Tuesday night the ALTimate tour, featuring LiVE and Bush, rolled into the Greek Theatre for one of several Southern California stops. A celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of LiVE’s Throwing Copper and Bush’s Sixteen Stone, the near capacity crowd was treated to multiple songs from those classic albums, as well as the occasional cover song, numerous sing-along choruses, and two singers who refused to be confined to the stage.
Kicking things off at 7 PM sharp was one of Canada’s biggest acts from the 90’s and 2000’s, Our Lady Peace. 25 years on from the release of their debut album Naveed the band is still a touring and recording machine with nine albums under their belt and about a zillion shows played.
Singer Raine Maida’s voice sounded excellent and he led the band through a short but memorable support set with highlights including “Innocent” from 2002 album Gravity with it’s immensely sing-along-able chorus, and “Superman’s Dead” and “Clumsy” from 1997 album Clumsy. The crowd got to hear their great cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” as well. The set charted a steady rise in intensity throughout and as the last song approached Maida thanked everyone for coming early to the not-easy-to-get-to-at-rush-hour Greek to see them play. While the venue wasn’t full yet the people who were there were fired up and loud in appreciation of the set and everyone stood for the final song “Starseed” from Naveed with it’s driving pulse and memorable guitar melody. A support act couldn’t have done a better job of getting the show going.
As the next set approached graphics on the backdrop advertised Throwing Copper Ale, a craft beer brewed by Southern California’s Alosta Brewing, another way in which LiVE is marking the 25 year anniversary of their breakout, and eight-time platinum, second album. Upon hitting the stage the band burst right into the hits with “All Over You” and “Selling the Drama”. Less flashy and dramatic than some other bands of their era Live really let’s the songs do the talking for them and when so many of the songs are ingrained in the consciousness of everyone who was around in the 90’s that approach totally works. Ed Kowalczyk is, as always, an intense presence on stage, and his voice sounds just as powerful as ever and he was joined by pretty much the entire audience on songs like “I Alone”, and “Lakini’s Juice” from 1997 album Secret Samadhi. Two covers made their way into the little over 1 hour set. The first was a cover of REM’s “Losing My Religion”. That band was a big influence on LiVE and it sounded like second nature to play it. The second cover was “Paint It Black” a little later in the set and the crowd ate it up.
After about a half an hour break Bush exploded onto the stage in a whirlwind of guitars and flashy lights and a jumpy Gavin Rossdale whipping around the stage like a tornado and, much like LiVE, they did not hold off on the hits, smacking the audience right in the face early on with “Machinehead” and “Everything Zen”. After Rossdale gave an extended thanks to film composer Tyler Bates the band played a new song “Bullet Holes” which Bates produce for the film John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Gavin was off stage and into the crowd for “Little Things”, then back on stage for a memorable solo rendition of “Glycerine”. All in all an impressive show from a band that clearly is still giving its all after all these years and it’s great fun to watch and hear.
Bottom line: What a great tour. These bands all go very well together and are still putting 110% into their performances. And it’s going well, having just been extended into the fall. Nearby dates include August 10 at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, October 10 at the North Island Credit Union Ampitheatre in Chula Vista, and October 20th in Temecula at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Words and photos by Tim Aarons