Showbox Sodo – Seattle, WA
September 26, 2012
I have loved Garbage since the days of the mixed tapes in high school. I remember blasting, “Only Happy When it Rains” from the tape deck in my parent’s car as I drove around town like some kind of suburban bad ass (which I wasn’t). I found last night that the 90’s alternative rock sound is still alive and rocking venues.
Opener: I hated Screaming Females. They live up to their name. I am not a fan of the screaming into the mic. There is a time and place for it where I like (or tolerate) that type of vocals, Cage the Elephant come to mind as a band the lead singer screams into his mic. That’s all I have to say about the opener. I cared more about vodka tonics and shots than I did their music.
Regardless of how the Screaming Females set the tone for the main attraction, they did not distract from Garbage’s presence and experience. Shirley Manson lived up to all my expectations. Manson’s amazing Scottish accent, sex appeal and attitude were enthralling. Moreover, the blend of American and Scottish music influences the band has had over the years were infused in their new bodies of work making their portfolio continuous and rounded. Manson circled the stage as she performed like a tigress. Her stage personality bleeds out as she spoke to the devoted fans. For example, at the near end of the show she described the “minor cluster” as band mates scrabbled to set up for “I Hate Love”. She explained it would be the first time the band performed the single in front of a live audience. This act was to atone for their sudden cancelation in Seattle the last time they came through the northwest. I noticed Manson avoided the higher notes. Given, high notes are rare in their songs but, it seemed to add to the raw, deep, rock sound of Garbage than a void.
Garbage played with vigor. The Show box’s sound system vibrated through me. The testament of Manson’s voice carried over the power of the heavy guitar riffs, hooks, and electronics. The new album release “Not Your Kind of People” lives to their tradition. Garbage sounded BIG. The new singles were true Garbage signature sound.
The show had the energy of long time fans. Garbage played a great variety from their albums. Fans lit the venue with lighters during “Milk”. The band rocked “I Think I’m Paranoid”. “Happy When it Rains” began with the nostalgic slow rhythm into everybody’s favorite beat. The crowd gave their vocals to the chorus of “poor your misery down on me”. Other memorable performances last night: “#1 Crush”, “Cherry Lips (Go, Baby, Go)” and “Shut your Mouth”.
If they are coming to your neck of the woods, and you too listened to them (perhaps on tape) don’t miss them!