Bush was never really my band– I won’t try and hide that. Sure, I knew their hits and obviously, I know who Gavin Rossdale is but that’s about where my knowledge of Bush stops and ends. Even with that being said, I was excited as I made my way into the packed Fillmore in downtown Minneapolis for the Bush show on Monday night. I’ve seen a lot of bands over the years but Bush is one of those acts that I’ve just never caught live. I wouldn’t say that they were on my bucket list but I always get a thrill from seeing bands I have never seen before and Monday night was no exception.
Los Angeles rockers Starcrawler were the only opener on the show. As soon as they took the stage, it became clear that the older audience had only come out on Monday night for the nostalgia factor of Bush but that wasn’t going to stop them from giving the audience everything they had while throwing a few jabs into the audience. Starcrawler’s sound is a blend of punk, grunge, rock, and indie, all put together with a Riot Grrrl energy brought to you by vocalist Arrow de Wilde. Although the entire band was great, my eyes were glued to Arrow de Wilde. Her energy was that of a headlining act and the way she stalked the stage with a sense of fury but also in an almost performance art manner was truly incredible to watch. There was just something so addicting about her being and I feel like that translated perfectly into the music of Starcrawler.
The band played for about forty-five minutes but I truly felt like they could have played much longer and I wouldn’t have complained at all. I probably would have been alone in that. Sadly, the audience just was not responding to the energy that I was picking up on and seemed to just be waiting for them to end which would signal the beginning of Bush’s set. The band clearly caught onto this and Arrow de Wilde even joked at one point that this was “the coolest retirement home we’ve ever played”. That statement equally broke my heart and made me laugh out loud. Another laughable moment was when they explained that their next song was about Minneapolis. I was intrigued– although I knew that they have played here in the past as I had a lot of people telling me I could not miss their set on Monday because they killed it at their 2019 show at The Turf Club, I was a bit shocked that they would have a whole song dedicated to Minneapolis. That’s when I caught onto their personality. It wasn’t a song about Minneapolis– it was actually a song all about Los Angeles. It was another funny moment within their set that just stood out to me for all of the right reasons. I truly adored Starcrawler’s set and will never forgive myself for not being at their show at The Turf Club back in 2019. I can only hope that they come back soon and play in a more intimate venue with people who are actually there to see them.
As the lights went down, the excited conversations around me came to a halt and changed to a loud roar of applause as the band stormed the stage. As mentioned, Bush isn’t quite my band. Don’t get me wrong, I can get down on some 90s music but I leaned more into the Everclear, Lit side of things rather than the grungy rock sound that Bush has. That being said, I do enjoy hearing some of Bush’s hits from time to time so it truly was exciting as they jumped into their set that would last thirteen songs followed by a three-song encore.
Obviously, people were excited to hear some of the classics from this band including “Machinehead” (which they played second), and “Glycerine” (which was part of the encore) but I think one of the biggest shocks for me was when the band played some of their newer songs. I was shocked by both the fact that the audience was eating up those songs just as much as they were the classics, and also by the fact that they blended into those nostalgic sounds so perfectly. Although a lot has changed since the heyday back in the mid-1990s, their sound has not and I really appreciated that. It means they were never doing that grungy vibe to make a sale, that’s truly what they are good at and [hopefully] enjoy doing, and seeing that translate onto the stage was heartwarming.
Another thing that hasn’t changed is Gavin Rossdale. Okay, let’s just put it out there– Gavin is a good-looking dude and I don’t know how but he has found the fountain of youth. He truly looks just as young as he did back in the 90s and sounds just as good. I think I’ve been let down by enough “nostalgic acts” that just let themselves go and are clearly touring again just due to needing an influx of cash but that was not at all the case when it came to Bush. Gavin and the rest of the band all looked great and had the same kind of energy and perfection that I can only imagine they have had their whole career when it comes to their live shows.
There were so many highlights throughout Bush’s set from not only the songs they played but to the interactions that the band had with the audience. Where some 90s vibes are fighting to stay relevant, a live show like what Bush gave the Fillmore on Monday night proves that this band is not fighting for anything. They are doing what they are meant to be doing and are continuing to age like a fine wine. I wasn’t expecting such a good show or to feel so strongly about Bush for the first time in my life but here we are.