Garbage's return live: 30 years of career to celebrate

Garbage’s return live: 30 years of career to celebrate

Garbage hadn’t performed since before the pandemic concert in Italy, remaining one of those historic bands to listen to live again after a while. The five years of absence of the group in our country were interrupted on the evening of June 26th, when Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker And Butch Vigtogether with the bassist Ginger Pooleyalready part of the Smashing Pumpkins, set foot on the stage Magnolia Club of Segrate, on the outskirts of Milan.

Around 9.20pm, after Romina Falconi’s opening set, there is the instrumental recording of “Happy home” to mark the start of Garbage’s concert, as each member of the band reaches their position on stage. Strong and clear bass lines officially open the dance, with the group choosing to pick the first song of the set list from their beginnings. “I would die for you, I would die for you”: Shirley Manson’s voice enters decisive and clear, not betraying the bewitching character of the first verses of “#1 Crush”, pronounced like a mantra.

The frontwoman takes center stage, in her black dress with layers of colored and deconstructed tulle, leaving the interpretation to her voice as well as to her body movements, which together with the play of light and visuals give character to a .essential scene. The audience reacts and leaves itself at the mercy of the sound environment that is built song after song. There solidity of soundwith a precise stylistic signature, between pop, electronic, alternative rock, new wave and industrial, comes from the precision of Butch Vig’s drumming – whose name is often mentioned in the speeches of fans waiting for the show, having secured a place in the history of rock since the production of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, and the imagination of Steve Marker on guitar and keyboards, as well as the characteristic touch of guitarist Duke Erikson.

The debut at the Circolo Magnolia new European tour by Garbage which, in addition to marking the band’s return after five years in the Old Continent, follows the publication of the album “No Gods No Masters” in 2021, the release of the “Anthology” collection in 2022 and the recent re-release of 2005’s “Bleed Like Me” ahead of its twentieth anniversary. The original lineup to the Milanese public by Madisonin Wisconsin, then reveals how it intends to celebrate almost thirty years of career in concert, as a group with a well-defined identity.

From the b-side of the debut single “Vow”, we move on to the last album with “Godhead”, followed by one of the most significant songs in Garbage’s discography, “.I think I’m paranoid”. The concert has just begun, but right from the start the band led by Shirley Manson decides to offer the public some of her most loved pieces, continuing with “Cherry lips”. On their side, however, Garbage have many other songs that are important to their history. The lineup continues with historical pieces – “Special”, “Metal Heart”, Run Baby Run” and “Hammering in My Head” – interspersed with some latest, but always also revealing their more emotional, but above all more committed soul. “The women who crowd the courtrooms / All accused of being whores”, sings Shirley Manson in the bold “The men who rule the world”, introduced by the noise of a slot machine and then supported by percussion and electronic sounds.

As well as through her songs, the Garbage frontwoman finds herself sharing her feelings and positions by directly addressing the audience at several moments of the evening, always apologizing for only being able to say “Thank you very much” in Italian. “I’m Scottish, I wasn’t lucky enough to learn another language,” jokes Shirley Manson, then expressing gratitude on behalf of the band to be touring Europe again. Among other things, Garbage are giving away gifts to those present at the first date of the tour the live debut of “The creeps” from “No Gods No Masters” (“An album I’m very proud of,” says Manson, introducing the song).

Then there is “The trick is to keep breathing”, “Bleed like me” and “.Stupid girl“, before the cover of the eveningduring which Garbage returns to re-read “Cities in Dust” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. To introduce the cover, Shirley Manson took a moment to praise Siouxsie Sioux and share a reflection on the essence of Garbage: “We as a band have managed to reach a great goal, which is to live thanks to this group. We are now old, we are ugly, we are strange, we are not mainstream and popular. Yet we are celebrating a thirty-year career, during which we have held firm and always remained on our path, with a slightly punk attitude. Because we don’t care about being as famous as Taylor Swift. I love Taylor Swift, she is fantastic, she takes the right positions, but we are something completely different, we are from another school. We have a completely different punk background, we do a different kind of show. But especially at this moment in our lives, what we have is extraordinary for us. And I have to give a big thank you to Siouxsie Sioux for being an inspiration.”

Garbage have already been on stage for more than an hour, but they intend to give the audience a lot more music. Then comes “Push it”, “When I grow up” (“‘When I grow up…’, I sang almost thirty years ago. And I think I haven’t reached maturity yet, perhaps physically, but inside I’m immature”, she says Manson in a moment of stage chatter) and “Why do you love me” (“A song taken from a very important album for our history”, explains the singer, celebrating “Bleed like me” and also recalling Dave Grohl’s decisive contribution). “Vow” leads towards the final part of the concert, which after a moment of pause in the wings sees Garbage return to the stage. “I’m not good at greetings. In Scotland we say ‘Fuck you'”, says Shirley Manson before letting the audience choose the next song. The choice falls on “Milk” to the detriment of “No horses”, while the conclusion comes with “Only when it rains” from singalong “Be safe, be good, be brave, we love you”: it is the last message that the band leaves to the Italian fans before saying goodbye.

Here’s the lineup:

#1 Crush
I Think I’m Paranoid
Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
The Men Who Rule the World
Metal Heart
Run Baby Run
Hammering in My Head
The Creeps

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
Bleed Like Me
Stupid Girl
No Gods No Masters
Cities in Dust – Siouxsie and the Banshees cover

Push It
When I Grow Up
Why Do You Love Me


Only Happy When It Rains