LIVE REVIEW: Garbage – 19th Feb Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
I couldn’t find any decent live photos from the gig, and my own pictures were nothing to write home about, so instead, here is an image of the band from a 1997 issue of SPIN magazine [source].
“Bow down to me,” sang Shirley Manson in “Supervixen”, the opening number from Garbage’s gig at the Michael Fowler centre in Wellington on Tuesday night. And that’s what the crowd did. Shirley – along with Duke Erikson, Butch Vig, Steve Marker and touring bassist Eric Avery – held the audience captive from the moment she walked onto the stage.
Aside from a couple of false starts, which Shirley put down to nerves, and a few fluffed lyrics, Garbage tore through their first show of 2013. The set was more of a greatest hits compilation than a promotional piece for their recent album. Many past hits were performed, including “Stupid Girl”, “Vow”, crowd favourite “Hammering in My Head”, my favourite “I Think I’m Paranoid”, and the band’s 1999 Bond theme, “The World is Not Enough”. In terms of tracks from Not Your Kind of People, only a select few were chosen. One notable exception was lead single “Blood for Poppies”. Instead, album tracks “Battle in Me” and “Control” were among the representatives from the new record, alongside deluxe edition track “The One”. Although I agree that these are stronger compositions, it was still quite interesting to see the one single that had received significant radio airplay over the past twelve months [in Australia, at least] omitted from the setlist.
“Only Happy When it Rains” began as an understated ballad, with Shirley sitting at the base of Butch’s drums. “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” was dedicated to those who may have been through some tough times in the decade since Garbage had last graced New Zealand’s shores.
The night ended with the band’s first ever live performance of “Beloved Freak”, which Shirley explained was the first song that Garbage wrote together after their hiatus. Despite forgetting a few of the words [“Duke’s not impressed,” Shirley apologised, “I’m going to have to read from my lyric sheet.”], the song was a fitting and compelling end to the first of seven Garbage performances that I shall be seeing over the next two weeks.