Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Gavin Rossdale-Kissmas Bash review

Gavin Rossdale surprised this writer with a gorgeous set of songs from his recent self-titled solo debut, and a host of gems from his time fronting the ’90s British rock outfit Bush. The stripped-down environment served Rossdale’s songs quite well. Performing with just his own acoustic guitar, voice and a fellow acoustic player who offered stellar harmonic bits to the proceedings, Rossdale stole the show handily.

This was mostly due to the warmth and intimacy of his singing, which was the best I’ve ever heard from the guy in the more than 10 years I’ve been seeing him live. The new songs, which were not remarkable in their recorded form — considerable over-production made them glossy and soulless — were quite moving in this subtle acoustic presentation.

The Bush songs Rossdale chose to perform greatly benefited from this arrangement as well, probably because they were written as simple, melodically appealing songs with a folk bent in the first place. So “Glycerine” was simply beautiful, and “Come Down” perhaps even more so.

Rossdale also offered a nice take on the Fleetwood Mac chestnut “Landslide,” his coguitarist ably handling the intricate finger-picking figures, while Rossdale poured his heart out. Surprisingly, considering how incongruous Rossdale’s music was in the general mix of the evening’s cheese-pop, the crowd was all over the guy, greeting every song in the too-brief set with enthusiasm.



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