CONCERT REVIEW: Bush Heats Up Anthem in Sioux City

Bush performed to a sold-out crowd inside Hard Rock Sioux City’s Anthem. Photograph by Sara Alexander
Bush Official Promo Poster

On Thursday evening [June 28, 2018], Bush rocked Hard Rock Sioux City, and it is going to take some time to come back down from this cloud.

English rock band Bush played to a sold-out crowd inside Hard Rock Sioux City’s Anthem; Anthem is an intimate music venue with a capacity for just 850 people, allowing for music fans ages 21 and up to see their favorite artists up close and personal.

Sioux City’s own Artificial Stars opened the show. The alternative rock band were declared champions of the 2018 Hard Rock Sioux City Band 6k Battle of the Bands earlier this year. Part of their prize included the chance to open for three nationally touring acts at the Hard Rock within the next year, the first of which was Bush. Artificial Stars truly went all in on their brief set with a fresh, raw energy and left no one wondering how they beat out 23 other groups to win the Battle.

At 9pm it was time for the post grunge legend that is Bush to take the stage. Band members filed on and opened the set with “Everything Zen” from their debut album, and the tone for the night was set. The crowd was instantly loving it; middle-aged women squealed like pre-teens for front man Gavin Rossdale and how after all these years he still looks “so hot.” It’s hard to disagree. Rossdale looks and sounds pretty much exactly as he did back in Bush’s prime and still has the energy and questionable dance moves of a man in his 20’s. Even though it was the band’s first night out on tour for the summer, it took absolutely no time to get right into the swing of things.

Marquee at Anthem. Photo by Sara Alexander

The set featured music spanning Bush’s entire career, including classics like “Little Things” and “Machinehead” from 1994’s Sixteen Stone to “This is War” from 2017’s Black and White Rainbows. They even threw in a cover of “The One I Love” from R.E.M. Unfortunately, only half of the band consists of original members Rossdale and drummer Robin Goodridge. However, lead guitarist Chris Traynor, who has been with the band since just before their breakup in 2002, nails early Bush material to the point where there is little to no difference. And let’s be real, those early Bush tunes are what the people really came for.

The true highlight of the show came during the encore as Rossdale took the stage solo to serenade the crowd. With just a few guitar strums and his voice, he captivated the room with one of the greatest rock ballads ever written, “Glycerine.” He didn’t need help singing but received plenty anyway. The entire audience joined in, the guitar dropped out, and instantaneously everyone in the room got chills. How could you not?

Bush on stage at Anthem. Photograph by Sara Alexander.

The band received consistent crowd interaction and was visually humbled by the support of the audience. Bush continues to be a stellar live band and puts on an all-around kickass rock show that should not be missed. This summer they can be seen touring with Stone Temple Pilots and The Cult. Just don’t be surprised if you leave questioning what decade you’re in.

Sara Alexander, Contributing Writer for Go Venue Magazine