Flying high on their new album, the alt-rock mainstays wowed the sold-out Phoenix Concert Theater on May 28.
After seven years of silence Garbage reemerged with news of their fifth album release Not Your Kind of People. An entirely too long of a wait for the talented group to reconnect, the band unsurprisingly greeted a highly enthusiastic audience of deprived, avid fans in the sold out Phoenix Concert Theater.
With the band on tour to promote their latest release it was questionable how many classic “Garbage hits” would have made it to the list. In fact the band gave fans just what they wanted, a smorgasbord of songs from their first four releases and they wasted no time in commencing the loud, rocking roar of the first track from their debut album, “Supervixen.” With their live setup slightly different, the quartet that is Garbage – Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker – added Eric Avery (formerly of Jane’s Addiction) on bass with Duke and Steve on dueling guitars and of course Butch on the explosive drums.
From the moment Garbage graced the stage to the last note everyone in Phoenix roared with excitement, loudly sang along with Shirley and danced to the music. The charismatic singer often smiled at the audience, and mentioned at one instance, “Toronto, you’re crazy!” Of course this made everyone cheer even louder. Shirley will always be an enigmatic presence on the stage, at times shy and humbled, other moments larger than life and alluring; she is always thrilling. She spoke to the audience, picked a few delighted fans from the crowd and asked their name and where they were from, at one point Shirley introduced her bandmates to the room – as if they needed an introduction. After properly presenting all of the gents Duke approached Shirley’s microphone, “…and Shirley Manson everyone,” he added which made her laugh and hang her head graciously as the audience clapped and cheered.
Shirley prowled in a circle on the stage as the heavy bass beat of “#1 Crush” played on, moved ferociously about and she pointed her mic towards the audience for them to sing along with her on “Cherry Lips” – which provoked a spontaneous call-and-answer during the catchy chorus. Yet, before singing “Lips,” which she shared was for all of the freaks and geeks in the room, she asked the rest of the band, “what weird things did you do in high school?” “Marching band,” Steve shouted which garnered laughter and applause. Shirley walked back to Butch hidden behind his kit, “I smoked a lot of pot,” he joked, the crowd cheered even louder.
The show was going great for the seasoned musicians. When the familiar chords to “I Think I’m Paranoid” filled the air Shirley began tapping her foot to the beat, suddenly all went silent. The monitors went out. Shirley apologized, “this is very unprofessional,” she giggled but quickly recovered with, “if we can’t be professional, we’ll be messy.” She joked about having shots while they waited; rather quickly her wish was granted as every member of the band was handed her favorite Scottish whiskey (Highland Park). Shirley raised her cup to the audience, bid her cheers, and Garbage was ready to take us away again.
When the band returned for their encore Shirley beamed a big smile, mouthed the word “Wow” and took out her earplug to hear the roar of the club. Definitely humbled by the very warm reception, Garbage performed three more songs before ending their nearly 2 hour performance. To close the night Shirley thanked the Toronto crowd once again, Duke raised his cup to the audience and drank his share of the whiskey, Butch, Steve and Eric approached the edge of the stage, and waved their goodbyes. The Toronto audience loved every moment of the show and several “I love you’s” were shouted to the band. With music that withstands the test of time, may Garbage never take such a long hiatus ever again.
Shut Your Mouth
Why Do You Love Me
Blood For Poppies
Man On A Wire
I Think I’m Paranoid
Only Happy When It Rains
Automatic Systematic Habit
The World Is Not Enough