SOLD OUT! Yes, Bush is still selling out venues across the country on their Art of Survival Tour. In addition to being the title of the band’s ninth studio album (released in October 2022), the fine art of survival is something that the Gavin Rossdale-fronted act has mastered.
To survive in the music industry since 1994, which saw the release of Bush’s 6x platinum-selling debut, ‘Sixteen Stone’ …here they are, nearly 30 years later, still packing venues from coast to coast. Sure, these aren’t the arena shows that instantly sold out in the 90s, but any act that can pack a house in parts of four separate decades is damn successful in this reviewer’s book.
Bravely kicking off their set with “Identity” off of ‘The Art of Survival’ a tune that, let’s be honest, many in the audience have failed to familiarize themselves with, Rossdale and Co. sent the audience into a tizzy when the second song on the setlist, “Machinehead,” opened with the familiar lead guitar from Chris Traynor.
Memories flooded my brain of being a middle school kid on the school bus listening to this song on a cassette tape (after I recorded it off the radio), a time during which I could only dream of one day attending a concert, let alone, seeing Bush in the flesh.
Tonight was not my first time seeing this band; it presumably won’t be my last. And, every damn time I catch these guys onstage, I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to see one of my first rock ‘n’ roll heroes. I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to be doing this as a side hustle, photographing and reviewing the artists I love.
Other set highlights included “The Chemicals Between Us” and “Everything Zen.” Preceding the latter, Rossdale exited the stage for “Flowers On a Grave” to join the revelers in the audience; offering a few lucky fans a high five!
It’s not lost on me that Bush inspired my love for alternative rock. For that, this band will always hold a special place in my heart.
To be clear, tonight was far more than a trip down Nostalgia Drive! The four tunes the band played from their new record are evidence that despite having nothing left to prove, Bush still has the motivation to put out music with the same power and integrity that they did in 1994.
Is it as popular?
Is it just as good?
Well…if I’m being honest…meh.
But if the new record and performance thereof tell fans anything, is that there is still plenty of drive and passion left in the tank. Yes, Bush could tour from now through the end of the world on the back of their past catalog. These guys aren’t content resting on their laurels. For that, they deserve respect.
To the select few dumbasses that left prior to the encore to deposit their hard-earned money into the coin slot of a wealthy casino conglomerate: You. Missed. Out. Big time.
As part of a three-song encore, Rossdale, in the absence of his bandmates and armed with only his guitar, performed Bush’s smash hit, “Glycerine”, which was accompanied by heavy audience participation.
Before saying “goodnight,” Bush sent everyone back out to the casino floor with “Comedown.” I wasn’t ready to come down from my cloud of joy, but alas, the house lights came up and I pushed my way through the packed crowd to the exits.