Review: One Mile High... Live by Garbage

posted by Jeff | Friday, May 31, 2013, 11:11 PM | comments: 0

Having seen Garbage seven times dating back to 1995, I can honestly say I've seen an amazing transformation. The first time I saw them, it was like they weren't sure if they belonged on stage, and Shirley Manson seemed to have no confidence at all. I'm glad I stuck with them, because this, kids, is how you perform rock music.

In the first few seconds, the video nerd in me was shocked to see pretty much straight 1080/60i HD video, but it wasn't long before I guessed that maybe that was the point. This is not a video full of fast cuts and tired effects. In fact, I'd be shocked if there was a cut shorter than five seconds. It was shot in what I call "PBS style," in that the entire focus is on the performance, not some clever editing nonsense or goofy color grading. It was the right choice.

Garbage is one of the tightest live bands you'll ever see, but without being entirely perfect. You'll hear a few pitch problems or hear the players get out of sync, but the sheer power and volume of the performance makes it easy to overlook. Instead you're impressed with the noises that come out of the guitars ("Hammering In My Head"), and arrangements that often improve some classic songs ("Only Happy When It Rains"). You're completely drawn in to the sorrow of "Milk," and punched in the goodies with the noise and fury of "Vow."

The set list evolved quite a bit on this tour, and as much as I love the band, I will admit that this wasn't their strongest. I understand they mix it up (I'd get bored playing the same thing every night). I thought performances of "I Hate Love," "Man On A Wire," "The World Is Not Enough," "You Look So Fine" and in particular, "Beloved Freak" were real treats, but they're not here. Think of it as incentive to see them in real life.

A companion CD or MP3's would be a great addition.


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