Sixteen Stone

Memorable Live Performances: Bush at Woodstock 99

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):

Deep Cuts: Bush- Alien

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!

Bush- Alien (Album Version):

Bush- Alien (Live):

Album Rank: Bush

Bush.Logo

Since the news broke about Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani breaking up, I’ve been on a Bush kick. So, with that in mind here is an album rank of their albums!

Golden State:

The Sea Of Memories:

The Science Of Things:

Man On The Run:

Razorblade Suitcase:

Sixteen Stone:

20th Anniversary of: Bush Sixteen Stone

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1994 was such a great year for music. So many amazing albums were released. Nine Inch Nails- The Downward Spiral, Soundgarden- Superunkown, Alice In Chains -Jar Of Flies, Failure- Magnified, Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary, Stone Temple Pilots- Purple, Pearl Jam- Vitalogy just to name a few. There was another album that was released at this time as well by a group of lads from England called Bush. In late 1994 their debut album Sixteen Stone was released. Despite the criticism of critics, and the constant comparisons to Nirvana, Bush were able to carve out their own piece of the pie. Sixteen Stone had great songs and not just the singles. Leading off the album is “Everything Zen” a track full of loud guitars and memorable hooks. Following was “Swim” and “Bomb” both of these songs blend melodies with loud distortion making them 2 of the best deep cuts on the album. “Little Things” and the very successful “Comedown” had the loud, melody, and then some. The song “Body” has a sweet opening that ventures into the blues territory then bursts into what Bush does so well. Next is the great “Machine Head.” The riff for that is extremely memorable as is the sing along. “Testosterone” and “Monkey” are good songs but definitely not part of the stand out nature of the album, though “Monkey” has a great guitar outro. “Glycerine” however is a stand out. This vulnerable songs strips the band down to make all take notice. The use of strings on the song as well really help to embrace the purity of the song.¬†Closing out the album is “Alien” a truly overlooked track on an album full of great songs. I’ve always stopped the album there and never really bothered to listen to “X-girlfriend,” though its a short little diddy, it just never interested me that much.

Gavin Rossdale has the ability to write really interesting and thought provoking songs. Sometimes his lyrics are a bit out there but it gets the job done. Nigel Pulsford brought a nice tone to the group guitar wise but was always the more boring of them when you’d watch them live. Dave Parsons brought intensity to his bass playing and had a strong way of cutting through the distortion. Robin Goodridge played the drums like he was on a mission to really hammer home the beat. Sixteen Stone still holds up to this day. A couple years back Bush reconvened with Gavin and Robin and two others Chris Traynor (who previously played with the band when Nigel couldn’t tour) and Corey Britz, and released a new album The Sea Of Memories. Their latest release was a solid album that found Gavin and company ready to capture what was once theirs.

 

 

By: Brian Lacy