Garbage Adventures* – Part One: New Zealand
* I wish that I could come up with a better name, but right now my brain just isn’t being as creative as I’d like it to be.
For three weeks, I followed Garbage around Australia and New Zealand on their first trip down under since they decided to take a break in 2005. Was I reporting for a magazine, or working for the touring company? No. I was simply being an overexcited fan – and I wasn’t the only one. Over the next few days, I shall be attempting to share with you the story of my travels and the [mostly awesome] people that I met.
I’ve been trying to write these posts for a couple of weeks now, but I’m suffering from a strange type of writer’s block in that I can write, per se, and I have plenty of ideas, but everything that I actually write is kind of shit. So now I have just decided to publish my tale as is, without trying to make it read well. I apologise for my inability to express things any better than this, and I hope that you shall refrain from judging me too harshly. Anyway, onto the exciting stuff…
There is nothing that Photoshop can do to make this photo look any nicer, as let’s face it, it is quite awful. But still, happy memories!
A chance encounter:
The last thing that I expected when I flew to New Zealand to see my favourite band for the first time in eight years, was to run into them while walking down the street. I’d been in Wellington for a few days, and was walking back to my hostel after dinner. As my meal wasn’t that wonderful, I’d dropped into the supermarket on my way and picked up a packet of chips and some beer. I’d spent the day doing homework [while overseas, I know – what a committed student I must be], so I hadn’t washed my hair, or bothered to dress terribly nicely. In my new jeans, a Garbage t-shirt, and my denim jacket, I didn’t look awful, but it was far from my best.
So, I was just walking down the street, when all of a sudden, from around the corner, came Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Billy Bush and Eric Avery [I don’t know why Steve wasn’t there, and I didn’t think to ask]. They were heading straight towards me, and I was wearing three of their faces on my chest. I couldn’t not acknowledge this fact, particularly as Duke seemed to have already noticed me, so I did. They were all really friendly, and happy to chat with me. When I mentioned that I’d flown over from Australia, Shirley asked if I was Britt – she’d remembered me from twitter! Despite being jet-lagged and desperately wanting to sleep [as they’d flown in from the US that morning], Shirley insisted that we take a photo. The next thing I knew my bag of chips and beer was being taken from me, and I was posing for a picture with three of my favourite musicians.
Checking the sound.
The band were kind enough to invite me to a soundcheck at any show of my choosing throughout the Aus/NZ tour, and after a lot of careful deliberation, I decided to go before the Wellington show. There were a lot of factors that led to this decision, and rather than list them here, I shall just continue with my story. We met in the café at the venue at 4:30 in the afternoon [and by “we”, I mean myself, a couple of competition winners, and a bunch of Mushroom Records people], and after people had finished their drinks [had I known the beer was free, I would have had one], we headed up into the auditorium [/venue?/room with the stage? My brain is really not here today] to watch the band rehearse. We saw three songs: “Battle in Me”, “The World is Not Enough” and “Cherry Lips”. It was the first time that the band had properly rehearsed since the start of the year, so they stuffed up a couple of times.
It was amazing, though. Sitting in this completely empty theatre with ten or so other people, watching my favourite band play. The lighting wasn’t wonderful, so most of my photos were still pretty shit. But, I did get to meet the band for a second time, and they were lovely [again], and they remembered my name. I was pretty happy about that.
And now I get to show you this picture again, which is exciting. Especially since it is a much better picture than the first shot of me with the band. Also, this one includes Steve.
I’ve already written about the actual Wellington concert [and you can read about it right here]. Suffice to say, it was brilliant. the whole Wellington experience was a perfect beginning to what ended up being one of the most amazing periods of time in my whole life [and that’s not the kind of sentiment that I throw around lightly]. After the gig, I met a couple of fans [Aaron and Rik] who I’d been talking to on twitter – and who I would meet again, multiple times, throughout the tour.
The view from row B.
* * *
Not enough happened in Auckland for me to break it up into little subheadings like I did with Wellington. Before the gig, I met up with Aaron for dinner and a drink, but we parted ways once we’d reached the venue. He was down the front, but due to a slight mix-up when buying the tickets [I miscalculated the time difference], I was stuck in the 13th row. The front couple of rows got to jump over their seats and stand in the gap in front of the stage, but those of us up the back were not allowed to push forward.
The setlist was different to Wellington. The band opened with “Automatic Systematic Habit”, and for some reason the crowd just didn’t want to stand up. The front few rows were fine, but up the back everybody remained seated. I stood for about half the song before the awkwardness overcame me, and I sat back down. Thankfully, by about the third song everyone else had caught up, and we were all standing and dancing as we should have been from the very beginning.
Again, the performance was brilliant. But my adventure* was still only beginning…
* Am I really sticking with this lame “adventure” shit? Apparently so. Unless I think of something better by tomorrow [I won’t].