Garbage in Cleveland

posted by Jeff | Sunday, April 21, 2002, 7:43 PM | comments: 0

I'm a huge Garbage fan. They're one of the few bands that I can still be really into. I first saw them in Cleveland late in 1995 when they played Peabody's Down Under, a little shit hole of a concert hall in the flats. At the time, "Vow" didn't score any airplay, but their second single, "Queer," did and even got airplay on MTV.

That first show was interesting. I knew that Butch Vig, the drummer, had produced albums like Nirvana's Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkin's Siamese Dream (two of the best albums of the 90's), the other dudes were also studio rats, and Shirley Manson was the singer for some crappy little bands that no one ever heard of. Didn't know what to expect when I saw them live.

The good news was that they could play, but Shirley was not confident, and just didn't look comfortable. What a difference a few years makes.

I had been reading Shirley's journal entries on the Web site about her guitar and voice lessons, her counseling and what not. Clearly she had issues, and clearly she wanted to be a better musician. I couldn't possibly know how she feels, but I can tell you that as a musician she is leaps and bounds ahead of where she was.

She's confident, she was having a good time, working the crowd and damn does she have the pipes. She was outright powerful up there. I sure miss her red hair, but she's so much stronger than before, nailing every note and not letting you realize that she isn't singing harmony to herself as she does on record.

Last night was my fourth time seeing them, and I'm glad to see a band that I like just keeps getting better, and not worse (see: Smashing Pumpkins). I hope they stick with it for a long time!


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