Bush and Live have remained mainstays on the tour circuit and radio airwaves for nearly 3 decades but this summer the two alternative powerhouses have teamed up for “The Altimate Tour.’ Both Bush and LIVE are celebrating iconic anniversaries this year as it has been 25 years since their debut albums were released. Bush’ ‘Sixteen Stone’ catapulted the band to mainstream success with hits “Everything Zen,” “Comedown,” “Machinehead” and “Glyercine” remaining as popular today as they were in 1994 when they were released. Similarly LIVE’s debut ‘Throwing Cooper’ remains as relevant with “Lighting Crashes,” “I Alone,” and “All Over You” still making the rounds on rock radio charts nationwide.
Bush hit the stage first for this co-headline alternative rock master tour and in typical fashion Gavin Rossdale commanded the stage all night long. Though the band’s set was limited to just ten songs on this run Bush hit the ground running as they blasted through a powerful version of “Machinehead.”
Though the band’s focus was on the iconic hits of ‘Sixteen Stone’ plenty of new songs made the mix including new single “Bullet Holes” written for John Wick 3. Rossdale remains one of the best front man within the genre and at 53 years of age he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. “Bullet Holes” and “This is War” saw him toss aside his signature guitar as he ran around the stage and belted out flawless vocals on both of these new tracks.
Whether it was a new song or an older classic Bush has remained a top alternative band for their ability to create timeless masterpieces. Even in this ten song set the band was able to showcase nearly 25 years of hits that had the crowd off their feet and singing from start to finish. Rossdale’s showmanship and vocal control was the best it has been in some years even when he was sprinting through the crowd to sing with fans on the extended version of “Little Things” towards the tail end of the set.
As the set came to a close it became apparent that Bush has achieved a career the likes of which many alternative rock bands never quite obtain. To be able to celebrate 25 years of an album that launched them to success with a set that also contained an equal number of recent chart topping hits is something that doesn’t exist widely in the genre. Gavin Rossdale and Bush are a musical anomaly that don’t get the credit they deserve as they have remained true to themselves as artists for nearly three decades all the while dominating radio charts. There is no doubting that time will look back favorably on them and they’ll be honored in the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame one day for their efforts of ‘Sixteen Stone’ and all of the albums that followed it. Until then Rossdale and company will keep on doing what they do best – touring and creating music that they love for us all
Using the same lighting and sprawling LED stage set up LIVE took to the stage next as they welcomed in more nostalgia as they celebrated the album they are best known for – and rightfully so. Unlike Bush who have remained a constant within the genre for many years LIVE has had more turmoil in their history as they’ve only recently reunited on the tour circuit after many years split up working on seperate projects. Though it felt as if no time had passed since their break as Ed Kowalczyk led the band into “All Over You” on the first song of the night.
Through out the set LIVE played their iconic hits from ‘Throwing Cooper’ as was expected but after 25 years managed to surprise the entire crowd as they also played the songs that inspired them to write so many of these great hits. The 90’s were a golden era of alternative so it came as no surprise that LIVE would have been as influenced by these great bands as the crowd was as fans.
Ed Kowalczyk explained this to the crowd as he led them right into a powerful version of REM’s “Losing My Relgion” that had the crowd dancing in the aisles with security barely able to contain the energy of the crowd. Soon there after the band surprised everyone again with a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” that was lighter than the original but still fun.
As the night came to an end LIVE ended ‘The Altimate Tour’ with an extended version of “Lighting Crashes” before thanking the homestate crowd who still supported them after all of these years. Both LIVE and Bush have been influential to the development of the modern alternative genre and the crowd expressed this with an impressively long standing ovation before they filed out into the night.
‘The Altimate Tour” may have been a celebration of what has come to past 25 years ago but it was also a glimpse forward to the future as Bush and LIVE showcased they have no intentions of stopping what they love most – touring and making music. Alternative rock is forever in the debt of these two bands for all they have done and continue to do with their music. Perhaps 25 years from now they will be reuniting on the stage together to celebrate both of the albums they have yet to write – we can only hope right?