Bush’s Sixteen Stone album rose to popularity as I entered university in 1996. I remember that album being among those most played on my dorm floor.
I also fell under the cryptic trance of Glycerine‘s meaningless lyrics. Lead singer Gavin Rossdale’s straining voice stood out amid the throng of pseudo-grunge bands like Candlebox and Collective Soul.
Fast-forward nearly 20 years and Bush is still kicking around, despite a decade-long hiatus (read: band break up) beginning in 2002. They’ve joined forces with much maligned rockers Nickelback on their Here and Now tour, and they beat out My Darkest Days and Seether to be the third opening act, giving them the most stage time and the slot directly before the main attraction.
On Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, Rossdale looked primed to try and steal the show. Bringing energy and enthusiasm, Rossdale tore through a tight eight song set, including most of their hits and even taking a long trip through the crowd to sing and rub flesh with the fans. It’s a bold move for an opening act, but Bush’s pedigree wasn’t in question and Rossdale pulled it off without question.
I have to give Rossdale credit for still wanting to be on stage. Surely some of this is due to his uber-successful wife, Gwen Stefani, but Rossdale is no slouch. He’s pursued an acting career and lodged a half dozen movie credits, though the Academy still eludes him. Nonetheless, the fact that the guy still wants to walk through a crowd and belt out tunes shows a commitment that’s hard not to respect.
Helping elevate my respect was Bush’s performance. They took the stage, they played like it was ’96 and they even threw in a couple of cover songs, including the Beatles’ Come Together. A for effort, A for talent, A for longevity. Now if they could just come up with some new music that puts fans in the seats, Bush could be a headliner once more.
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