Concert Review

The ALT-IMATE Tour @Stage AE Pittsburgh: BUSH AND +LIVE+ CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ICONIC ALBUMS SIXTEEN STONE AND THROWING COPPER

Hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the pivotal records of Sixteen Stone and Throwing Copper was on everyone’s radio and CD player. Fast forward to August 26, 2019, and a sold-out crowd at Stage AE was witness to three bands that dominated that area and can still captivate a crowd. With the lineup of Our Lady Peace, Bush, and +LIVE+ any alt-rock fan would be ecstatic.

Canadian band Our Lady Peace opened up the night by delving straight into familiar territory. Lead singer Raine Maida’s voice was spot on and as the only original member and that signature vox was a welcome sound as he belted out their huge hit, “Superman’s Dead” from their second album, Clumsy, which was released January 1997. Although they have gone through line-up and stylistic changes, the band is pretty solid, but not exactly hugely dynamic. They put on a musically tight performance but there is not a whole lot of movement.

Bush, on the other hand, was kinetic from the get-go. With drummer Robin Goodridge playing a dramatic opening to “Machinehead” (from Sixteen Stone) the energy level of the audience went up 200%. Singer Gavin Rossdale has actually gained steps instead of lost them since his fame exploded in 1992. His voice, guitar playing, and stage presence are mesmerizing and completely pulls you in. Dancing to “This is War” or slamming into “Everything Zen” in a cut-up tee, all eyes were on the legendary musician. His band still has Robin from the original crew, but Nigel Pulsford (guitar) and Dave Parsons (bass) fit perfectly and add their own dynamic as well. The craziest part of the set had to be when Rossdale went fully into the crowd and all the way to the back lawn to interact with fans during “Little Things” (pretty sure one girl licked his ear). Rossdale was an amazing sport about the whole thing and closed the show out with “Glycerine” and “Comedown”, set the standard and stole the show for the evening.

LIVE has been performing with and without singer Ed Kowalczyk since 1984 and first really broke out in 1994 with their record Throwing Copper. Having achieved a lot of success in the mid-nineties the band really blew up with the hit “Lightning Crashes”. In 2009 Ed left the band to be replaced by an excellent Chris Shinn only to rejoin the group in 2016.

Primarily playing songs from Throwing Copper, LIVE came out to stunners “All Over You” and “Selling the Drama” only to bring out a very faithful cover of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion for its third tune. later they would also play “Paint It Black” from the Stones amid other hits “Dolphin’s Cry”, “Lightning Crashes” and “I, Alone”. The lights pretty much concentrated on Ed with guitar player Chad Taylor once in awhile coming into the light and multi-instrumentalist Zak Loy peaking through at times. Bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey stayed pretty much in the dark red lights. Ed is known for staying behind his mic a bit too much, but after a few songs, he interacted with the crowd a bit more and even danced a bit. Unfortunately, some of the Bush fans left, being a school night and all, and they missed a very memorable musically, if not dynamically, performance.

AWeldingphoto © 2019

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