Alt-rock champions, Garbage entranced a packed house of fans Saturday July 16th, 2016 at the Fillmore in Detroit.
Opening the show was New York’s Kristin Kontrol. Kristin is known as the acclaimed frontwoman of Dum Dum Girls. Kristin recently released her debut album, “X-Communicate” via Sub Pop Records.The collection of 10 songs embraces an 80’s feeling synthpop sound with shades of rock mixed in. It is a sonic departure from her work as alter ego, Dee Dee Penny in Dum Dum Girls. Kristin took the stage in a silver outfit that perfectly fit the atmosphere she created as she captured the attention of the crowd throughout her half hour performance.
Garbage, who are now going 21 years strong as a band, sounded as on top of their game as ever, delivering a career spanning set that packed a punch starting at 9 PM sharp. They opened the night with the first track of their latest album, “Sometimes”. A dark mood was set, lights out, sporadically flicking on in rhythm.
Since their debut with self-titled “Garbage” in 1995, the band has released six studio albums and worked on perfecting their technologically mashed style on the road. Known for building on samples, and combining musical styles of several genres, Garbage released their latest LP, “Strange Little Birds” in June. The album presents honest, forthright, open lyrics, that unmistakable Garbage sound, and a hint of Reznor-esque darkness. Releasing the album independently, the band stayed true to themselves, their music and their fans, focusing on making a great album, as opposed to pleasing record labels.
Gorgeous Garbage leader, Shirley Manson looked radiant with pink hair and a pink dress, whilst baptized in pink light. She frequently thanked the Detroit crowd for having them back. Manson was joined onstage by Steve Marker and Duke Erikson on guitars, touring bassist Eric Avery, as well as Matt Walker. The talented drummer filled (pun intended) Butch Vig’s drummer spot, as the music-maker was out due to illness.
Manson brought a personal touch, sometimes singing directly to fans, noticing the “beautiful faces in the front row”, and including stories between songs. The singer touched on correspondences she had with JT LeRoy, male novelist who turned out to be a woman, commenting that girls have long since had to pretend to be boys.
Manson also told the crowd that they’ve noticed over 21 years as a band that a lot has changed for the LGBT community. Gay, straight, he, she, they, their, and everyone in between. She lamented on the attack in Orlando, stating that society made the attacker hate himself, and act against himself. The band then powered right into liberating anthem of freedom and tolerance, “Sex Is Not The Enemy”.
The night’s excited audience was made up of folks from all walks of life, ages dotted all over the spectrum. The band’s fans, loving called “darklings” displayed their unique, tattooed, leather-clad, patched up style. Fans that are certainly alright being outliers from the box of popular culture (certainly myself included). The variation of personalities and comfortability coloring outside of the lines is a genre all its own, much like Garbage’s music.
Garbage saved hard hitting hits like “Push It” and “Only Happy When It Rains” for the twilight of the set.
They closed out the night with a three song encore, ending with rocking track, “Why Do You Love Me”.
The band has just announced more US tour dates starting in September, as well as stops later in the year abroad.
21 years strong, Garbage have shown no signs of stopping.
Watch the video for Garbage’s latest single, “Empty” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSa_hbutFt0
Find them online!
Band website: https://garbage.com/
Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell