Friday, October 30, 2015

Concert: Garbage at the 9:30 Club

Last night I got to see Garbage in DC! When I first heard about the concert (They are on their 20th Anniversary Tour), the tickets were already sold out, so I paid twice their original value to get a pair from some guy on Craigslist so my dad and I could go. My dad and I first discovered Garbage at the HFStival in 2005 (I realize this is about a decade after they were really big), and we thought they were so great that we immediately bought two of their CDs right then and there. Since then they hadn't really been on my radar, but when I saw they'd be in DC, I knew I wanted to take my dad so we could enjoy them all over again!

TORRES. Photo by Mitch Arion.
The opener last night was TORRES. The lead singer, Mackenzie Scott, is only 24 years old, and she won Best Songwriter in the Village Voice's 2015 "Best of" issue (and the band got "Best Rock Band", too!). I will admit that I think she needs some more time to perfect her craft, and the music was a bit too "teenage angst" for my taste. But what an opportunity to open for Garbage! I see good things happening for the band; all in good time!

Click here for a TORRES YouTube mix.

The suspense was killing me! Photo by Mitch Arion.
After the opening band cleared off the stage, a white curtain came down so you couldn't see Garbage set up. Once it was time for the main act, the curtain acted as a screen where videos flashed over and over: videos of the band over the years, clips of technology that had come around in the 20 years the band has been together (ex. the internet), and just weird images like eyeballs. Then the band started singing behind the curtain, so you could see their shadows. When the curtain dropped completely, the crowd went wild! Shirley Manson looked awesome with her pink hair, feminine yet tough, ruffly, black dress, and cuffs (bejeweled sweatbands?).

Shirley Manson with her pink boa (a la Steven Tyler style). Photo by Mitch Arion.
The show overloaded all of my senses! The bright, colorful lights flashed liked strobe lights and bounced off a disco ball, sometimes blinding me; the bass was so strong that I not only felt it in my chest but even in my nostrils; the music and Shirley's voice filled the space so that I felt like I was standing right next to the stage, even up in the balcony. And I loved how the band worked the stage! TORRES mostly just stood in place (with the drummer and base player rarely even looking up), but Shirley and the guitarists moved around and really got the crowd going! And I'm not sure if Shirley has a background in modern dance, but she definitely has the epileptic fit/rolling on the ground moves down! She also moved around the stage like a dancer, dragging her toes to create the illusion of height; TORRES should take some notes!

AND she plays the guitar! Photo by Mitch. Arion.
I have to admit that I was disappointed when Shirley announced that they were only going to be playing songs from 1995 and 1996. I realize that's when the band was really popular, and those are the songs from their best selling album. But I LOVE their "Bleed Like Me" album, and I was hoping they'd play some of those songs so I could sing along!

But even though I didn't know most of the songs they played last night, each song was amazing and the band completely rocked the house! Here are some of the songs from last night's set:
Stupid Girl
Only Happy When It Rains
Not My Idea
A Stroke of Luck (supposedly the first song she ever wrote!)

They also played a four-song encore (!), which included Kick My Ass, which Shirley dedicated to all of their lost loved ones. So we got to hear SO much music by the time the show was over! We certainly got our money's worth!

Here are some of my favorite songs from their "Bleed Like Me" album:
Why Do You Love Me
Bad Boyfriend
Metal Heart
Boys Wanna Fight

What an amazing show! No wonder this band has been able to last so long (well, with a hiatus or two in between). Even at almost 50 (!) years old, Shirley is an incredible performer, and the rest of the band can keep up with her energy. I'm not sure if I'll have another opportunity to see them perform again (Shirley had a morbid moment in the middle of the show talking about death). I'm just glad I got to take advantage of their show right here in DC!

(P.S. - Read this DCist article about their performance the night before).

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