For most people, Garbage might just be a band, but for me, they mean the world. They say third time’s a charm and for me being in the second row at NYC’s SummerStage in Central Park for my third gig of theirs, that sentiment couldn’t be any more obvious. Most music writers don’t want to admit this stuff but when you need to fangirl the fuck out over being in the second row at your favorite band’s show, zero fucks are given!
There’s a certain magic that comes over me at Garbage shows that I can’t quite put my finger on and that feeling was present once again as the band played crowd favorites new and old in celebration of their new record, Strange Little Birds.
From the nostalgic opening of “Supervixen” to the pulsating gem that is “Stupid Girl” to 2012’s “Blood For Poppies,” there was never a shortage of straight-up in-your-face dominance from rock goddess, Shirley Manson.
I start to shed tears every time I hear the song that saved me so long ago, “The Trick Is To Keep Breathing” – Shirley’s words of, “I won’t be the one who’s going to let you down,” feels like a promise she made to me all those years ago when I was going through hell at 14 years-old. I can honestly say she still kept that promise though she may never know it. Tears kept flowing throughout the unexpected “Beloved Freak” as Manson sweetly sang, “You’re not alone,” into a crowd of freaks, darklings and little bones; a rather spiritual moment if I do say so myself.
Once “Special” kicked in, there was no hiding my excitement while “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” was pure magic live as were personal favorites, “Blackout” and the chilling “Control.” I tend to fall into my mind at shows during my favorite songs and hearing “Control” brought me right back to mid-2012 when the line, “I never saw you coming from inside my little prison / Your autograph would really buy me time,” was something I secretly clung to during a confusing situation I’m still not fully over. A much-needed, chilling breeze swept through Central Park during the opening, sending goosebumps throughout my being, making the night even more surreal.
The energy in the crowd was magnetic once songs like “Push It” and “Vow” came into play and once “Only Happy When It Rains” kicked in, fans cheered for Mother Nature as she let us off the hook last night as thunderstorms threatened to cut our night short.
Once the encore of the telling “Sometimes” and current single, “Empty” made an appearance, it was quite evident that hardcore fans are what truly make up Garbage’s support system. “#1 Crush” closed out the night as Manson writhed around the stage like the true bad-ass she is, making us wonder where the night went and when we’ll see them again…along with drummer and mastermind, Butch Vig, who was dearly missed.
One thing is for sure, I know where I belong at a Garbage show and that’s a feeling I never want to let go of. I was brought to life last night by the one band that just gets it. Always have, always will.
Supervixen | I Think I’m Paranoid | Stupid Girl | Automatic Systematic Habit | Blood For Poppies | The Trick Is To Keep Breathing | Shut Your Mouth | Sex Is Not The Enemy | Special | Even Though Our Love Is Doomed | Beloved Freak | Why Do You Love Me | Control | Blackout | Bleed Like Me | Push It | Vow | Only Happy When It Rains | Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
Sometimes | Empty | #1 Crush