Review / photos: Bush bring grungy energy to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa
It is generally true what they say about the early bird getting the worm. In the case of Thursday night's Bush concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, being early was mandatory if you wanted to get a glimpse of singer Gavin Rossdale.
With a sold-out show, even some fans who purchased tickets were forced to "listen" to the performance from the entry hallway of the venue. It was just that packed. In fact, I've never seen a show at the Ritz that was jammed wall to wall, from entry to exit, with clickers on all doors counting heads to make sure occupancy of each room was not over capacity.
Anyone that knows me will tell you Bush is not on my "passion" list. But there is something about combining great sound with an energy that demands respect, and Rossdale does just that.
Coming to the stage with his silver Fender in hand, and opening with Machinehead, he came out swinging. The stage lit up and Rosssdale, looking reserved with a long jacket and hair in a ponytail, stung the crowd with a voice that, once heard, brought back memories from all. Bush was the band that kids heard in high school, mothers heard at the gym, and it seems everyone had a memory for each song that was played.
"Bush changed my life and made me who I am today", said fan A.J. Larson of Tampa. It seemed this was a common statement to which fans throughout the world could relate.
Bush played a long set with all of the fan favorites. The ponytail eventually came down, and the jacket came off. During Land of The Living, Rossdale, in an unexpected move, entered the crowd and made his way throughout the venue. I wasn't quite sure how this was going to work out, given how tightly the crowd was packed, but he managed. The fans felt connected and the personal attention Rossdale gave Tampa was reciprocated by the fans.
A four-song encore, including a cover of The Beatles' Come Together and Pink Floyd's Breathe, sealed up the night. Good times were had by all, but it was time to exit the venue and get some fresh air.
-- Review/photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*