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Toronto Review – Garbage at The Sound Academy


Toronto Review – Garbage at The Sound Academy, March 28, 2013

“A hammering in my head don’t stop, from the bullet train, from Tokyo to Toronto” – Shirley Manson

Toronto Review Garbage at The Sound Academy - Cred: Tom Pandi

Toronto Review Garbage at The Sound Academy – Cred: Tom Pandi

Total Score: 9.6/10

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Who: Garbage
From: Madison , Wis USA
Where: The Sound Academy — Toronto, ON
When: March 28, 2013 – 9pm

Sound Academy was evenly filled without the “packed like sardines” feeling on March 28, 2013, as the crowd patiently awaited Garbage’s descent.  The crowd was very mixed from 18-year olds to ladies in their 50’s, Goth, grunge, gay, straight, you name it! Also, you know that the band is on a completely different level from anyone else when there are families with toddlers in band tees in the crowd. A true sign that this music will live on through generations just like classic rock was carried over from our parents to us.

The audience was excited, I expected to feel unified by this shared experience but I didn’t get that from where I was standing. There were a lot of diehard fans close to the stage, but there were also people who had no idea what concert etiquette is and came there to hang out. Honestly, if you want to talk about your boring life go to a coffee shop. And especially don’t start yapping during a slow song. Also, don’t take pictures of yourself with your shitty phone with the flash light on. First of all, you will not look good in these pictures because you’ll be squinting at the light. Second, in two months you’ll forget that these photos ever existed.  And finally, someone will eventually tell you to bugger off. If you want a picture with the band wait for the band at the end of the show. (“The Major Principals of Appropriate Behavior at Music Listening Gatherings, Vol 1” by professor Raya P. Morrison) So I digress…disregarding people with no manners, Shirley Manson was working the crowd and when she spoke it felt like she was casually talking to me as if we were hanging out. She was open, funny and charming.

Garbage played most of their beloved hits mixed in with songs from their newest album “Not Your Kind Of People”, opening the set with “Automatic Systematic Habit” and closing it with “Beloved Freak”. Their most well received songs were still “#1 Crush” and “Only Happy When it Rains”. The encore was everything anyone could want, hitting it home with “Special” and closing the night off with “You Look So Fine” turned Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”.

At 46 Shirley Manson still looks like a Goddess. She was working the stage better than any 20-year old would do, her movements reminiscent of a warrior dancer circling the pit. As strong and powerful as she looked, Shirley also softened up for slower songs, hugging the mic stand like the succubus that she is. With Garbage it’s sometimes hard to understand the full spectrum of Shirley’s voice on the record. Live you can hear the true power and range that she possesses. Her pitch and tone were impeccable.

The legendary Butch Vig was enjoying the crowds attention even from the barricade of his drum set. You could see that after all these years Garbage is still his baby and he’s loving every moment of it. The bass player, Eric Avery, (who’s leaving for Nine Inch Nails at the end of the tour) was providing a solid bass line throughout the set while Duke and Steve were shredding those guitars like there was no tomorrow. Steve Marker also provided the keys and Duke Erikson was having fun with special effects.

Technicalities: The sound was shit for the first couple of songs. There was too much bass and Shirley couldn’t hear herself. Once the sound guy evened everything out the rest of the show went smoothly.

Memorable Song/Moment: The slow intro into “Only Happy When It Rains”. The audience was puzzled for a moment there, and as soon as Shirley started singing the crowd went crazy!

Garbage proved once again that they are a force to be reckoned with!

Review By: Raya P Morrison
Photos: Courtesy of Tom Pandi The Examiner

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