Published 1995, The Aquarian Weekly

The Stone Pony, May 16, 1995


ASBURY PARK -- Those wanting an early taste of summer's hellish heat and humidity need only have been at the Bush/Wax show to cop a bit of that mid-August "oven-on-broil" feel. The club was primed and packed early, and the excited feel of major "event" was definitely in the air.

Wax wasted little time teasing the crowd, playing a brief hardcore intro to get the pit started before suddenly shifting into their hit, "California." Powered by the over-the-top antics and exhortations of frontman Joe Sib, the wildly pummeled drums of Loomis, the fluid bass of Dave Georgeff and the jet engine shred of guitarist Soda (Tom Gardocki), Wax seemed hell-bent on wringing every ounce of sweat they could out of the frantically moshing audience.

The average Wax song takes about two-and-a-half minutes; plenty of time to work up a serious lather in the pit, catch your breath for a second and then leap back into the fray. Combining the punk fervor of the Pistols, the melodic sense of The Clash and the pop hooks of The Jam on songs such as: "Continuation," "Hush," "Settle Down," "So I Said," "Torn In Two" and a great version of Sham 69's "If The Kids Are United (They'll Never Be Divided)"; Wax left the crowd stoked, primed and dripping.

With the MTV cameras frantically filming the action and the music roaring and pulsing at a dangerously loud level, the sweat-drenched Asbury Park crowd put on one of the finest audience mosh and floating displays ever committed to film during Bush's ecstatically received set.

Starting off with the powerful, sustained roar of "Body," "Monkey" and "Come Down," club records were set as eleven or twelve floaters rode the crowd and the pit engulfed well over half of the floor. Flight records were also established, one girl staying aloft on the arms of the crowd for the entire eight-minute version of "Little Things."

Like Eddie Vedder without all that "sensitive-artist" bullshit or Cobain minus those jarring forays into noise-metal and the bullet, Bush are a band tailor made for success. This was only the fifth show of the first road trip since all hell broke loose and the boys became stars, and vocalist/ guitarist Gavin Rossdale seemed truly amazed by the intensity of the crowd - a look of wonder and an 'Is all this for me?' bewilderment etched on his face.

Shrugging his shoulders and grinning slyly at his bandmates, Rossdale set off a bomb as he hit the opening chords for "Everything Zen," driving the crowd into a frenzy.

Feeding off the insane energy, Bush boosted the jets as great wads of Rossdale's fat, chunky guitar invaded the ears and were sliced in two by the piercing solos and dive-bombing riffs of Nigel Pulsford. Drummer Robin Goodridge and bassist Dave Parsons lay down a loose, but cohesive, rhythmic churn as the din built to a stuttering explosion and Rossdale moaned, rasped and roared the heady, angst-driven crypto-lyrics that say so much without, really, saying anything at all.