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Bush drives its hard work home

It's interesting to note the progression of Bush. Two years ago, the band was one of literally dozens of post-grunge spin-offs that seemed destined in time to fade.

However, luck, patience and a lot of hard work won them a faithful following that seemed to multiply on end.

Friday night's visit to the Ice Palace showed why. The British quartet has fully matured into a multidimensional unit that has woven a striking sound and a commanding presence into a tidy package that the music masses eat up.

Fronted by charismatic vocalist Gavin Rossdale, the band set the mostly late-teen crowd of about 11,000 on its collective ears, steamrolling through 90-minutes of earnest rock 'n' roll that soared like a sonic wind through the hall.

For longtime fans, there were perhaps few surprises. As expected, Rossdale and mates bounded through nearly every track on Razorblade Suitcase, and a generous choice from the debut LP, Sixteen Stone. However, the group relished in making changes where they seemed fitting.

Rossdale is a remarkable singer, adept at hard-hitting grinders like Machinehead as he is at burning ballads. His solo rendition of the plaintive Bone Driven dialed into the emotions of a song.

But it was the hard-pounding stuff that won the crowd too. Synapse, Everything Zen and even a smidgeon of an old Clash tune all blasted bone-crunching beats that had the moshers reeling. (Wisely, a small army of defensive linemen-sized security men were called in to ring the stage.)

As Bush signed off with the radio hit Swallowed to a roaring encore, it was clear that the hard work definitely had paid off.