If parents want to communicate with their teens, they should try using Gavin Rossdale to sing the message. Bush's frontman commanded an almost unbelievable audience reaction Thursday when with thousands hanging on his every word, his one-album band blasted the near-capacity crowd at the Delta Center.
Opening for the English band were the Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt. Each received a nice welcome from the Salt Lake audience, but when Bush took the stage, it was like a 90's version of Beatlemania. Teenage girls screeched at the top of their lungs, stomped their feet and screamed "I love you" across the arena.Most of the adoration was directed to Rossdale, who took the solo spotlight for a moment before the rest of the band joined him on stage to open the show. During the first number, especially, when the JumboTron focused on the crooner, his vocals were drowned by an audible sea of fan approval. He elicited a frenzied reaction each time he said so much as "thank you" or "hello."
When the band hit its currently popular, high-energy "Machine Head" in stride for its second number, 15,000 screamers became 15,000 screaming jumpers. The mass looked like a BYU football crowd on steroids during the singing of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree." The impact vibrations from jumping could be felt throughout the arena. Most of the horde matched lyrics with Rossdale, adding to his intensity.
With a small song selection, the band performed "You Will Get Yours," a vengeful tune from its upcoming album. As in most songs, the lyrics were a bit muddy, thanks to the poor acoustics in the arena. What the sound lacked in clarity the crowd and performers covered with energy. Only a handful sat during any portion of the 90-minute performance, choosing to continue the dancing and high-pitched wailing.
Bush has learned how to keep an audience focused during its four tours of North America. The band's members are most successful as musicians and performers when they set a mood with slow, grinding songs with an edge that builds gradually and eventually explodes into full-blown anger.
They matched such outbursts effectively with their lighting during much of the show. A highlight during "Come Down" featured flashes of white light on the ceiling that simulated lightning. The flashes played well with the almost erie red floodlights used during the song, which gave the show a sunset feel.
Despite the band showing no extraordinary musical skills, the crowd roared with bliss any time a solo of any kind was attempted. As always, exceptional energy and crafty song writing carried the average talent level.
Bush ended its set with the popular "Little Things" while flashing written messages on the scrim behind it. The band wanted fans to know that "television is a life sentence" and "everything you know is wrong." It also displayed the philosophy, "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law."
During the encore that everybody knew was coming, audience insanity and volume reached a new level.
The extra numbers included the band's first single, "Everything's Zen," which had folks clapping in rhythm like a John Denver audience. Despite having only one album, its a safe bet Bush will be popular for a long while, at least in Utah, because of its high energy and the fans' devotion to Rossdale.
No Doubt delighted the audience - especially the female portion - with the wisecracking "I am Just a Girl," while the Goo Goo Dolls seemed popular enough to headline their own show.