Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rush, big time

A lot of people, now that I'm a confident, outgoing, stylish adult with a killer shoe collection and a makeup box to put Carmindy to shame, believe that I must have been popular in high school. Truth be told, I was neither super popular nor super unpopular. I wasn't the prettiest girl around, but no one turned to stone when they looked at me, either. I had friends, interests, activities, boyfriends from time to time, etc. I was mostly average.

The one thing about me that stood out was my devotion to all things band geek. I was a percussionist (and went on to get a degree in percussion), a drum major for the marching band, briefly sang in the choir, played in the school orchestra and jazz band, did well at Solo and Ensemble, you get the picture. And any high school drummer who devotes time to the instrument eventually hears the musical stylings of Neil Peart and is nothing short of hella impressed. When I first heard a recording of Rush at band camp in seventh grade, I was hooked. I had to run right out and get that recording of A Show of Hands so I could listen again and again to the drum solo track, "The Rhythm Method." Turned out that "The Rhythm Method" was a gateway drug. By the time I was a freshman in high school I had found all of Rush's albums on my own, and if you were the person who wanted to borrow Chronicles from the Niles Public Library that summer, I am really, really sorry.

Rush stayed with me through boyfriends and college and moving and grad school and more boyfriends and a husband and more moving and into my career. Rush was the first concert I ever saw (not saying how old I am, but it was the Counterparts tour, and if you're the person who stole my concert t-shirt out of the laundry at Lawrence, you're going to Hades). I made one of my first friends in college when Jeremy, seeing me walking down the hall in my Rush t-shirt, fell to his knees and said, "A girl Rush fan! A pretty girl Rush fan! Wow." Yes, female Rush fans are few and far between, but look at it this way: I never have to wait in line for the bathroom at their concerts.

Being a Rush fan for over half my life, you can imagine my happiness when I saw that Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, a documentary following the band's 35+ year career, was coming to theaters nearby for a one night engagement. Here's the trailer:

In short: Three geeky guys form a band, band puts out millions of records, the guys stay geeky, and now that people like Stephen Colbert have a big hand in pop culture, it's cool to like Rush. What keeps Rush relevant? Lyrics that resonate with their intelligent, mostly marginalized audience, and more musical technique in one finger than most bands will gain in a lifetime. The movie also has a 100 percent fresh rating on Missed it in the theaters? It'll be available on DVD June 29.

Even if you fall into the camp of "the sound of Geddy Lee's voice makes my ears bleed," consider Netflixing the movie. It's a fascinating look at what Rush has meant to today's pop culture leaders...and what they meant to yesterday's band geeks.


Leigh Anne Vrabel said...


Brian the Librarian said...

Another librarian/band geek here. And I have a Computer Science degree. That's like the nerd trifecta.