GARBAGE @ Metropolis

By Ash - Primetime! With Ash and Leeland - 04/24/2005

Bow down to me!”. When I first heard Garbage, mainstream radio was still in an acceptable state. Their song “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” was, well, pretty much the best song on the radio at that time. On the air alongside Garbage were the Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, the short-lived Kula Shaker, Bush and a variety of other radio-friendly bands that were just cool enough to make not-so-mischievous teens like myself feel somewhat rebellious. Those days have long since past and we’re now at the mercy of Coldplay, Keane and Interpol to save us from the tasteless disaster that is contemporary radio. While Garbage is not what they were at the time of their self-titled debut or even Version 2.0, they do remain significant. Although I never heard anyone say “Garbage is my favorite band”, they’re still a band that has managed to transcend both cultural and class barriers. Garbage is and has always been a band that falls into both the alternative and pop categories, depending on who one asks. Catchy enough to be mainstream, while very much at home with the marginalists. This was very evident at their April 24th concert at the Metropolis. Here, an enormous mix of people came together to sing along with and in many cases worship Shirley Manson, “supervixen” extraordinaire. While the boys at the concert admired Shirley in an almost masochistic dominatrix manner, the girls, dressed somewhat like her, seemed to be under her spell also, but for reasons I can’t truly comprehend.

Aside from being eye candy, Shirley also sang fantastically. She was right on song after song. I had my doubts prior to the concert, but was soon proved very wrong. Also, being Garbage (originally studio geek Butch Vig’s side project), the sound was great, almost too good. A flaw/quality to note -- depending on how you look at it -- was that each song was played perfectly. While I didn’t mind that each song sounded exactly as it would on CD, others may have desired some variation or creative changes on the part of the band. Still, we have to keep in mind that this is Garbage, not Iron Maiden. Another flaw/quality to note is that the show was for the most part made up of songs from the first two albums. Songs like “Paranoid”, “Push It”, and “I’m Only Happy When it Rains” really got the crowd going, as desired by the band, I suppose. Two songs I really didn’t want to hear were “Queer” and “Stupid Girl”. Still both were played and no one else seemed to mind. Overall, the concert had all the songs one associates with Garbage, a few of the new tracks and no fillers. I would have appreciated hearing “The World is not Enough” or “Milk” but you can’t have everything in life. A true downside to the concert was its length. It was definitely on the short side, especially for a band with enough catchy tunes to play twice as long -- make an effort! The stage itself was as good as it could be for the Metropolis. Cool lighting behind the band -- made up of many small bright dots on the wall -- perfectly complemented the band’s sound and look. There were also four television screens behind them flashing images at the crowd.

Overall, it was a very good concert with no extras. It brought me back to the days when Garbage reigned on the airwaves. Still, while it felt good while I was at the concert, I felt no urge to replay to their CDs once I got home or even to go out and purchase the new album. As a means of entertainment, the concert did not disappoint. However, as a means of promotion, the concert failed to rekindle the Garbage bug I had all those years ago.

[Tune in to Primetime! With Ash & Leeland Thursdays 8pm – 10pm]