The Art of Survival Tour
Photos and Review by JULIE ANN SHAW
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.- I had never seen Bush live before. I am not sure how that happened, given that Bush was fundamental in shaping my development as a human being, but finally I got the opportunity to see them and they did not disappoint.
As with most of the people I know who grew up in the ’90s, for me, Sixteen Stone was a quintessential album that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So, to be able to see Bush now, after all the years of having no less than five of their songs in every single playlist I ever made, I got a satisfying sense of completeness.
Jerry Cantrell was scheduled to take the stage after the opener, but unfortunately, he was snowed in in Reno, where the previous night’s performance had taken place. His absence was noticed and the disappointment was palpable. Despite this unavoidable setback, the show must go on.
Finally, the moment arrived, and Bush, Gavin Rossdale (vocals), Chris Traynor (lead guitar), Corey Britz (bass), and Nik Highs (drums), took the stage. Honestly, this show has completely ruined listening to Bush for me. Anytime I hear any of their songs in my car or out in the wild, I will forever remember that Bush is jaw droppingly incredible in person. They opened with “Identity” from their new album Art of Survival, which was so much better live than the studio recording. Rossdale’s presence, his voice, in person, is so full of electricity and emotion that it can never be fully captured on any type of recording.
Next, Bush played “Machinehead” from their 1994 album, Sixteen Stone, followed by a shirt change by Rossdale, and “Blood River” from The Kingdom. The venue was filled with the smell of pot by this point, and the people were just happy to be there, and were even happier every time Rossdale jumped off the stage to serenade at the barricade. As they were playing “The Chemicals Between Us” from The Science of Things, the guy standing in front of me turned around, smiling, and hit me up for a fist bump just for being there, too.
The set continued with “Bullet Holes,” “The Sound of Winter,” “Flowers on a Grave,” “Everything Zen,” “1000 Years,” “Quicksand,” “Heavy is the Ocean,” “More Than Machines,” and “Little Things.” Of course, the night didn’t end there. Bush gave us an incredible three song encore. First, “The Kingdom” from The Kingdom, and the last two from Sixteen Stone, the iconic classics, “Glycerine” and “Comedown.”