Although they are no longer one of the biggest bands on the planet, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that was crammed inside Showbox SoDo on Tuesday night that gave a damn about that, they were there see what Bush was going to bring to the table now. And suffice it to say the band did not disappoint.
They wasted no time at all when they took to the darkened stage as it instantly exploded in a wash of lights across all spectrums of the rainbow. When the crowd got their first glimpse of Gavin Rossdale they about lost their minds and then the band ripped into the first few notes of “Everything Zen” from 1994’s monster album Sixteen Stone, you quickly got the sense the tone for the evening was set.
By the time the band got to the third song, “The Chemicals Between Us” from their third album The Science of Things the crowd was a hot sweaty mess and singing along to every word, something they did all night to almost every song and let’s face it this band sure does have a lot of great songs.
The band these days is made up of Gavin Rossdale(of course) on guitar and vocals, with Chris Traynor on lead guitar, Corey Britz on bass and Robin Goodridge behind the drum kit. Traynor replaced original lead guitarist Nigel Pulsford and Corey Britz replaced original bassist Dave Parsons when the band ended their 8-year hiatus in 2010 but they’ve now been playing these songs long enough that they are second nature and those guys bring a whole lot to the table. Also, their chemistry with Gavin works well and you can tell they are having a blast delighting crowds with this music on this tour. Also, Traynor’s 10-year stint with Helmet gives you an idea of how heavy Bush sounds these days.
The setlist for the night included four songs from the new album, Black and White Rainbows that they are touring behind and a whopping, delicious six songs from the aforementioned Sixteen Stone. That’s the album that put them on the map and the crowd was delighted to hear so much music from it. It’d be hard to pick one that they played the best though because the band was literally spot-on all night long. The note-for-note display was exactly what the Seattle crowd was hoping for and the band delivered.
All in all they played 18 songs, included a heavy-as-hell version of R.E.M.‘s “The One I Love” for the second song of the encore that seamlessly morphed into Soundgarden‘s “Black Hole Sun” and then back to R.E.M. to finish it off. It was an interesting choice but they blew the crowd away with it and paid righteous homage to the memory we all have of Chris Cornell.
They ended the main set on a high note with a blazing version of “Little Things,” leaving crowd in shambles waiting for the encore. As the noise inside the venue reached eardrum shattering decibels, the band retook the stage and started the encore with “Machinehead” and then into the R.E.M. classic. A highlight for most people that have seen Bush before is when the rest of the band is ushered off the stage and Rossdale takes center stage, armed with a only an electric guitar and starts playing “Glycerine.” It’s such a powerful song that I think a lot of people don’t realize that there are no drums or bass on the track until they see Gavin do it live, although on the version you hear on the album there is some violin and various other light embellishments. Regardless, he played it flawlessly and it was a great moment.
The night ended with the band’s biggest song “Comedown” and they let it rip for that one. As the set drew to close, there weren’t many people inside the sold-out venue that weren’t singing along for that one and as they shuffled out when the house lights came up, they left completely satisfied.