Woodstock 1999. The festival that went one to be more infamous for stupidity and all the other crap that went on during those 3 days than most of the performances. The lineup featured the biggest bands in the world at the time like Metallica, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against The Machine, and so many more. This was definitely not the Woodstock of 1969. There are many bands performances that I could feature and I likely will one day but, I’d like to focus on one that never gets the acclaim it should. Before the band I’m about to discuss would take the stage, Korn was on before and they absolutely stole the night and show! I really do recommend you watching their Woodstock 99 set. It’s that damn good. The band I’m talking about though is Bush and their performance that closed out the night. Having to go on after Korn is never an easy task. To this day, that band brings it every single time. Plus whoever made the lineup for that day must not have been thinking right. It really made no sense to have Bush on after Korn but, the end result was definitely one of those that saved the day (to an extent).
Bush at the time of Woodstock 99 was one of the biggest bands in the US. Their first album Sixteen Stone had sold millions of copies and so many of the songs on there became radio staples, even to this very day. Their second album, Razorblade Suitcase had debuted at number one and saw the band go even higher into the stratosphere. Bush was also about to release their anticipated third album, The Science Of Things (which is actually a pretty good album and I often think it gets overlooked). So the idea of them headlining did make sense on paper. And when you watch and listen to Bush’s set, you get the feeling that one they had to really step up their game after what Korn just did and two, the band understood what the original idea of the festival was all about. Gavin’s stage banter even hints at it many times. Throughout Bush’s 90 minute set they blazed through the hits as well as some really good deep cuts and a couple covers. Now, Bush is not a metal band or even one of the heaviest bands on the bill but, they delivered a set that was straight up rocking and one that they could walk off the stage and look back on proudly. Bush have always been a solid live band and to this day they still are. In fact their last two albums, The Kingdom and The Art Of Survival are some of the best complete work they’ve done since Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase. Take a moment and watch and listen to this very memorable performance and one that essentially saved night 1 of Woodstock 99.
Bush- Live at Woodstock 1999 (note: whoever was doing sound for their set, messed up bad on the first song):
Ever since Bush released their new album, The Art Of Survival back in October, I’ve been delving back into their catalog. If you haven’t heard their new album, I recommend it a lot! It’s quite good. It picks up where their previous album, The Kingdom left off. While going back through the albums, I remembered one song that I fell in love with many years ago when I was listening to Sixteen Stone. That song would be “Alien.” This deep cut is tremendous. It’s the song that should’ve ended Sixteen Stone, in my opinion. When you get to this song in order of the album, there is something about it that sort of encapsulates the themes of the record. Lyrically it can be taken in different ways but, it always felt like a song that was rooted in a sense of pain and loneliness. Gavin’s voice on the track carry the emotions in an interesting sway with the music. It feels epic while at the same time a mission statement of a song. “Alien” is one of the songs in Bush’s catalog that needs to be a part of their set list. Take a few moments to delve into this one!
I thoroughly enjoy making these Ultimate Set Lists. It’s quite fun to think of a dream scenario where you get to pick all the songs (well up to 25) for a live show. One band I’ve been listening to a lot lately is Bush. Mainly I’ve been listening to their new single “Bullet Holes” from the John Wick 3 soundtrack. It’s such a rad song that takes me back to the Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase days. Currently, Bush is out on tour with Live as both bands are celebrating the 25 year mark of their albums Sixteen Stone and Throwing Copper. I was intrigued to go to the show but, not sure I really want to knowing that the setlist for both bands are rather short and kind of dull. So, I went ahead and made my own Ultimate Set List for what I’d love to hear Bush play live.
Guideline 1: What line up of the band would it be
Guideline 2: Where would you want to see the show
Guideline 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Gavin Rossdale, Nigel Pulsford, Chris Traynor, Robin Goodridge, Dave Parsons,
Venue: Wiltern Los Angeles
01) Personal Holloway
02) Little Things
03) The Gift
04) Insect Kin
05) The Sound Of Winter
07) The Chemicals Between Us
09) The Heart Of The Matter
10) Cold Contagious
11) Loneliness Is A Killer
12) Bullet Holes
13) Greedy Fly
16) A Tendency To Start Fires
17) Disease Of The Dancing Cats
20) Letting The Cables Sleep
On the unsung masterpiece that is Razorblade Suitcase by Bush, there was one single released that had a video that was absolutely badass. The song and video I’m talking about is “Greedy Fly.” The song was the second single from the album and the accompanying video really inhabited the song. The video was directed by Marcus Nispel, who directed videos for bands like Faith No More and No Doubt. The video has this sort of Seven meets The Crow vibe. In fact the video was shot in one of the same buildings in Downtown Los Angeles as Seven was. The videos dark and eerie cinematography is the perfect mood setter for the song. Plus this song just rocks.
Oh the 90’s, what a great time for music. Just like our parents had the 60’s and 70’s, we had the 90’s. The music and films at the time were totally representative of the changing culture. There were a few filmmakers like Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith that really dialed in on that. One such film which has now garnered a cult following, is Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Not only was the movie funny and zeroed in on the culture, the soundtrack that accompanied it was pretty damn good. There was one song on it that I will always remember and that was Bush’s “Bubbles.” This song was released only on the soundtrack for Mallrats, though it now can be found on an expanded edition of the bands second album Razorblade Suitcase (which is quite a great album as well). Anyways, check out this song and enjoy!
Bush- Bubbles (from Mallrats):