COUNCIL BLUFFS — Lawn chairs lined the sloping lawn at Stir Cove while beer lines stretched out to include dozens of people.
The thousands gathered in the crowd Thursday night swatted at insects while they rocked out near the stage and others sipped beers and sat in the long grass.
When it came time for the “Glycerine” and “Everything Zen” band to take the stage, the sun was setting and the audience patiently waited for Bush.
Or, maybe not so patiently.
When it was time for an introduction to be made, the audience tried to drown out the emcee with a chant of “We want Bush! We want Bush!”
When the musicians finally hit the stage, they brought out the hard, fast hit “Machinehead,” and frontman Gavin Rossdale — the focal point of the whole evening — jumped around, pounded his guitar and struck rock star poses. As the band moved on, it played “Everything Zen” (Rossdale called it “the song that started it all”) and “Swallowed,” which felt like a flashback to the mid-'90s.
As the alt-grunge band played on framed by big lights and a “Bush” banner, I realized how little the band normally comes into my head, but I also noticed that I knew every word to almost every song the band played.
I wasn't alone.
When “Little Things,” “Everything Zen” and other songs came up, the audience sang the lyrics right back at Rossdale.
A couple of songs took on a new feel. “The Chemicals Between Us” had a Nine Inch Nails-like industrial rock sound, and “Greedy Fly” had a slightly different guitar riff and seemed slowed down.
Bush also introduced a pair of new songs. “Loneliness is a Killer” had a heavy guitar riff, and “House on Fire” had a good beat for bobbing your head and singing along.
“We've got a new song for you guys to show you we've been doing more than just our tour for the last three years,” Rossdale said.
Throughout the show, Rossdale's energy was impressive, and he moved around so much that he continually lost layers of clothing (I heard a few ladies scream) and let his slick ponytail out for everyone to see his frizzy curls.
Multiple times, he stepped off the stage to get closer to fans. During a cover of the Beatles' “Come Together,” Rossdale left the safety of the stage altogether and ran through the audience. He hugged one woman and high-fived lots of others.
“Sometimes you gotta come out and see the people,” he said. “That was fun.”
Bush finished with the hits “Comedown” and “Glycerine,” which Rossdale performed alone.
As the audience sang both, he jumped around like it was the first song of the set.
“We'll see you again,” Rossdale said after. “We love you. Thank you.”
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