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DVD Review: Rush ‘Time Stand Still’
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Rush Time Stand Still Blu-ray banner

Rush – Time Stand Still
Blu-ray | DVD
Director by Dale Heslip
Narration by Paul Rudd
Rounder | 97 minutes
Release Date: November 18, 2016

Apparently, I’ve been in denial for the past year about Rush‘s retirement, because I watched the band’s new documentary, Time Stand Still, which focuses on their 2015 final major tour, and now I’m crying.

In this feature-length documentary, the Canadian trio opens up about saying good-bye to the band as they know it after 40 years of life on the road, most of which was to sell-out crowds around the world. While guitarist Alex Lifeson feels like it never seems like right time to end things, and drummer Neil Peart wants to quit while they’re ahead (and before his ability to perform is diminished), it’s clear that singer/bassist Geddy Lee was not ready to go.

During the band members’ interview footage, Lee repeatedly expresses his love for what he does and how much it hurts to have to let it go. But Peart says that “singing is the worst job, but drummer is the hardest job,” referencing the physical demands that must be met in order for him to give a high-quality performance, especially now that he’s in his 60s. He says in a few years he’d likely still be able to play Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts’ parts, but definitely not his own.

It’s truths like this that really make Time Stand Still hurt so damned much for Rush fans, but it’s also refreshing to hear the musicians divulge their innermost feelings, especially since they’ve always been so private. Lee even curses quite a bit, which, again, is unusual, as the band members have always come off so gentlemanly (thanks in part to their Canadianness). Oh, and they also talk about how in their early days they’d get drunk and high and have lots of fun — again, this is not the Rush that most people have witnessed (but they apparently had good times with Ace Frehley while on tour with KISS in the 70s).

Running 97 minutes, the doc not only goes behind the scenes with the band and crew on the final leg of the 2015 40th Anniversary U.S. tour, which concluded at the famed LA Forum in Los Angeles, but there’s also a lot of sentiments from diehard fans, including those who attend the annual Rush convention, RushCon. Being a diehard Rush fan myself (they’ve been my favorite band of all time since I was a small child), I could totally relate, and seeing the fans cry at the last show, totally made me cry, too, and that’s when I realized that this is real — the end really did come. Shit! Time to go back into denial.

Along with various interviews, there’s concert footage from several shows from the tour, along with a peek backstage, which, again, is rare, especially since we’re seeing such an emotional time in their lives. Just getting to see them go through that final concert in LA was really something special.

There’s also archival footage from the 1970s and 80s, and scenes from the group’s 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, all narrated by actor and fellow Rush fan, Paul Rudd (that’s Ant-Man to all you geeks).

Along with the feature documentary is a separate, never-before-released one-hour concert by the band from their 1990 Presto tour, as well as a five-minute video, “The Professor’s Warmup,” showing Peart backstage during the final tour warming up behind a smaller drum kit.

Time Stand Still provides a rare and touching glimpse into the world of Rush at the end of the band’s tenure that hardcore fans will devour and that even the average music fan will appreciate. The unearthed archival concert included makes this DVD a worthy addition to your Rush collection. Hopefully, this isn’t truly the end for the band, and one day, we will get to see them again.

You can take me, you can make me smile in the end.

Documentary Track Listing

When I Was a Kid
It’s a Really Hard Life
A Huge Accomplishment
Building R40
Hello Toronto
‘Ride On’ Neil
Your Weakest Point
Marathon Not a Sprint
At Road’s End

Bonus Content

— “Live from the Rabbit Hole” (Never before released concert during PRESTO tour)
-Show Don’t Tell
-The Pass
-Closer to the Heart
-Manhattan Project
-War Paint
-Tom Sawyer
-2112: Overture / La Villa Strangiato / In The Mood

— The Professor’s Warmup (2015 footage of Neil Peart warming up on the drums before a show)

Rush Time Stand Still box art

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