The Roxy Theater on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood has been a showcase venue for some of the biggest names in rock music for over 45 years.

The tradition continued on March 12 when '90s alt-rock powerhouse bands Bush and Live played a secret show sponsored by local radio station KROQ. The theatre was packed to its 500-person capacity by the time the first band took the stage with a crowd made up of radio contest winners, music executives, and friends of the groups.

The show was organised to announce the ALT-IMATE Tour. This tour across America starts on June 6 and wraps up on September 8, travelling through 33 cities. Both of the bands will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of their hit albums, 'Sixteen Stone' and 'Throwing Copper'. The tour also features the Canadian group Our Lady Peace as the opening act.

There was great anticipation in the air as the crowd packed tightly about the stage in the Roxy awaiting the show. Elated music fans could be heard exchanging their favourite concert memories of the two beloved bands. Live came onstage first amidst an explosion of light and sound.

The ear-splitting sound system filled the small club with booming music. Fronted by intense singer Ed Kowalczyk, the band tore through a 45-minute set full of their most well-known songs.

The current line-up, in addition to Kowalczyk, features original members Chad Taylor on lead guitar and backing vocals, Patrick Dahlheimer on bass, and Chad Gracey on drums. Rhythm guitarist Zak Loy joins the band on tour as well as additional drummer Robin Diaz. Live’s set included songs from 'Throwing Copper', 'Mental Jewelry', 'Distance To Here' and 'Secret Samadhi'.

The crowd reacted euphorically, even singing the chorus lines of some of the band's most well-known tunes - 'All Over You', 'Selling The Drama', 'I Alone', 'Lighting Crashes' and 'Pain Lies'. As the band played their final tune, Dennis Rodman appeared in the crowd with his trademark cigar and for some inexplicable reason decided to take the stage. He rambled about, pointing to the various band members, and sang into the mics on occasion. Obviously a friend of the band, he hugged the lead singer tightly at the end of the set.

Co-headliners Bush took the stage next led by charismatic singer-guitarist Gavin Rossdale, who stepped right up to the challenge of following the intense performance by Live.

Rossdale looked every bit the rock icon wearing a sleeveless shirt revealing a sinewed body that looked more like that of an animated superhero than a real human. The English rockers blasted through an hour-long supercharged set filled mostly with their biggest hits such as 'Machinehead', 'Everything Zen', 'This Is War' and 'Testosterone'.

The current group features Rossdale on passionate, growling vocals and wailing guitar, Chris Traynor on intense lead guitar, Corey Britz on bass and backing vocals and Robin Goodridge on thundering drums. The veteran band are one of the most intense live acts still keeping the grunge sound fresh and viable. It was another special night in a long history of unique rock moments at the Roxy for a lucky few rock fans.

Photos by L. Paul Mann

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