The Cult - Stone Temple Pilots  -Bush

San Bernadino, California, September 1, 2018

Story by James West, The-Rocker.com

Photos by Danette West, TheRockerChic.com

Every chance I have to go see The Cult in concert is a blessing! 

 

They always ROCK and put on a great show, so I had really nothing to lose this Labor Day weekend when they hit the stage at nearby Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernadino, California.

 

Sharing the bill were two bands that I’ve never seen before live- Stone Temple Pilots and Bush.  

So, it was nice to have The Cult as my ace in the hole just in case I didn’t like what the other bands were dealing out!

The Cult Sells Sanctuary 

Two generations of Rockers were represented in the crowd: The Cult came out in 1983, so I was 20 when they hit the scene; and Stone Temple Pilots and Bush hit the charts in 1992 and 1994 respectfully. 

Out of respect and reputation you would figure The Cult would headline the evening, so I was immediately surprised and stunned to see The Cult drum riser on stage first.  I thought maybe it was just me being more from the 70s and 80s generation and not understanding that there actually might be great groups that deserved to headline from the 90’s-on.  But, as time would tell as the evening progressed, the crowd seemed to dissipate as the evening wore on.   

Hopefully the venue took note of this for future trio-shared bills.

The Rocker Chic and I saw The Cult a couple months back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and were blown away by their performance; albeit being held at a county fair with no real backdrop or light show to help enhance the performance.

Even though they started off in the pre-dusk light and ended as darkness fell the light show and visual effects from the big screen behind The Cult made their already dynamic performance even better.  Their ten-song set featured hits like Rain, She Sells Sanctuary, and Love Removal Machine mixed in with newer tracks like Dark Energy and Elemental Light.  Even though they had played twice as many songs at Del Mar they still delivered the goods here in

normal Cult fashion with the shorter set.  The added lighting effects helped accentuate front man Ian Astbury’s ‘Morrison-like’ stage presence and command of the crowd.  Billy Duffy was spot on as usual, and with the great sound system his riffs punched you in the face and got you moving.

“Ok, show’s over, I’m ready to head out of here,” I thought after The Cult’s performance.  They were my main course of the evening, and I ended up getting them for an appetizer! Lol  If it wasn’t for The Rocker Chic’s obsession with Gavin Rossdale we may very well had left, but hey, we wanted more out of our special discounted 20-dollar tickets!  Why not stay and see the resurrected STP and some Bush while we’re there!

STP Is Still A Band For Me!

Alright I confess, I do like Stone Temple Pilots also, and I also like the first few Bush albums.  I just haven’t listened to recent Bush, and I was very apprehensive to see what the new singer would bring to STP. 

 

I know it’s been a long hard road for the band, especially since Chester Bennington’s and Scott Weiland’s untimely deaths.  It was a one-two punch in the music career for a band that never got the true recognition for the fabulous albums they put out

in the 90’s.  There’s a hell of a lot to STP other than Core, and even their comeback self-titled album released earlier this year is strong.

I immediately felt a 60’s psychedelic vibe when the Stone Temple Pilots took the stage after The Cult.  The lighting was tripping, the music was swirling, and the new singer was slithering to great affect in respect to Scott.  Jeff Gutt needs to be praised for not only honoring the memory of

Scott, but also in moving forward with new ideas and melodies with the band.

 

There were some goods and bads though.  The good stuff was the incredible use of the stage lighting combined with smoke effects.  The awesome glow from the lights off the smoke layers extended the mood and lighting over the crowd at times, and even up over the venue. 

The light seemed to be dancing with the vibe of the evening.  The bad stuff wasn’t the bands fault, it was the stupid-ass drone that was deployed during their performance.  Maybe it was being used to film the performance, but it kept hovering right over our heads and at times even startling my wife.  This coming after the venue even had signs stating no drones were allowed in the venue. 

At times STP came off more as a jam band, especially when Dean DeLeo would break free and let himself go with the vibe of the evening.  His playing reminds me a lot of Joe Perry’s style and delivery, but with Deans’ own finesse thrown in.  Brother Robert Deleo also was cool to watch as he glided around the stage as if his bass was leading him around to find the next groove of the night.  The highlight of watching Stone Temple Pilots live was not knowing what would

come next or if they could keep it together, but STP is alive and well and ready to carve out another chapter in this great bands career.

Bush Surprises The Rocker

So, after the Pilots, more people were leaving the venue.  The Rocker Chic and I didn’t mind as it gave us more visibility to the stage for pictures.  But that feeling was soon lost as some drunk and tall fans fell into place in front of us right before Bush took the stage.  So much for perfect pictures of Gavin and company.

To be honest I really didn’t have any expectations one way

or the other about Bush.  Sure, I was a big fan of Sixteen Stone, and I knew the band was unfairly looped into the Grunge movement of the 90s.  But, aside from news of Gavin’s on and off relationship with Gwen Stafani, Bush pretty much left the building for a decade or so after Sixteen Stone’s success.  Or so I thought…

The lights, the sound, the action!  Wow was I surprised when Gavin and company took the stage.  For a 52 year-old Rossdale sure knows how to perform!  He was high-energy from start to finish.  Between delivering blistering guitar licks and solos to pitch-perfect singing, he was truly in top form that night.  The only thing that caught me off guard was the running around like a rapper-type delivery he did periodically during the performance.  He definitely

pumped up the crowd by doing so, and he even went on a ten-minute excursion through the crowd that took him two rows up above us even.  The crowd and The Rocker Chic and I were amazed at his energy, and the entire venue got lifted up by it.  If you weren’t a Bush fan before the concert you sure were now.

You could tell Gavin planned his band’s performance out to a tee, which isn’t a bad thing when all the band and him were firing on all cylinders.  I was especially blown away by the sonics of the concert, with both Gavin and Chris Traynor’s guitar tone and sonics hitting you between the eyes.  To say I was overwhelmed by the performance is an understatement.  The Rocker Chic summed it all up with the look she gave me at the concert’s conclusion- she got

rocked and so did I by this 90’s band called Bush.

While still partial to The Cult that evening, Bush came in a close second to me, with the cool Stone Temple Pilots doing great also.  The coming together of two Rock generations may or may not have happened that evening, but this Rocker learned not to completely count the younger bands out of the big picture when it comes to great classic rock that is destined to be remembered for generations to come.

​       The Cult Setlist

  1. Wild Flower

  2. Rain

  3. Dark Energy

  4. Lil' Devil

  5. Sweet Soul Sister

  6. Elemental Light

  7. She Sells Sanctuary

  8. The Phoenix

  9. Fire Woman

  10. Love Removal Machine

​    Stone Temple Pilots Setlist

  1. Wicked Garden

  2. Vasoline

  3. Big Bang Baby

  4. Down

  5. Big Empty

  6. Plush

  7. Meadow

  8. Interstate Love Song

  9. Roll Me Under

  10. Dead & Bloated

  11. Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart

  12. Sex Type Thing

​         Bush Setlist

  1. Machinehead

  2. This Is War

  3. Everything Zen

  4. The People That We Love

  5. Swallowed

  6. The Sound of Winter

  7. Come Together

  8. Glycerine

  9. Little Things

  10. Comedown

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