Photos & Review by Greg Hamil for MPM
The British rock band Bush brought their high-energy tour to The Sylvee in Madison, Wisconsin, much to the delight of a sold-out and enthusiastic crowd.
I was enthusiastic just to be inside and away from the temperatures in the teens and even down into the single digits by the time the show was done!
Opening the show was Eva Under Fire. An American rock band out of Detroit, Michigan that includes Amanda “Eva Marie” Lyberg on lead vocals, Rob Lyberg on lead guitar, Chris Slapnik on rhythm guitar, Ed Gawlik on bass, and Dave Miller II on drums.
They were named as one of the “Artists to Watch” in 2023 by Pandora Radio.
The crowd was electric from the start as the band jumped straight into the hard hitting “Comatose”. Many of those in the crowd were already singing along while others were moshing to the beat.
Rob Lyberg shredded on his solos all night, while Ed Gawlik and Dave Miller II kept the beat. Chis Slapnik, dressed in his fleece Eva Under Fire pj’s even provided some comedy relief when he messed up the beginning of a song and stopped the band so he could encourage the crowd to boo him before starting the song again.
The set continued featuring songs from their latest album “Love, Drugs & Misery”. The only break from the album coming in a heavy hitting version of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart” that had fans young and old singing along.
Eva Under Fire gave The Sylvee an unforgettable performance. The band was tight, and the crowd was enthusiastic. It was an amazing opening that certainly prepped the crowd for what was coming next. Being a hard rock fan, I look forward to a future opportunity to see this band, and I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!
Eva Under Fire Setlist: Comatose – Heroin(e) – Devil in Disguise – Coming for Blood – Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) – Unstoppable/We Will Rock You – Blow
The headliners of the night, Bush were about to hit the stage after a short intermission. The band was formed in 1992 in London, England. The current lineup consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Gavin Rossdale; Chris Traynor on lead guitar and backing vocals; Corey Britz on bass and backing vocals, and Nik Hughes on drums. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1990s with over ten million records sold in the United States and 20 million records worldwide.
As the lights dimmed, a pulsing red light grew behind the drumkit. Shortly after, Hughes emerged behind the kit and began a slow pounding beat on the bass drum and floor tom while encouraging the crowd to become louder and louder.
As the beat grew faster and lights grew brighter, Traynor and Britz strolled on stage, followed quickly by Rossdale. Rossdale came to the front of the stage and put his hands to his ears encouraging the already loud crowd to cheer even louder. As he blows kisses to the crowd, the band kicked into the powerful hit “Everything Zen”. The crowd was immediately captivated, singing along to every word and pounding fists to the infectious beat.
To keep the energy at peak levels, Bush followed up with the hard pounding “Machinehead”. The crowd responded in kind, screaming even louder while moshing and swaying to the beat.
As the night progressed, Bush continued to deliver hit after hit, including the introspective “The Kingdom”, and the pulsating “The Chemicals Between Us”. Each song was met with thunderous applause as the band effortlessly maintained the energy and excitement.
Rossdale was the ultimate front man, making sure everyone in attendance felt as if the show was just for them. From talking to people from the stage, to jumping into the barricade to sing to the folks in the front row. At one point he even emerged in the balcony walking from one side, all the way to the other while high-fiving fans and stopping for others to take photos.
The band also took the opportunity to perform a selection of deeper cuts, showcasing their versatility and musical depth. The haunting “Greedy Fly” and the introspective “Identity” provided a welcome change of pace, while the gunge-infused ”Swallowed” and the driving “Nowhere to Go But Everywhere” showcased their heavier side.
After a short break, Bush returned to the stage for a four song encore that brought the crowd to its feet. They opened with the powerful “More Than Machines” followed by an incredible rendition of The Beatles “Come Together”. The highlight of the night was when the crowd erupted in cheers as Rossdale launched into the iconic guitar riff of “Glycerine” sending the energy in the room to new heights.
The show closed with the melancholic yet beautiful “Comedown,” leaving the crowd wanting more. As the final notes faded away and the band took its final bows, the applause echoed through the venue. A testament to Bush’s enduring legacy and their ability to connect with audiences on a profound level.
Bush’s performance at The Sylvee was a night to remember. The band delivered a setlist that was both nostalgic and current. It showcased their musical prowess and their ability to captivate an audience. Rossdale’s vocals were flawless, and the band’s energy was infectious. Their connection with the crowd was undeniable. Bush proved why they remain as one of the most influential rock bands of their generation.
Bush Setlist: Everything Zen – Machinehead – The Kingdom – The Chemicals Between Us – Greedy Fly – Identity – Swallowed – Nowhere to Go But Everywhere – The Sound of Winter – Letting the Cables Sleep – Heavy Is the Ocean – Flowers on a Grave – All Things Must Change – Little Things – More Than Machines – Come Together (Beatles Cover) – Glycerine – Comedown