Gavin Rossdale has quite the life. He’s married to Gwen Stefani, is a solid actor and is the front man of the wildly popular rock band Bush. Rossdale and company have announced they’ll be on the road this summer with Nickelback, opening for the stars in huge venues. But, they stopped off at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco before the arena circuit.
The Music Hall is where Bush should be seen. A small smoke filled club. Tickets were sold out long before the show and although opening band Dead Sara may not have been on the minds of the fans while they were purchasing tickets, they were sure thinking about the opening act walking out of the club.
Emily Armstrong supplies the vocals for the hard rocking Dead Sara. The band hit the small stage and the audience was busy ordering drinks, catching up with old friends and glancing up at the band every once in awhile. That is, until they finished their first song. After that all eyes were on Armstrong and a hush came over the crowd. This is a band that should hit the big time soon enough. Armstrong is captivating on stage, ready for bigger crowds, and has a voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin. The set ended too soon.
The screams were heard the second Rossdale stepped foot on stage. Bush has been performing since 1992. No doubt he has encountered every form of stage and audience. Which is why he worked the crowd like a pro. As the room filled with the smell of alcohol and weed, Rossdale remarked how much he loved San Francisco. The mix of good weed, good music, and “something a little harder around the corner should you want it,” didn’t escape Rossdale.
“Glycerine,” was played perfectly as was “Machinehead,” and every other well known Bush song. The beginning of the 90 minute set was dominated by new stuff which was met with a mostly positive reaction from the fairly diverse audience. There were some audience members who undoubtedly blasted Bush with their windows down while in their high school years. There were also high school aged kids there to rock out along with them. The female component made themselves heard too. They got louder every time Rossdale lost a layer of clothing.
It’s good to see Bush back on the touring circuit. It’s much nicer to watch Rossdale rip off a guitar solo than play a cheesy villain on Burn Notice. The arenas are calling and the talented band won’t disappoint the thousands of fans in attendance at their upcoming gigs. But a dingy club in the city, complete with fans outside with their ears against the walls trying to sneak a listen, is where these guys belong.