Bush & Live @ Pacific Amphitheatre – 08/10/2019
On what would be the final Saturday night at the Orange County Fair for the 2019 season, the co-headlining show that featured +LIVE+ and Bush (dubbed the ALTimate Tour) paid a visit to the fairgrounds and the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on August 10th. Attracting 1.4 million visitors this year during its 23 day run from July 12th through August 11th, the OC Fair is the United States’ 9th largest fair and featured 29 unique concerts that included Styx, Chicago, Ziggy Marley, Kool & The Gang and Weird Al Yankovic.
A nearly sold out venue was slow to arrive for the opener Our Lady Peace but quickly filled up once the first note of “Machinehead” hit the amplifiers at 7pm. This evening Bush drew the ‘opener’ role of the co-headline tour and begin what would be an abbreviated 60 minute set. Gavin Rossdale, the ageless wonder (and only original Bush member on this leg of the tour) immediately got the crowd on their feet and shredded through the opening song with youthful aggression.
Fitted in a clearly handmade, modified black tank top and jeans the iconic lead singer ditched his guitar for the second song, “This Is War” a track off their 2017 release Black And White Rainbows. The hits kept coming as “Everything Zen”, “The Chemicals Between Us” and “The Sound Of Winter” followed while “Bullet Holes”, the band’s latest single (off the John Wick: Chapter 3 soundtrack) also received a spin.
The ten song setlist was much shorter than most fans would typically want but Rossdale managed to squeeze in all five of his hits off 1994’s groundbreaking Sixteen Stone. The final three songs included “Little Things” which saw Rossdale journey into the lower bowl of the venue to get up close and personal with the fans followed by “Gylcerine” and then the customary closing song at each and every Bush show—a thunderous version of “Comedown”.
Bush Photo Gallery:
When the summer tour was announced in March it seemed to make perfect sense considering each band would be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their breakout albums—Live’s Throwing Copper and Bush’s Sixteen Stone. Each landmark album contains blockbuster hits that helped define each band’s unique sound while still resonating with their passionate fans.
+LIVE+ picked right up where Bush left off with a solid 12 song set that began with a duo of their biggest hits—“All Over You” and “Selling The Drama”, both off Throwing Copper. Frontman Ed Kowalczyk was chatty throughout, introducing many of the songs.
Nicely added to their 75 minute show were two covers, the first was a cover of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”. Later a rockin’ rendition of The Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” would help bridge the gap towards a slew of hits to close the evening.
The gritty and energetic “Lakini’s Juice” brought heavy guitars but “I Alone” guided the crowd back into synch and singing along with Kowalczyk. The anthem reverberated throughout the PacAmp as Kowalczyk ventured from the stage into the lower bowl—joking with the fans at the conclusion of the song “How you all feeling now?”.
Casual fans were more than likely thankful for the co-headline nature of this tour as the shortened sets left time mainly for the greatest hits. During “White, Discussion” they slowed things down but added extended guitar solos. A two song solo acoustic section of the show featured Kowalczyk front and center with “Heaven”, a tune written for his daughter 17 years ago and “Turn My Head” which saw the rest of the band return near the completion and included assistance from the crowd with their cell phone lights. As the 10pm curfew crept up, without a doubt the band’s biggest hit “Lightning Crashes” closed out the show.
The ALTimate Tour continues through the end of October, making one more swing through SoCal with a show at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista (October 10th) and at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula on October 20th.
+LIVE+ Photo Gallery: