Article was written by Debbie Irene Ide
Talk about becoming one with your audience! Friday night May 27th, Gavin Rossdale did exactly that at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.
The show supporting their latest release The Art of Survival started with a wash of red lights and the sound of a synth resonating. As the audience trickled in from getting their t-shirts and drinks, drummer Nik Hughes jumped on stage and bashed the drums almost ritualistically to call in the tribe. The lights pierced in response as people found their seats. “Identity”, the last song from the 2022 release, is a hard hitting rock song that quickly catapulted us right into “Machinehead”. I was surprised to hear the unmistakable hit from their 1994 debut album Sixteen Stone as most acts would save the biggest hits for an encore. “Blood River”, “Bullet Holes” and “The Sound of Winter” took us into “Flowers on a Grave” during which a most epic event happened. Gavin jumped off the stage and traveled to the aisle between the floor and the second tier seats. Once he got to the middle of the venue he proceeded to climb over the railing and into the middle of the audience. He made his way all the way back to the venue through the third tier of seating. The Spotlight followed him as he traveled, and so did I. He then proceeded to go to the other side of the venue, and so did I. When he got there he came down the stairs towards the aisleway where I was standing and everyone else was gathered in anticipation of being near him. He jumped up onto a railway and shook his arms in the air in celebration. When he got down the crowd embraced him and his smile was so incredibly big! I could literally feel him overflowing with bliss. It was truly remarkable to watch. Then, as he exited the frenzied cluster of fans, he skipped his way down the walkway back to the stage. It was quite a spectacle. I could see that he was just as excited about bathing in the audience’s love as they were to shower him with it. “Everything Zen” also from Sixteen Stone, was The perfect finale for that moment. “1000 Years”, a hauntingly melodic cut from The Art of Survival, was the next mood altering event. I loved the almost robotic sounding distortion of Chris Traynors’ guitar on this song. Gavin’s voice was literally mesmerizing during this song as he switched to falsetto leading into the chorus. “More Than Machines” followed ”Quicksand” and” Heavy Is the Ocean” with its hard hitting yet catchy hook and reminder to Breathe. “All Things Must Change” and “Little Things” finished off the set with the audience demanding an encore. “The Kingdom” from the 2020 album with the same name pushed us into fan favorite “Glycerin” from Sixteen Stone that won MTVs Video Music Award for Viewers Choice. “Comedown” with its sexy groove and chunky guitar sounds finished off the night with an expert blend of classic and new Bush songs. I’d say if you are already a BUSH fan and you don’t have The Art of Survival you have to add this to your collection.
And if you get the chance to see this show, you won’t regret it! Keep a lookout for Gavin coming out into the audience. That moment alone was priceless!