Rush is sort of an enigma.
The group is revered, adored and practically worshipped by fans but usually overlooked by critics.
Still, it's one of the most successful rock acts out there. Behind only the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the band has the most consecutive gold and platinum albums ever.
Following the band for more than 30 years, Rush fans have been called the “Trekkies of rock,” showing a feverish dedication to Rush and its music.
Critics, on the other hand, haven't always been so nice. Blender music magazine named drummer/songwriter Neil Peart the second-worst lyricist in rock history. And the band has not been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Band members can't quite explain the Rush phenomenon.
“I can tell you that I really appreciate it, and it is not lost on me,” singer and bassist Geddy Lee told CNN. “And I can only say that I think a lot of our fans are musicians, and a lot of our fans, obviously, feel some sort of comfort or questions that they may have ... they may find some, I don't want to say answers, but at least some sympathy or simpatico feeling in some of our music and that, I think, makes some sort of connection with us.”
A recent celebration of all things Rush is the documentary “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and can be purchased on DVD and Blu-ray, or downloaded from iTunes. It features archival footage and interviews with the band and fans in an effort to document what makes the band such a hit.
“I'd always like to consider us the world's most popular cult band,” Lee says in the film.
It's not just regular folks who adore the group. Fanatics of the celebrity variety include Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Gene Simmons of KISS, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.
“The influence? Huge,” Hammett said about Rush's affect on his work.
On its current tour, which stops in Omaha on Wednesday, the band will perform its most popular album, “Moving Pictures,” in its entirety.
“It's only a 40-minute album, and the beauty of a three-hour show is we can throw the whole damn thing in there and still have lots left over,” Lee told Rolling Stone. “We've got quite a different set list from the last tour.”
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