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Bushone of the oldest remaining and most consistent bands of the early 90s grunge phase, have never been ones to rest on their laurels. The veritable old guard of grunge kicked off 2023 with their The Art of Survival Tour, picking up support from a medley of exciting artists including Candlebox and Silversun Pickups.

For this rainy (but thankfully no longer aggressively frigid) February evening, this leg of the tour saw Starcrawler opening for the rock veterans. Speaking tongue in cheek to the average age of the crowd, the lead singer Arrow de Wilde jokingly referred to those in attendance as ‘the coolest retirement home we’ve ever played’. There was, to some degree, a kernel of truth to this, as Bush’s crowd leans a bit further back in demographics than lots of the artists that come to the stage of the Fillmore.  That said, the energy that Starcrawler brought to the venue that night was met with youthful, animalistic vitality that far exceeded than perhaps what they were expecting with a remark like that. De Wilde and Co. gracefully began to set the tone for a night of no-holds-barred rock ‘n roll, working in a Ramones cover and playing several originals, giving the show absolutely no room to rest and recover before Bush took to the stage shortly after.

The English stars took to the stage very shortly after, smashing into a rendition of "Identity" off of their 2022 release and tour-titled album, The Art of Survival, with lead singer Gavin Rossdale jumping all over the stage (sometimes legitimately difficult to keep track of as he flung himself from stage left to stage right in the midst of the chorus). Bush have the kind of presence you come to expect from a band who has played an enormous number of shows in their tenure and everything was locked in to absolute margin-less perfection.  Lead guitarist Chris Traynor dipping theatrically for guitar solos, bassist Corey Britz hogging the risers and leaning in to the crowd, and drummer Nik Hughes absolutely losing his mind buried way high in the kit in the back of the stage. All this while never missing a beat, never losing that special touch you get from bands who aren’t just going through the motions - Bush make you feel like they really are giving these songs, new and old, their everything. They soon moved further back in their catalog, with a noteworthy recreation of "Blood River", and before you knew it, Gavin was off in the crowd singing his heart out to his adoring crowd (and based on the teenage-like shrill cheering of women you’re guaranteed to hear when he hits the stage, you better believe it’s adoring).

Bush played for well over an hour, closing with an encore featuring both "Glycerine" and "Comedown", two hits they are likely best known for, all the while keeping the energy to an absolute max.

Joseph Dunst

Photojournalist - Minneapolis  

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