Back in the prime of my concert going days I remember purposely missing the opening act. Unless of course I was desperate for a squashy front row race when the doors opened. Thanks to the allocated seating there was no need to sprint. We just collected our tickets, grabbed a beer and sauntered into the theatre and took our seats. Yeah, I guess the allocated seating did at first make me feel a little old. But does the fact that I quite enjoyed it mean I am old? Ah well so be it. I like to concert leisurely.
When Garbage launched into 'Supervixen' to break the ice, they instantly had everyone up out of their cozy nana chairs. My Jaw was still on the floor by Shirley's very presence on stage. She is captivating. All pale skin and red hair, cat like in her movements and then 'that voice'! I had tears in my eyes and was dancing like an overexcited three year old when they rocked into 'Push it'. 'Hammering in my head" had me spellbound by the sheer theatrics of the song. Shirley performs every number as if she is telling a story. A story to you and you alone. It's so refreshing to see after decades of 'I don't care man' performers.
It's been 10 years since Garbage came to visit. Yes 10 years! It seems crazy to think so though because once they got playing it was like they'd never been away. There is just something about that stunning Shirley that just makes you feel special. She chatted away to the audience like to an old friend, but you know what? I'm pretty sure she was talking to me. Just me. I could just imagine having a pint and good yarn with her down at the pub. She kept talking about 'last time we saw each' other so intimately I almost forgot that this was actually the first time I'd seen Garbage play. Or was it? See even I'm confused now. That's how good she is!
When they played the catchy #1 Crush Shirley performed this tune with such sincerity that I'm pretty sure everyone in the audience was ready to marry her (or get a restraining order) by the end. During one song (Possibly I hate love) I was sure she was weeping uncontrollably, but fear not, it was all part of the song. I just love that. Maybe it's the thespian in me? I don't know. But it just makes the live experience so magical when the feeling behind the music is expressed. 'The One' and 'I hate love' from new Album 'Not your Kind of People' had me convinced that purchasing this new album was inevitable.
At the halfway point it was time for an onstage shot which Shirley toasted to the 'Naked Lady' she saw on Cuba street, who was being body painted in a shop window as part of the Fringe. The Naked lady in question was actually at the show. This was because after Shirley and guitarist Steve had gone up to said shop window for a gawk, Naked lady had looked into Shirley's eyes and mouthed the words 'Are you Shirley Manson?' Shirley was so impressed with her naked confidence she offered her some tickets to the show. Ain't that lovely?
Garbage finished their set with the beautiful 'You look so fine' before returning for a fantastic encore of 'When I grow up' and the beautiful 'Beloved Freak' which was truly so fantastic that I had to break my Nothing New challenge to purchase one of their 'Beloved Freak' T-shirts. It's Garbage's fault, really.
During the show, Shirley spoke about life and hard times. About when life dumps crap on you and you have to dig yourself back out. About feeling down and picking yourself back up. It's always so hard to understand how such ridiculously talented people could ever feel down about things. But everyone has their own issues and sometimes it's hard to tell the 'you suck' voices in your head to shut up. But I am so glad they did and that Garbage are back to make us smile!
You know, it's weird but my favourite part of the whole gig was the imperfection. After starting a song not performed live before, Shirley stopped the boys playing because she'd "Stuffed something up" and made them start again. It was fantastic! She rocked on, commenting 'This is live music Motherfuckers!' Which just totally made my night! I love it when shit gets real.
I always say if you can have a more meaningful experience at home, by yourself, playing the record, then it is not a very good gig (and believe me some gigs have qualified! 'Cough-Placebo-Cough') Garbage live definitely wins over listening at home!
By the last song, I had tears down my cheeks. Thanks Garbage for a bloody good show. Don't leave it so long between visits next time aye!