Photos by G.
I am so pleased to utter a sentence I’ve been waiting to say for seven years: Garbage is back! The alt-rock quartet made their return to the New York stage on May 22, 2012, with a way-sold out show at Webster Hall. In the mid-90s when Garbage first hit the scene, they were able to penetrate my ears when I was basically only listening to classic rock, 80s music and R&B/funk. Bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana did nothing for me at the time because I just couldn’t understand the usage of screeching guitars in the music, but Garbage brought me over to the “dark side,” if you will. Also, in the pre-mix CD/iPod era, our musical attention spans were much greater and I remember wearing out (and never skipping tracks on) Garbage’s self-titled debut as well as Version 2.0 (which would rank high on my top albums of all time list, should I ever get around to making one). I mention these two types of feelings because I heard them expressed over and over again at their show.
At the stroke of 9 PM, the wait at last was over. Garbage hit the stage and for nearly 2 hours, they slayed the audience with a hit-packed set that was anything but garbage. Before the night was over, the band played the first track off each of their 5 records, generous selections from each album, including their new and independently released record “Not Your Kind of People,” their two soundtrack hits (“The World Is Not Enough” from the James Bond movie of the same name and “#1 Crush” from “Romeo and Juliet”) as well as a few non-single gems like “Metal Heart” and “Supervixen.”
Garbage has so many hits that most bands would have saved tracks like “Stupid Girl,” “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Push It” or “Why Do You Love Me” for the encore, but instead, they were just peppered into the main set, which of course made the crowd go extra wild. Shirley Manson talked about how it was great to be back and in the 7 years that they’ve been away, they’ve gone through a lot personally with new additions to families and many losses as well. She also introduced the band, something very uncommon to see at a Garbage concert (and I know as I’ve seen them many times in many different sized venues).
The show, which will be on my top shows list of 2012 (out of hundreds of bands I will see before this year is up), had so many highlights that it’s hard to even think of all of them. However, the second song of the night “Temptation Waits” with its wonderful lyrics such as “I’ll tell you something/I am a wolf but I like to wear sheep’s clothing” got the crowd revved up and before launching into the lyrics of “#1 Crush,” Shirley sang the chorus of Madonna’s “Erotica.” It was also great to hear “Cherry Lips” from their last album “Bleed Like Me” and the new single “Blood For Poppies.”
With a 21 song set list, there’s no way to complain about song omissions, but just to show how many great songs Garbage have, here’s s a few singles that were not played: When I Grow Up, Special, You Look So Fine, Androgyny, Breaking Up the Girl and Bleed Like Me. For the fans keeping track of what songs from what albums were played, here’s a break down:
Garbage: Supervixen, Vow, Queer, Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, Milk
Version 2.0: Temptation Waits, I Think I’m Paranoid, Push It, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing
Beautiful Garbage: Shut Your Mouth, Cherry Lips
Bleed Like Me: Bad Boyfriend, Metal Heart, Why Do You Love Me
Not Your Kind of People: Automatic Systematic Habit, Blood For Poppies, Battle In Me, Bright Big World
Non-Album Tracks: The World Is Not Enough, #1 Crush
Welcome back Garbage! The show was anything but garbage. Although Shirley Manson said that New York crowds are very tough to please, I didn’t hear anyone say one bad thing about the show as I rocked away into the night.
After the jump, see the set list.