On Thursday, December 29th I saw Bush at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. It was a cold night, and was to be my last concert of 2016, a great year for rock and roll.
Bush came on right around 9PM. They opened with “Everything Zen,” which sounded just like it does on the studio recording.
Two songs into the show, the sound was cut. Frontman Gavin Rossdale attempted to entertain the crowd as technicians rushed all over the stage. Everyone was cheering regardless of the situation.
As if things couldn’t get any weirder, I then see everyone leaving the venue. I figured this was because they thought the show was over, but then I realized the security guards were yelling for everyone to get out. The fire alarms were going off, and everyone had to evacuate. I was in shock. So many strange things happened last year, it’s as if 2016 was just trying to get in one last prank on us.
So I headed over to a diner for about a half hour, then went back. I wasn’t sure at the time whether there was an actual fire or what had happened (it later came out that it was a fire alarm prank), but it definitely made for an interesting turn of events. The police were blocking the street and there were fire trucks, but they were letting everyone back inside the theater. A little after 10, the band came back on and Rossdale thanked the crowd for “having patience,” and laughed. Everyone cheered, and they broke out into another song and put on a damn good show for about another hour and a half. They played “Sound of Winter,” “Swallowed,” “The Only Way Out,” “This House is on Fire,” “Machinehead,” “Glycerine,” and finished with “Comedown.” They even covered R.E.M.’s “The One I Love.”
The sound was incredible, and Rossdale’s voice was strong. The crowd was exhilarating – to the point where Rossdale had security walk him around the edge of the theater, straight into the center of the crowd. He continued singing, turned around, and instead of following the guard back to the wall, shot straight up the stairs and passed where we were standing. He ran out the door and we had no idea where he was going until I noticed the crowd near the stage was looking up. The band continued playing and then he finished singing the song from up on the balcony. It was a really personal form of engagement with the audience, and everyone was going ballistic.
Overall, I left this show extremely impressed, and definitely consider myself a much bigger Bush fan than I had previously been.
My apologies for my screaming “what the hell” in the video, I had never seen an artist get in a crowd before and was very excited by it.