Iconic rock band Bush played to a packed house at Los Angeles’ Wiltern theatre Saturday night, the first of three southern California shows in four days. Although the show’s venue was quite a bit smaller than those they’ve headlined since taking the U.S. by storm in the 1990’s, I’d say the energy in the building was on par with any they’ve experienced in their two decade career.
The night started with a raucous set from The Dead Deads. Hailing from Nashville, the part-punk, part-heavy metal, all-female band of five made you want to seriously bang your head (in a good way). They’re loud. They’re aggro. They’re animated. And they’re sexy as hell on that stage.
By showtime, the crowd was amped. The energy palpable. As the lights dimmed and Bush took the stage, the Wiltern absolutely erupted. Coming out of the gate with “Everything Zen,” the very first single that rocketed them to superstardom (which is coming up on its 22nd anniversary next month), Rossdale and the band made a bold statement: “We’re still here…and we’re as bad ass as ever.”
Bush’s set was peppered with hits spanning the band’s on and off 22-year history. Not surprisingly, a third of the 18-song setlist hailed from 1994’s breakout multi-platinum Sixteen Stone with crowd favorites like “Little Things,” “Comedown,” “Monkey,” “Machine Head” and “Glycerine.” Others included “Greedy Fly” and “Swallowed” from sophomore album Razorblade Suitcase (1996), “The Chemicals Between Us” from 1999’s The Science of Things, “The People That We Love” off of 2001’s Golden State, “The Sound of Winter” off 2011’s The Sea of Memories, a handful of songs from the latest release Man on the Run (2014), and a pleasant surprise cover thrown into the encore with REM’s “The One I Love.”
Here’s what I noted as I stood on my tippy toes from the back of the sweaty, claustrophobic general admission crowd:
The band was tight. With two original members (Rossdale and drummer Robin Goodridge) and two later additions (guitarist Chris Traynor and bassist Corey Britz), the chemistry between all four on the stage was undeniable.
The acoustics were insanely good. I may not have been able to see anything, but I could hear every note, every drum beat, and every guitar riff loud and clear.
Rossdale’s (still) got the “IT” factor. I’ve swooned over frontman Gavin Rossdale for over 20 years now, and let me tell you, he’s still uber swoon-worthy at the age of 51. The voice. The eyes. The hair. The magnetic stage presence. The bad boy persona. At one point, as he sung to the mesmerized crowd from the upper balcony, I couldn’t help but think: “Still. Got. It.”
Article: Shannon Leigh