By Emily S. | 90’s Music Critic for Town Hollow
Full disclosure: I was a huge Bush fan when I was a teenager. So when the opportunity to see them perform at First Ave. presented itself, I just couldn’t pass it up. The opening band was Bloodnstuff; a local band that’s in the genre of what you would expect a duo who calls themselves Bloodnstuff to be in.
Pretty good I guess.
The wait for the main show gave me a chance to look around at the audience. A decidedly older crowd who, like me, seemed a little excited yet also a little sleepy as it was probably past many of their bedtimes. I headed up to the restrooms before Bush took the stage. As I was finishing up my business I heard the first chords of Machine Head and the crowd outside the women’s room exploded into cheers and screams. Meanwhile, a high pitched squeal of sound rose up from inside the stalls. I could make out an ear piercing chorus of: “SQUEE!!” “WHY DID I HAVE TO PEE NOWWWW?!” and “I’M NOT GOING TO WASH MY HANDS!!!! And like a pack of lady greyhounds, they shot out of their stalls and folded into the crowd.
I managed to make it out of the bathroom alive, excited to get a peek at Gavin Rossdale, the dreamiest of all my old rock star crushes. I pushed my way to the balcony and there he was. Already glistening with sweat, bouncing around the stage wearing his once wild hair slicked back into a tiny, weird ponytail – showing off his majestic widow’s peak. His toned torso covered in a skin-tight, long-sleeved, camo shirt. He looked exactly the same as he did when I was 15.
Now, in my memory there were no other band members in Bush aside from the lead singer but in real life there’s a guitarist who looks like he got lost on his way to a metal show, a bassist who is either in 311 or a stand-in for No Doubt on the weekends, and a drummer who looks sad and a little like a chubby Seth MacFarlane.
By the second song Gavin was so sweaty it looked as if it was raining on stage. It was about this time that he stripped down to a sleeveless deep V. You know, the kind where the arm holes drape down past your waistband, exposing all of your perfectly sculpted abs and back muscles? Yeah, that.
By removing his camo shirt he also revealed a stylish armband on one arm that started midbicep and continued down to his wrist. An adorably dorky friend of mine pointed out that it could be for carpal tunnel. But I’m not buying that theory. I choose to believe his designer wife created and styled his outfit, little black choker and all. Oh, guys, after the shirt came off he released his sweaty locks from their tiny ponytail prison which allowed him to shake them around in the sexiest way all night long. Each shake sprayed the audience and himself with even more sweat. I cannot convey how sweaty he was. His voluminous waves tightened up into a wet, little grandma perm by the fourth song. Talk about Everything Zen…am I right?
(Editors note: Totally right.)
The show ended and we were all left wanting more. They had yet to play two very important songs, Glycerine and Comedown, and the crowd wasn’t going to let them leave until they heard them. So as an encore they came back out and played…
Come Together? Oh boy. This gave Gavin the opportunity to put down his guitar, jump into the audience, climb the stairs, and make a complete loop around the balcony. He rubbed his gorgeous body up on all the ladies in his path. It was fantastic. Then he finished up the songs which pleased his fans with the energy and showmanship of a much younger man.
I’ll conclude with a few of my favorite things from the show: a 62 year old man rocking out in front of me, Gavin humping his guitar so violently that he fell down behind the drums (he continued to make love to his guitar – the show must go on), and knowing that a 47 year old can still rock while keeping the 90’s alive in the hearts of many. E
(Editors note: Emily attached this video of a recent Bush concert to further your understanding of the experience. I could not make it past the first minute of guitar hotdogging which is precisely why I need her to go to all the shows that sound interesting and relay their goings on to me in a humorous manner. The next show I’m pining for is the Summerland Tour. Slad! maybe if we lie enough we can get you a press badge!) C