Friday night at The Complex’ Rockwell room, lights lit up the stage’s back wall, decorated with leopards and pink velvet with the band’s name — Garbage — prominently displayed in large letters.
Cigarettes After Sex opened the show, before which, fans discussed their love of alternative 90s music and thanks to a mix of long-time and younger fans, it wasn’t strange to her a few reminiscing over shows they’d been to in their youth. The audience was excited to finally see Garbage come on stage; guitarists Duke Erikson and Steve Marker, drummer Butch Vig and lead singer Shirley Manson wearing a black dress, tights and half shaved head in a pink pony tail, with guest bassist Eric Avery from the band Jane’s Addiction.
They began the set with some of their earlier songs like ”Subhuman” and “I think I’m Paranoid” that really got the crowd hyped up. Manson prowled around the stage with a powerful energy and got everyone to sing along as she pointed the mic into the mass of people. A few times between songs everything would go dark and a spotlight shone center stage when she spoke to the crowd in her Scottish lilt. She mentioned her last appearance in Salt Lake City when she got a little tipsy and brought someone up on stage to which she said to take the “rough with the smooth.” The audience enjoyed her commentary and cheered her on.
This time around Manson was very present and in her next song, “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” she was at the mic stand singing, eyes closed and with an emotional ache in her voice which brought loud applause. After this she played “Sex is Not the Enemy” before jumping into a song from the new album, Strange Little Birds, called “Blackout.” Manson really rocked this one, shaking her head and grabbing the mic. The next song they played from the new album was “Magnetized” which showed a beautiful range of raw emotion.
There were some very theatrical elements to the performance like the light shining from behind the keyboard player when they began the song “Even Though Our Love is Doomed” creating an awesome silhouette or Manson’s expressions, making her look so in tune with her performance. Later they played what she said was her favorite song on the new album called “Night Drive Loneliness” that begins with the sound of rain and dramatic guitar.
In one of Manson’s comments to the audience she introduced “Bleed Like Me” as a song for anyone who is different and doesn’t fit into what the mainstream says they should be. During the song “Cherry Lips” there were some really badass guitar solos then the lights turned blue and she knelt down to sing “Only Happy When It Rains.” They finished up the night with an encore, playing “Sometimes,” “Empty” and “#1 Crush.” Garbage had an impressive and energetic set, playing many of their popular songs and some new songs from their latest album. It was a great night for their fans who left in a buzz of chatter and excitement.
I Think I’m Paranoid
Automatic Systematic Habit
Blood for Poppies
The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
Sex Is Not the Enemy
Shut Your Mouth
Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
Why Do You Love Me
Night Drive Loneliness
Bleed Like Me
Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
Only Happy When It Rains