The derivative nature of Bush’s music will be debated as long as this band can sell records (don’t forget, some early R&B acts still hold a grudge against Elvis). The bass-and-drum dynamics mimic early U2, and in the Bono tradition, Rossdale latches onto phrases and repeats them (“There’s no sex in your violence,” “You will get yours”). His vocal echo of Kurt Cobain, which certainly sticks in some longtimers’ craws, is more pronounced on record and indeed the largess of each of the numbers performed make that less of a concern.
But these are points of assimilation for this young band, and for this devoted — and even younger — audience, Bush represents a fresh face of fame, specifically Rossdale’s good looks and omnipresent good-natured charm. In truth, he seems too nice a guy to be singing the Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant.”
Openers Veruca Salt and Souls have more extensive problems with wearing their influences on their sleeves. While Souls is out to extend the legacy of the Sugarcubes through excessive pretension, Veruca Salt has added an overwhelming dose of heavy metal antics to their invigorating brand of power pop. Over 11 songs, Veruca Salt exhibited a penchant for bubble gum and tough balladry — the recipe on their 1994 debut “American Thighs” — but felt the odd pull toward big treble-heavy chords that belong lost in the ’80s.