Bush and Live at Meadowbrook Amphitheatre in Rochester Hills, MI

Veteran rockers Live and Bush wow fans young and old on co-headlining ALTimate tour with support from Our Lady Peace.

Canadian alternative rockers Our Lady Peace get the night off to a great start with a seven-song set, starting with “Drop Me in the Water.” They follow that up with two songs, “Do You Like It” and “Innocent” from the 2002 album Gravity. Led by vocalist Raine Maida, they have the crowd on their feet early and singing along to other hits like “Superman’s Dead” and “Clumsy.” They mix things up a bit tonight from other stops on the tour and throw in a new song “Stop Making Stupid People Famous.” They close out their set with their breakout 1994 hit “Starseed” that has the fans cheering for more.

Live kept the energy going strong right from the beginning of their set to the end. They had the crowd on their feet, singing, clapping, and moving with an inspired set that was heavy on songs from their epic, multi-platinum selling album Throwing Copper from 1994. They kick it off with “All Over You” and “Selling the Drama” that has singer Ed Kowalczyk dancing and spinning all over the stage. A cool cover of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. has all of the band members joining in on the fun and even featured a mandolin just like the original. The look on Ed’s face says it all, with a huge smile you can see he is having as much fun as the crowd.

Having seen Live many times over the years, this was by far the best show, not only from the energy the band but also in the crowd reaction. People from the front of the pavilion to the back of the lawn are dancing, jumping, throwing their arms in the air and cheering wildly. On “Shit Towne,” the band really cranks it up with Chad Taylor (lead guitar), a second guitarist, Ed, and the bassist (Patrick Dahlheimer) all jamming together to the fans up front. During “The Dolphin’s Cry,” fans in the pavilion toss around inflatable dolphins with several making it to the stage, where Chad picks one up and kisses it. Chad is a major force on may of the songs tonight including a killer cover of “Paint It Black” that does great justice to the original. The fans love it.

Going back to 1997 release Secret Samadhi, Chad continued his tour de force on guitar with some heavy riffs and doing some synchronized foot-stomping with Ed towards the end.  One of their biggest hits “I Alone” has everyone singing along, while a cool video that looked like a mix of lava and streaming stars played on the giant video screen. This song also features a huge jam by Chad, Patrick, and the Chad Gracey (drums), with white lights flashing. They have the sound dialed in tight and you could feel the bass way back in the seated area. “White, Discussion” is accompanied by quick-changing messages on the screen such as “Artificial Intelligence to replace 19% of jobs by 2030” and “Is your child’s school affected by funding cuts?”

Slowing things down a bit, Ed comes out solo for a few songs including “Heaven” from 2003 album Bird’s of Prey and “Turn My Head.” Closing the set is the huge hit “Lightning Crashes” that has everyone cheering loudly.  It is an awesome set, full of hits, high-energy, and great sound and visuals. 

The amped-up crowd is still buzzing from the great sets by the opening bands when the lights dim and Bush takes the stage to deafening cheers and jumps right into “Machinehead.” This song finds singer Gavin Rossdale singing with conviction and jumping about the stage, all while playing the rhythm guitar. Chris Traynor rips it up on the guitar all night, while his long hair flies. Like Live, their set is heavy on songs from their multi-platinum 1994 album Sixteen Stone that spawned five top 10 modern rock hits. One of those that got their career off to a great start is “Everything Zen” that has the crowd cheering and rocking hard.

The energy level is very high tonight.  Maybe it’s because it is the last night of the tour or maybe it’s because the bands are feeding off the energy from the crowd, but Gavin is extremely active and having a ball. During “The Sound of Winter,” he throws in many jumps throughout the song, but at one point it must have been well over five times in a row. This song also has a cool vibe to it with white beams of light streaming out toward the crowd. Gavin introduces “The Disease of the Dancing Cats” as “a song for the Orangutans.” It is a heavy song from the 1999 release The Science of Things with ground-shaking bass from Corey Britz and is backed by a video of flames along with yellow beams of light. 

Making use of video on many of their songs, they go into their latest single “Bullet Holes” from the John Wick 3 movie. Video from the movie plays throughout this new song that finds Gavin in the crowd, playing up to the fans on the lawn section alongside of the pavilion. Gavin continues getting up close to the fans on the next song, the major hit “Little Things”. Dropping from the stage into the pavilion, he runs up the steps in the middle, climbs a short wall on the lawn section, and gets on top of the soundboard hut and sings to the fans. Then he drops back into the crowd and goes almost to the top of the lawn before running back down to the stage. While Gavin is having fun with the fans, the band is laying down a jam on stage with a wicked drum beat by Robin Goodridge.

While the temperature may have dropped into the mid-50s, the energy in the air is high and the audience is having a ton of fun. They keep it going with some more hits from Sixteen Stone. First up is Gavin doing a solo version of “Glycerine” that has that classic distorted sound.  Closing out the set is “Comedown” that has the fans singing along again and cheering loudly.  Yet another great live show by these veteran rockers who still know how to rock like they are in their twenties.

Here’s to hoping they and all the bands tonight continue to put out great music and put on great shows like tonight.

BUSH
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LIVE
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OUR LADY PEACE
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MEADOWBROOK AMPHITHEATRE
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About Gary Pahlow 16 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.

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