutsy, the first captured footage of 'La Villa Strangiato' as played at the Pinkpop festival in 1979 and other live songs plus dinner with Rush at a hunting lodge! Any Rush fan would love this absolutely bursting DVD and its features. As I said I was not a fan before but this truly epic take on a down to earth yet phenomenal band has made me want to build up a Rush collection. Directors Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen were well worthy of scooping the Tribeca Film Festival 2010 Audience Award for it.