Bend Me, Break Me, Anyway you Need Me, All I Want is… Garbage!

Garbage @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto on May 28, 2012


It was 7 years of desperate pining and brooding for the deep sultry echoes of a Miss Shirley Manson, but we finally got what we were begging for. On a tiresome Monday night of May the 28th, the band responsible for chart-topping anthems like “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains” was set to take stage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto.

The crowd was elated at the sight of the infamous redhead with her fire-y mane tied up in a high bun and winged cape ensemble, which later stripped down to a sexy silk black tank top completed with an ultra thick metallic belt. She was nothing short of Boom Boom POW! They went on to perform 21 songs in total, including my absolute favourites: “#1 Crush” and “Milk”. In prepping for the show, I bought their Greatest Hits compilation, “Absolute Garbage”, which accounted for two-thirds of their setlist.

The only song I didn’t quite agree with on the album was “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)” but did learn to appreciate overtime and even more so when Shirley called me out on my ignorance in understanding how this is absolutely Garbage. I, like the masses, interpreted this pop-piercing tune as anything but the band’s usual take on song-writing. Nevertheless, the band dedicated this song to all the Freaks, Geeks and Weirdos out there (which I guarantee was every single breathing soul in the audience).

The band’s setlist came to a sudden halt at the intro to “I Think I’m Paranoid”, as the monitors failed and needed to reboot. Despite Shirley apologizing for the moment of “unprofessionalism”, the band continued to entertain the crowd with a shot of the best Scottish Whisky (via Butch Vig) and a “Let’s Get to Know Our Fans” question portion of the night. When Shirley asked the front rows of thronging fans where they were from, the responses were: “Montreal!”, Peterborough!”, “London!” (Ontario), “ and the one that Shirley was most taken aback by was “Latvia!”. Props to Toronto for having such a diverse bunch collectively sharing in this experience.

Upon Garbage’s encore, they played the James Bond theme song, “The World is Not Enough” for the first time live in concert in Canadian history, despite the song having been recorded in Canada.

The live performance got the crowd buzzing and yearning for more, more, more! Thankfully, Garbage has a new album out, “Not Your Kind of People”, that serves to satisfy cravings for new material… but nothing can ever beat hearing “Only Happy When It Rains” during our recent downpour of Spring Showers.

And now, onto the bad. What’s a blog without any beef? Fortunately, it was only the beginning that put a bad stint in my mouth. The rest was smooth sailing.

THE BAD #1: After toughing it out in the long lineup to get inside, we were informed that “the band” requested there be NO professional photography inside including cameras with a detachable lens. I had nothing in my purse other than my Olympus PEN E-PL1 camera with a M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens… Gah! The Head of Security (a.k.a. “John”) took my camera away and housed it in the trunk of his shitbox car. I was sad and pissed, just the right state of mind to be listening to Garbage. Seriously – what’s the harm? We’re only avid fans wanting to share this through our social media networks to help promote the band further. And really… maybe they should see my photography skills before they deem it “professional”. Luckily, I only had my trusty iPhone 4S to help me capture the essence of this concert. So apologies for the overly pixilated images found in this post – you can blame that on the band.

THE BAD #2: The opening act was… interesting. We only caught the tail end of it, but it wasn’t some lonesome opening band; instead, they had a half-assed magic show where… not a lot of magic was happening until the moment they left the stage. And now we’ve come full circle back to the top!

Garbage @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto
Date: May 28th, 2012
Ticket $: $38.75/person

1. Supervixen
2. Temptation Waits
3. Shut Your Mouth
4. Queer
5. Metal Heart
6. Stupid Girl
7. Why Do You Love Me
8. Control
9. #1 Crush
10. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
11. Blood for Poppies
12. Special
13. Milk
14. Man On a Wire
15. I Think I’m Paranoid (restarted due to monitor failure)
16. Bad Boyfriend
17. Only Happy When It Rains
18. Push It
19. Automatic Systematic Habit
20. The World is Not Enough
21. Vow

Writer’s Apology: So this first post is mighty overdue… blame it on the complexity of starting a new website / blog. Gone are the days of Geocities and Angelfire, oy!