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Backstage Secrets: On the Road with the Rock Band RUSH (Home Use)

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(Sep 11, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Long Description:
Go behind the scenes to get a backstage look at what it takes to present the legendary band Rush during the 2008 Snakes & Arrows Concert Tour. It may appear to be one of the most exciting and glamorous jobs in the world - but being a roadie with a top-rated world-famous rock and roll band can be a grueling marathon of 18 hour work days, on an easy day. A bad is actually a couple of days, 40 hours spent hauling gear, assembling huge stacks of speakers, lifting them a hundred feet in the air, tuning instruments for demanding musicians and being cut off from every lover, friend and relative you have. This series takes you to the show you never see when you take your seat for a concert by the legendary band Rush. All the backstage secrets are revealed.

This DVD includes 5 parts on two discs including:

Part 1: Sound
Sure it sounds easy. Turn on some speakers and listen to the show. Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Everyone in every seat needs to hear the show equally well. That sound can be affected by the shape of the building, the temperature inside and even whether the audience is wearing long or short sleeves. And then there's the show the band hears. Each member of Rush needs to hear different instruments at different levels at different times during the show.

Part 2: Lights
You don't buy a ticket to hear a rock show; you buy a ticket to see a rock show. Of course that's not as simple as turning on the house lights and sitting back. Lighting sets the mood for each song. That means lights are meticulously placed which isn't that easy when each show is in a different building. Once they are set up perfectly, the must be directed by an artist who plays the lighting board like an instrument.

Part 3: Instrument Technicians
One of the most demanding and stressful jobs on the road is the instrument technician. Each one is charged with tuning and maintaining the magic wands these musical wizards wield. For the musicians to have a good show, their instruments must be perfect. Each night is an exercise in perfection for the four technicians on the Rush tour, guitar, drums, bass and keyboards.

Part 4: Lighting and Video
Let's face it, not every seat is in the front row, but everyone pays for a ticket. That means someone has to make sure everyone gets a good look at the band. So each concert is also a television show broadcast on a 50 foot screen.

Part 5: Road Manager
Most of the road crew are responsible for making sure their area of responsibility is working. But one person has to make sure the whole thing works, every night in every city. The road manager is the conductor of this huge orchestration and you better believe he is on his game all the time.

NTSC 16:9 - 2 discs - 250-minutes
(c) 2008 High Fidelity HDTV Media Inc - All Rights Reserved

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Producers: Rayna Morrison, Craig Colby
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: High Fidelity HDTV Media Inc
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2009
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002OSWU5E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,919 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Backstage Secrets is very similar in structure to a little known, but fascinating documentary done by NFL films of the Journey Frontiers tour many years ago. This video has a great structure in that the individual components of the total production are broken out into chapters, each approx. 1 hour long and covering specific aspects of the concert production. If you are a Rush fan, the bands appearance and on stage performances are very minimum, but very candid and interesting. If you are a musician, and have been on the road, or a roadie, this is a must watch and very, very interesting. I am an automation engineer and an ex-professional musician many years ago. I found this video, which appears to be a multi-episodic documentary, probably produced for Canadian Public TV, interesting from the technical side to the extreme. The explanations of the setup, the magic of the rigging, the incredible talent and creativity of the road crew, and the relationship of men who must work together for months in demanding conditions are all presented with a great sense of light comedy. The cast of odd characters is entertaining, and the devotion to their work at the cost of their personal situations is sobering. This video isn't for everyone, but if you are a rigger, electrician, pipefitter, mechanic, roadie, basement musician, or aspiring band manager, get it and you will enjoy it immensely. And for you Rush fans, you can even figure what the dinosaurs and Barbie dolls are all about!
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By J. G. Malta on January 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wasn't expecting much, but this DVD set blew me away. Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about what's entailed in putting together a major show. Sound, lighting, instrument techs, video, tour buses,... how they do it all day in and day out is simply amazing. I'm a Rush fan, but you don't need to be to enjoy this 4+ hour gem.
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Having watched the first two episodes, it is clear that the concept this video is trying to show has a lot of merit. Showing some of what goes on behind the scenes setting up for shows in several arenas, and brief bits of the actual performance during the shows.

What is also clear is that this is a very cheaply made video. It's potentially better than home video quality, but in many places it's really hard to even give it that level of quality. There are considerable compression artifacts in the video, to the point of distraction. This becomes very obvious in the lighting episode, but others have similar problems. If you're thinking "How it's made" or similar History Channel or Science Channel serial documentary, it's nowhere close quality wise.

The videos are also a bit of a tease. They start going into detail on one of the roles, then jump back to high level fluff like "waiting for points". If you're interested in what they're actually using to produce the show, you'll be disappointed, very little of that information made it into the final video. If you know what various bits which could be in the rig look like already, the video gets you close enough to pick out what the various items actually are, but again you have to know what you are looking at first.

The idea, done right would be great, but as is, this video is often painful to watch.
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Format: DVD
As others have mentioned, the content of this video is amazing! You will not be disappointed by the amount of detail this documentary has in it. However, the supposed "HD" quality of the video is terrible. Bright lights and fast movements cause lines and blocks to appear on the screen. At first, I thought it was my TV, but after reading other reviews, it's definitely the way they made the DVDs. It's still watchable, but it can get annoying, especially during the Lighting section. It's still worth buying just for the content.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very in depth look at what it takes to be on the road. Just so happens to be about my favorite touring band, Rush. The access is amazing adn fans get to see all of the behind the scenes goings on of a major rock show.

The only caveat is the video isn't always great. During certain stage effects and lighting shots the video will become very blocky and pixelated. This occurs at least once per episode and is annoying, but the content more than makes up for that.
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This was a wonderful, very very detailed look into the making of putting on a show from the perspective of the road crew directors while Rush had toured during the Snakes and Arrow's period.

The Chapters are broken down into Sound, Lights, Instrument, and overall management of directing the show from load off point.
I was really impressed with the care and motivation these individuals put into their jobs. It is common for them to work 16 hour long days to get a show into gear.

Some of my favorite areas were Lighting. ( Nothing can be put onto the stage until the rigging of sound and lights can be put into place).

Too much to share here, but I intend to watch this over again.
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The band ought to sue the makers of this video for what a crappy job they did on it. And to think that RUSH allowed them to use their band name on the front cover. I have never seen video production this bad. These guys need to go back to school and re-take "DVD 101" all over again. It's simply disgraceful. Then, they use stock music (monotonous, bad stock music) throughout all five hours. Uggh! No Rush music. It's cool if you want to see what it takes to get a rock show up and running (although this documentary could have been about ANY band), but that's about it. I wanted desperately to give this only one star, but gave it two only because it has something to do with RUSH! Do yourself a favor: DON'T waste your money on this horribly produced monstrosity. Save the cash and go see RUSH this summer!
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