Rush may be over, at least as a performing act, but fan appetite hasn’t waned. So the mission behind RUSH: Cinema Strangiato 2019 — coming to theaters for one night only on Aug. 21 — is to make up for the Canadian trio’s absence.
The group’s performance of “Distant Early Warning” can be seen exclusively below.
“I think every Rush fan believes that while the tours might be over, the celebration of the band is not,” says Adam Jones of Nashville’s ALJ Innovations, who edited Cinema Strangiato. “They’re just as strong and powerful now as they were in 1974, when the first album came out. We just wanted to give fans a pretty unique experience.”
Weighing in at just over two and a half hours, Cinema Strangiato is a mongrel of sorts, blending 16 songs from the R40 Live film (from Rush’s final and 40th anniversary tour in 2015) along with material and outtakes from the documentary Rush: Time Stand Still. It includes special video content Rush created for the tour as well as behind-the-scenes footage and a sound check sequence of “Jacob’s Ladder” from the Los Angeles Forum that splices in a montage of other performances of the song from the tour.
“We’ve wanted to get R40 Live on the big screen for a really long time because it’s such a big and boisterous production. It belongs on the big screen,” Jones says. When Trafalgar Releasing presented the opportunity for a theater event, Jones says he, Time Stand Still director Dale Heslip and Allan Weinrib (Rush bassist Geddy Lee’s brother and R40 producer) “kind of stepped back and saw we had all this unused footage from the documentary and all this amazing performance footage. We thought to dive in and try to marry those together a bit.”
Cinema Strangiato opens with an extended sequence about Lee’s bass collection, promoting Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass, which came out in December. Another highlight includes a performance of “Losing It” in Newark, N.J., with Jonathan Dinklage, a violinist from the 2012 Clockwork Angels Tour, while other rockers such as Tom Morello and his wife Denise, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and producer Nick Raskulinecz tout Rush’s virtues and influence in interview clips.
“I wanted to further the message that was started with the first documentary, Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010),” Jones explains. “Rush’s giant base of fans can be pretty quirky and pretty fanatical, and not just limited to the everyday folks. Big rock stars can get giddy about Rush, just like fans.”
Jones, a Rush fan himself who worked at Rounder Records while the band was signed there, is hoping Cinema Strangiato will be just the first of many “posthumous” film projects culled from Rush’s vaults. “After this we’ll go back and see what we’ve got and assess for the next (possibility),” he says. “This is a good start, and I hope the fans enjoy what we’ve done and want more so we can look forward to the next years of this.”
Theater and ticket information can be found at here.
During December Lee told Billboard that any sort of Rush regrouping is “highly unlikely” owning to drummer Neil Peart’s retirement. But he said all three members support archival projects such as Cinema Strangiato, as well as the recent box set reissues of Rush’s albums. “As long as they do it with a high level of quality and the fans appreciate them and having these obscure tracks here and there, that’s fine,” Lee said. “They pass everything by us to make sure we sign off on it, and there are discussions that go on from time to time. As long as it’s a quality thing they’re releasing, I’m good with that.”