LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bush celebrated its return-to-form record, the just-released Golden State
(due Tuesday [Oct. 23] on Atlantic), with a blistering 16-song set at the Roxy in Los Angeles on Monday (Oct. 22).
As celebrities and VIPs mingled on the side at the KROQ-sponsored show, Bush launched into "Fugitive," one of the seven tracks debuted from Golden State, to kick off the festivities. Although the mix was off (too much drums, not enough bass, not enough Gavin Rossdale) and never was set quite right throughout the show, the grinding guitars that mark the song's intro suffered little and pelted the sold-out crowd of 500.
Sandwiched between "Machinehead" and the new "Solutions" came a slightly less digital "The Chemicals Between Us." The song worked well between the flag-waving choruses of Bush's more muscular rock anthems despite representing the album (The Science of Things) that saw Bush tinker too much in electronics to its least-successful end.
Rossdale thankfully kept political commentary to a minimum throughout the show, touching on the current military actions of the United States only once during "Everything Zen": "England and America join forces -- what do you think of that?"
A beautiful "Letting the Cables Sleep," "Reasons" (one of the few tracks on Golden State where Bush dabbles in computerized wizardry), and a scorching "My Engine Is With You" -- the most punk rock track the band has ever recorded -- followed, Rossdale sarcastically introduced the song as "another ballad for you," which isn't entirely off base as the sentimental lyrics of the song don't exactly match its fiery battlement of guitars.
"Come Down" closed the main set before the band returned for a version of "Glycerine" that seemed normal at first, but then exploded into a brash rock track by its end. "Headful of Ghosts" followed, which, of the new tracks, broke out most notably from its recorded version. And kudos to Rossdale for sticking to his artistic guns by singing the song's now-touchy line, "I'm at my best when I'm terrorist inside," which not a week ago he had said he didn't think he could ever sing again in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Rossdale shed his guitar, an odd and rare sight, for the evening's finale of "Little Things." All hell broke loose as the charismatic singer began inviting the crowd onstage, quickly swelling it to capacity leaving bassist Dave Parsons no choice but to hop on top of monitors to continue playing while Rossdale, shirt-pulled and smothered, made his way off stage-right with the help of security and fans. It was quite the rock and roll moment, and couldn't help but symbolize Bush's return to its grunge-crunching guitar rock roots represented by Golden State.
Bush next plays Las Vegas on Thursday (Oct. 25), New Orleans on Saturday (Oct. 27) and Mt. Clemens, Mich., on Halloween before returning to its homeland for a European tour through December.
Bush set list:
3. "The Chemicals Between Us"
5. "The People That We Love"
6. "Everything Zen"
8. "Greedy Fly"
9. "Letting the Cables Sleep"
11. "My Engine Is With You"
12. "Come Down"
14. "Headful of Ghosts"
16. "Little Things"