The Beatles Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years

 If you are a Hulu subscriber, then right now, you can watch a new documentary from Ron Howard about The Beatles. It is also playing in select theatres for a few days and yesterday I was lucky enough to see it at The Violet Crown in Charlottesville with fellow Beatles fanatic Dana. (I’m not sure why Richmond was skipped when they picked cities to screen the film, but that’s a story for another time.)

Shea Stadium, August 1965

When this film was announced earlier this year, I was all at once excited and skeptical. Excited because, the prospect of being able to manipulate the original audio from The Beatles’ live concert recordings so that the band could actually be heard was a very intriguing prospect; and skeptical because with over fifty years of hindsight, any interview given by the remaining band members (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) were bound to be layered with an almost sickening coat of nostalgia with none of the immediacy or intensity that is found in the archived live recordings.

 

I wanted to see this in the theatre because I wanted to see on the big screen, for the first time, how great John, Paul, George and Ringo were as a live unit. Yes the band changed popular music forever and they get lauded for their many studio inventions that have now become standard, but often overlooked is how tight and sharp they were onstage. Seeing ‘Twist and Shout’ from the Royal Variety Show in 1963, ‘All My Loving’ from their appearance on Ed Sullivan in February 1964, and especially the performances from Shea Stadium in 1965, I was thrilled that the crackle and excitement from those performances still transcends time and they hold up remarkably well. They are timeless. Seeing the live footage was worth the price of the ticket alone.

 One point I have to mention: Every once in a while, an artist gets tagged as “The Biggest Since The Beatles”; for a time it was Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block got the moniker in the late 80s, Bieber has been called that recently. Really, there’s no true comparison between the domination The Beatles had in America and the world in 1964 and whatever and whoever came next. This movie drives that point home without stating it explicitly. 

The interviews with contemporaries are good for the most part, but one stands alone as being great; that’s Larry Kane. Kane traveled with the band during their second US tour in 1964 (“Twenty-five cities in thirty days” laments a tired Ringo in 1964 as the tour begins) and Kane was there again in 1965 (where he soon found that the lads had discovered marijuana). Kane’s recollections are vivid and sincere and, since I haven’t read any of his three Beatle-themed books, they were one of the few items in the film that was new to me.

 

And that’s the huge drawback with this documentary. It feels like I have seen this before, and, for the most part, I have. In 1995, The Beatles released a 10-hour documentary series called ‘Anthology’ which a lot (I reiterate a lot) of the material used in this film is lifted from. So, since The Beatles have already told their story before, there’s really nothing new here.

 

That doesn’t mean this film isn’t worth seeing. The live performances are breathtaking, and this film should remove any doubt anyone ever had that The Beatles were not a great live band. In the end, the film serves as a love note to Ringo, who has never really gotten his due. As I watched the footage from Shea Stadium, I was awestruck. Remember, The Beatles invented ‘Stadium Rock’ before the technology could actually support them. There was no PA system (save for what the stadium announcer used to announce baseball games), so none of the four on that stage could hear anything at all, except the screams of 56,000 fans. Ringo had to keep the band in time, and he did it all by watching choreography cues and hand gestures!! As Lennon once said in an interview (not included in the film) ‘The Beatles were the best f***in’ group in the goddamn world!’ That assertion makes Ringo circa 1966, the best drummer on the planet. Those who are quick to dismiss him as ‘only the drummer’ and the writer who gave us ‘Octopus’s Garden’, I hope they have their minds changed by watching this film.

 

Two quick notes in closing: The film does include some studio recordings, and it was a joy to hear the interplay between Paul and John while recording ‘Eight Days A Week’ and ‘A Day In The Life.’ There may not be many things left in the archive to release for public consumption, but I for one would love to see a two-disc set of studio banter and outtakes from The Beatles Recording Sessions released. It may suit a niche audience, but I would love to have that.

 

And, the film has many scenes that I have seen before, which allowed me to concentrate on miniscule nuances. Example: As the band plays Shea Stadium, it comes time for John to introduce the next number, which is ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy.’ He begins his intro, ‘We’d like to do a song…’ and then in a split second he blanks, looks back at Ringo and says off mic ‘F**k, what’s next?’ That moment (included in the film and repeated again in the complete Shea Stadium concert that airs in theatres after the documentary ends) was one that cracked me up. That show was a blur for them, so to see him forget his next line was no surprise, but it was very real.

 

If you are a longtime Beatles fan, you’ll see this movie. Don’t expect much of anything new, unless you’re a fan who has not yet seen ‘Anthology’; those fans (if there’s anyone who hasn’t seen Anthology yet) will love every minute of this movie. For the rest of us, we’ve seen this before, but this is a repeat no one will mind watching again…and again.

 

Word of advice from someone who saw it in a theatre: When watching at home, I suggest you turn the volume up very loud.

 –Barry 

Fire, Blood and Time Travel: KISS @Richmond Coliseum 09.09.16

First things first: If you are looking for objectivity, stop reading now. I have far too much invested in this band to be objective. How long have I been a KISS fan? Thursday September 15 marks thirty-nine years to the day since I got my first KISS album. The only other people I have longer relationships with are my mom and my brother.

So, objectivity went out the window around about 1987.

 

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me say that this will not be your usual review of a show, but then, KISS is not your usual band.

 

KISS shows are always a good time, and for me a big reason they are so much fun is the chance to see other KISS fans; seeing fans who found the band in the mid-70s like I did, and fans who found the band in the 80s when videos for songs like ‘Tears Are Falling’ and ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’ were voted #1 on Dial MTV, and the coolest part, the really young kids who were seeing their first concert by any band ever. KISS fandom now spans 40+ years and multiple generations. Walking the concourse and seeing the little ones made up in face paint and some even in full mini-costume, it told me once again that KISS are far bigger than just the show and just the band on stage.

 

So, let’s talk about the band on stage.

 

As I have said before in this blog, music is memory. Last night, I was transported through time and space. When the band began the show by flying down from the rafters on a platform while playing my favorite KISSong ‘Detroit Rock City’, I saw for a moment what was happening on stage, but in my mind, I was taken back to the last time the band played this venue, in 2000 and had the same opening. When ‘Shout It Loud’ was played, I was taken back to the glory days of The Reunion Tour, when I literally had goosebumps and tears while watching the original four members on stage.

Last night, Paul Stanley, the ring leader and consummate frontman, did not have a voice. I had seen them before on nights when his voice was rough, but last night, it was such a far cry from what it used to be that, when Paul sang, I had to go back in my memory to a time when I heard the same song performed at a much higher caliber, and all at once combine the past and the present. Gene Simmons is doing in 2016 what Paul did throughout the 80s; he’s carrying the band and the live show. From about 1984-92, Paul took control of the band because Gene was busy trying to be an actor, a music business mogul and a talent scout. KISS was not Gene’s priority, and it showed in his songwriting (see: songs such as ‘Burn Bitch Burn’ and ‘No No No’). KISS on stage became ‘The Paul Stanley Show’ where Paul had very long stage raps after almost every song, but it helped keep the band afloat and, eventually Gene regained his focus on the band around 1992 and contributed one of the best songs of his career in ‘Unholy.’ I am not sure if the state of Paul’s voice is due to after effects from surgery he had on his vocal chords in 2011, or if it is just the cumulative effect of singing 100 nights a year for over forty years. Whatever the reason, I would imagine it has to be demoralizing in a sense for him, to know he once was one of, if not the best frontman of his era (see his performance of ‘I Still Love You from the 1995 KISS Unplugged performance, or listen to any of his songs on 1987’s ‘Crazy Nights’ to hear him at his peak) and, now he just can’t hit the notes anymore.

 

Which is why I thanked the Rock Gods for Gene Simmons last night; after a rocky first song, when ‘Deuce’ began with its signature riff and the fans on the floor screamed the opening line, for a moment, all was right with the world. Gene was able to deliver a sonic memory very close to what I saw and heard before. Gene is at times simply a loud, opinionated former reality TV star, but last night, when his band needed him to, he was able to muster up all of his Demon prowess and make sure no one in attendance left disappointed.

I decided to get this moment on tape. He’s been spitting fake blood since 1974; it still remains a highlight. 


 

There was a time on the Reunion Tour where Gene lost his voice and Paul had to sing all of the songs in the set. I don’t think it would ever happen (mainly because Gene would never bother to learn all of the verses to the songs Paul currently sings) but, if the band is determined to keep performing, maybe it’s time for Gene or drummer Eric Singer to sing lead on songs like ‘Love Gun’ or ‘Do You Love Me.’

 

The ‘Deep Cut’ that the band has featured on this tour is ‘Flaming Youth’ from 1976’s ‘Destroyer’ album. It’s always been a bit of an anomaly in their catalog (the studio version contains a calliope) and it’s a song that the band would never have attempted unless Eric Singer were behind the drums. Since the song has a strange time signature shift, I know if Peter Criss ever attempted to play it live, it would end about one minute in, and it would be a train wreck. The song though is in a range that wasn’t too taxing on Paul’s voice, so it was a highlight.

 

Now, for perhaps the strangest moments of the night: This tour is called ‘The Freedom To Rock Tour’ and KISS donate money in each city to The Wounded Warriors Project.’ They also hire a veteran to be a ‘KISS Roadie for a Day.’ Both are laudable and worthy actions. While I am all for patriotism, I just think from a pacing standpoint, the show grinded to a complete halt while Paul introduced Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, who came on stage to present KISS with the key to the city, and then Paul led the crowd in a recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance. Patriotism is cool, but I would rather hear one more song than go through that exercise at an arena rock show.

 

If I seem a bit negative, please understand that I still had a fantastic time, and a KISShow is still unlike any other event out there. I know that, even if I deemed parts of last night performance lackluster, there were fans of all ages that walked away having seen the best concert of their lives, and that speaks volumes about how unique a KISShow is. 

 

The last year has not been an easy one for me, for many reasons, and so I cannot put in to words how much I needed last night’s show, how much I needed to walk away with a sore neck from headbanging during ‘Deuce’ and a sore shoulder from raising my fist during ‘Cold Gin.’ It was a wonderful and necessary release for me, so I am thrilled I saw this show. But, I know this show was my last. I cannot imagine a scenario where I see this band again. I doubt they will play Richmond again, and I know I won’t travel to see them. In fact, there is part of me that hopes tonight’s last scheduled show of this tour (09.10.16) in West Virginia is the last arena show for KISS. Just end, with no hype and no apologies. I don’t expect this to happen, but it’s a nice thought.

 

Lastly, a KISS show these days is really for the older generation of fans to introduce their kids to the experience, and that was my take away last night. In the row directly in front of me was a little girl, maybe four or five years of age, in makeup and Paul costume. As she watched the spectacle unfold before her eyes while standing on her chair, she was enraptured the entire night, especially when the blizzard of confetti rained down on her. No matter how many shows she attends In her life, she will never forget the time her daddy took her to see KISS.

That’s pretty cool.

 

Thank you to all the family and friends who attended KISShows with me since 1988. It was always great to be able to share my fascination with KISS, in all of its incarnations, with all of you. This marked my 19th KISShow (not including when I went to Totonto to see Paul on stage as the Phantom of the Opera). Each show has been memorable and had moments I will never forget. 

Last night’s setlist:

Detroit Rock City

Deuce

 Shout It Out Loud

Do You Love Me

I Love It Loud

Flaming Youth

Bass Solo

God of Thunder

Psycho Circus

Shock Me

Guitar Solo

 Cold Gin

Lick It Up

War Machine

Love Gun

Black Diamond

(Encore:)

Beth

The Star-Spangled Banner

Rock and Roll All Nite

Thank you for reading,

Barry

(Proud member of The KISS Army since 1977)

Old 97s Know How to Throw a Party (The National 08.18.16)

Last week Old 97s played at The National. I could write a lot of words about how much fun they were, about how they are the “rockingest” and “bestest” bar band I’ve seen in ages, maybe ever. 

I could tell you how surprised I was that the show didn’t sell that well, about how I hadn’t planned on going until my friend Dana said she’d go to this venue for the first time so she could see this band. 

I could tell you how impressed I was with openers American Aquarium, especially when they played a slowed-down version of John Prine’s “Spanish Pipedream.” I could say that all those in attendance had a rip roaring, alcohol-fueled party for two uninterrupted hours. And I could tell you how sorry I was that you missed it. 

All of those words mean little when I have this video I could show you. Here is most of the Old 97s song “Stoned” that I recorded only because I knew videoing it would prevent me from screaming the lyrics to the point of losing my voice. 

So here’s the video. I’m very sorry you missed the party, but I’m glad Dana and I were there. 

Make sure you see them the next time they’re in town. Until then, pickup a copy of  (or stream via Spotify) “Alive & Wired”, grab a bottle of something and throw your own party. 


Thank you for reading. 

–Barry

No Badge Needed 

As the clock read 6:30pm on my work PC tonight, it just sort of hit me that tonight is my last full shift at the office before moving to Work At Home Full Time on Monday. I am leaving work early on Thursday and Friday to attend shows. 

This is actually going to happen.

 

I was thinking last night, of the core group of original ‘Tier Two’ HelpDeskers (Beth, Tony, Chris C., Chris B., Sharon and Eric), I am the very last one to start working from home.

 

My desk is pretty much cleaned out of the stuff that belongs to me. Since this desk used to belong to Beth, the Help Desk Mom, the desk has a medicine cabinet, plastic wear, mugs and enough markers to last years. Most of that is staying put. I am however taking the mini-mirror that belonged to Mark C., and then was ‘handed down’ to Beth, and then to me since I inherited the desk. I have already put my key in the desk lock for whomever lands here next, knowing full well they will have no idea or appreciation for the small trinkets that have adorned this cubicle since the eBiz Help Desk moved up to the third floor.

 

All in all, I am very ready to begin the next chapter, and I look forward to the new challenge of working from home, though I know I am going to make myself go out more often after work, so as to avoid becoming a hermit who never leaves home.

 

As my calendar proves, that’s never been my style.

–Barry

McCartney in DC (08.09.16)

Tuesday marked the first of two nights for Paul McCartney and his band at Washington, DC’s Verizon Center, as part of the ‘One on One’ tour. I’ve been very fortunate to see Paul live in concert before 
(Read about 2009 here and read about 2015 here), and while all three shows were very similar, last night’s edition did provide a fair amount of surprises and songs that have not been played live in decades. 

For example, the show began with ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, a song that, until this current tour of Paul’s, was not performed by a Beatle since 1965! Also ‘Love Me Do’ has been performed on this tour, marking the first time Paul sang it in concert since October 1963, a full three months before the mop-tops arrived in America. (Ringo performed the song on his 2000 tour). Those set list additions were wonderful, but, for me there was even a more surprising addition of a song that I would have never dared dream would ever be performed: The Quarrymen’s ‘In Spite of All the Danger’, written by McCartney and George Harrison and recorded in 1958! That song has been a personal favorite of mine since it was included on the first Anthology set in 1995, and being part of the audience who sang the background harmony vocal (at Paul’s urging) was a wonderful concert moment.

 Here’s the set list, followed by some thoughts:

Photo by Dana Kiser


A Hard Day’s Night

Save Us

Can’t Buy Me Love

Letting Go

Temporary Secretary

Let Me Roll It

I’ve Got a Feeling

My Valentine

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five

Here, There and Everywhere

Maybe I’m Amazed

We Can Work It Out

In Spite of All the Danger

You Won’t See Me

Love Me Do

And I Love Her

Blackbird

Here Today

Queenie Eye

New

The Fool on the Hill

Lady Madonna

FourFiveSeconds

Eleanor Rigby

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

Something

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Band on the Run

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Let It Be

Live and Let Die

Hey Jude

Encore:

Yesterday

Hi, Hi, Hi

Birthday

Golden Slumbers

Carry That Weight

The End

 

Some thoughts:

 

Paul is still a great performer, and very energetic. However, his voice is getting very thin (I still can’t believe that he sings everything in the original key, not tuning down at all). There were some moments where he struggled to reach for a note, but those moments didn’t mar a fantastic performance.

 

Every time I read over a McCartney set list (since he began playing Beatles tunes live again in 1990, anyway) I always marvel at how many songs that are included are not just great songs, but landmarks in the pantheon of pop music. It boggles the mind if you think about how many seminal songs Paul had a hand in writing. Because of that, there are about ten songs that, every night are ‘required’ inclusions in the set. People want to hear ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let it Be’…and ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Live and Let Die’; if you see a Paul show, you will hear those songs, and they are great concert moments. As great as those moments are, I wouldn’t mind if Paul skipped ‘Hey Jude’ or ‘Live and Let Die.’ I know that won’t happen, and that’s okay.

 

This was the first time that Dana and I had seen Paul where we had seats beside one another, so I got to watch her watch the show, which was great. She told me she would cry, and she did. I think it started one verse into the opening number. Now, as a rule I am not a crier at shows; goosebumps? Sure, many times at many shows; but actual tears? That’s rarely, if ever happened.

 

Until this show…and it happened to me not once, but twice!

 

Ever since the wonderful 2002 tribute ‘Concert for George’, Paul has played ‘Something’ and dedicated it to his friend. He begins the song solo on the ukulele for a verse and a chorus, and then when the song arrives at the middle guitar solo, the band joins in to finish the number very close to how it sounds on “Abbey Road.” Right at that moment when the drums and guitar enter, the projection screen behind the band showed a huge picture of George, circa 1970, then they showed pictures of Paul and George in the studio, around a vocal mic smiling and laughing. That’s when I began to cry. After ‘Something’ came ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ which ended In an uproarious sing along. I managed to get myself together by the end of that song. But then, the next song was ‘Band on the Run’ and, as they have done for the past few tours, during this number, the screen displays an archival film of the Band on the Run album photo shoot, showing Paul, Linda, Denny Laine and ‘friends’ posing as prisoners caught in the search light circa 1973. During the first chorus, the screen showed a close up of Linda and I ‘lost it’ again, this time unashamedly using the collar of my shirt to wipe my face. While I saw the exact same images at the show in Charlottesville last year, for some reason, seeing them this time hit me very hard emotionally. It marked the first time I shed tears since hearing of Bowie’s death in January. (2016 has been a helluva year, hasn’t it?) I know I wasn’t the only one crying and smiling through tears, it just really surprised me at the emotional punch those moments had.

 

When Paul released the compilation “Wingspan: Hits & History” in 2001, he practically apologized for including the song ‘Hi, Hi, Hi’ and it’s obvious reference to marijuana. Thankfully, the song has been added back to the set and it’s a highlight, no apologies necessary.

 

As I watched the show, I couldn’t help but feel that this may be Paul’s last go-round. Now, the very next day, Rolling Stone published an interview (Read it here) where Paul talks about a new album and doesn’t even hint that he’s stopping any time soon. I hope he tours for years to come, but if this is indeed his last global trek, I’m very glad he’s still in top form, and appears to be having such a great time.

 

Extra special thanks to the staff at Verizon Center, especially Larry, who made sure we were taken care of and arrived at our seats safely without having to negotiate a fair amount of stairs. It was a pleasure seeing this show with Dana. I sincerely hope it wasn’t our last Paul show.

 

A McCartney show in 2016 is just like the lyric said almost fifty years before: ‘A splendid time is guaranteed for all!’

 

Thanks for reading,

Barry

Work, Life and iPods 

 First, an update on my iPod: I want to sincerely thank you for the outpouring of support and commiserating that so many of you offered after hearing about the demise of my iPod Classic. I even had some friends toss around the idea of starting a Go Fund Me page to purchase a refurbished iPod. That was completely unexpected, and just proved once again what great friends I have. Even before I finished and posted the blog about the iPod, I had bid on a few iPods on eBay, and I won one of them; just like mine, but a generation newer, so it was a bit thinner and sleeker, but still held 160GB of memory. While I was waiting for that to be shipped, I still tried to ‘revive’ my iPod, usually trying to disengage the ‘Lock’ mode. Then, on Tuesday July 19, eight days after it locked up, the iPod suddenly responded and the lock icon was removed.

 

I made the mistake of trying to revive the iPod right before bedtime, so now, instead of the expected failed attempt followed by going right to bed, I was now shocked and hyper at my success. I plugged the iPod into an outlet to let it charge up, and then stayed up far too late listening to songs with headphones, songs that were not available on Spotify (namely Rialto and Taylor Swift).

 

A few days later, the iPod I purchased on eBay arrived, and I did a transfer of my entire library to that iPod. So, now I have two working iPods. I am certain that my original 2008 device is running on borrowed time and I am expecting it to crash/die any moment, but I’m glad I have a backup device at the ready, even if I don’t have to use it for a very long time.

 The second reason for this blog post is to announce that, very soon I will be a fulltime Work At Home (W@H for short) employee with Anthem. Since April I have been paying $20/day or $100/week to get to and from work. After getting some advice from my former boss, I went to HR in mid-July and, after a series of meetings, a medical exception was granted to allow me to work from home and still do all of my current duties. It wasn’t that long ago that almost any job at Anthem was able to be made a W@H position, every job except a call center agent. That’s changed recently, so that allowed me to even broach the subject with my boss and HR.

The ipod: Alive and well


 

I have said repeatedly since I began working at Anthem ten years ago that I would be a horrible W@H employee, because I would have too many distractions at home. But, as circumstances have changed, I am more than willing to prove my original assessment incorrect, especially if it saves me $100 a week! I am all at once excited and looking forward to the new challenge, and I am also kind of freaking out about the sea change. One of the drawbacks of working from home as a call center agent is, it’s an all or nothing deal; you either work in the office 100% of the time, or work from home 100% of the time. I know I’ll miss seeing coworkers at the office, but I won’t mind one bit being able to sleep about an hour later than I do now, so I’ll take that trade.

 

I had to watch some online training presentations to prepare for W@H and one of them actually recommended, ‘to get into the right frame of mind as you start your work day, you may want to walk outside, close the front door, wait a few seconds and then re-enter your house as if you’re walking into your office.’

 

Seriously?? I laughed so hard at that straight-faced statement that I had to pause the presentation and wait for the giggles to pass.

 

Thanks to my former boss Frank for convincing me to go to HR with my situation and request, and thanks to HR Rep Susan and my current boss Jim for making it happen.

 

I’ll be writing much more as my W@H date nears.

 

I saw the new Woody Allen film, ‘Café Society’ this past weekend. I’ll say at the outset that it was far more enjoyable than the utter waste of celluloid that was his last picture, ‘An Irrational Man’, so that made me very happy. Is ‘Café Society’ as strong as his classics, or as strong as his most recent ‘great’ film, ‘Midnight in Paris’? No, it is not. It is however a very enjoyable period piece, somewhat reminiscent of 1987’s ‘Radio Days’. The cast is excellent, and the script is a great dose of the ‘comedic melancholia’ that Allen can do so well when he wants to. If you’re a fan of Allen, you’re going to see this movie. I don’t know if the movie will win any new converts, but it’s a good film; not great, but good. As I have said before, a good Woody Allen film is better than almost any other film out there.

 

Lastly, the summer concert season rolls on in August! First up on August 9 (One week from today!!) is McCartney in DC at Verizon Center. That promises to be a blast, even though the venue is probably my very least favorite indoor concert arena, and it makes me miss the old Cap Center each time I go there.

 

(I’m still on a high from last week’s Garbage show!)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Barry

Garbage @ The National 07.25.16

Garbage is back! Shirley Manson is back!

Thank goodness!

 

Monday night saw Garbage’s ‘Strange Little Birds’ world tour make a stop at The National, and the evening proved to be a revelation. After taking a six year hiatus, the band returned to the recording studio in 2012 with ‘Not Your Kind of People.’ Now, four years later, the band has produced what many consider to be their strongest record since their debut album twenty years ago.

 

Lead vocalist Shirley Manson is a tour de force on stage, equal to any male lead singer in stage presence, talent and charisma. She showed the ability to be all at once sexy, sincere and, most importantly SUPER BADASS on stage! Yes there are three other members in the band (Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig, though he’s not touring due to illness, replaced by Eric Gardner), but there’s a reason that the spotlights follow Shirley and the other members are predominantly in silhouette; from the opening number, it’s impossible not to watch her.

 

She’s the epitome of confidence, self-assuredness and ‘Grrrrrrl Power’, which makes it that much harder to believe a decade ago, Manson considered herself ‘finished’ as a performer because, in her words, she ‘wasn’t young or pretty enough’ anymore. Her fans are so glad she was convinced otherwise.

 

Some notes:

• The set was a nice balanced representation of their career, beginning with two songs from their debut and one from ‘2.0’, but the last two records were strongly represented as well, proving that Garbage is not simply a 90’s nostalgia act.

• This show saw the tour premiere of ‘Beloved Freak’ and a dedication to the LGBT Community before launching into a ferocious version of ‘Sex Is Not The Enemy.’ Both songs are very appropriate for the times, given the current political climate.

• The debut single from ‘Strange Little Birds’, ‘Empty’, is a track that stands up well next to any other song in their catalog, and had a hyper energy to it in the live setting.

• I would have loved to see drummer Butch Vig play live, but Eric Gardner filled in admirably. I really hope Butch is able to tour with the band in the near future and his health issues are but a memory soon.

 

The setlist (from setlist.fm):

Supervixen

I Think I’m Paranoid

Stupid Girl

Automatic Systematic Habit

Blood for Poppies

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing

My Lover’s Box

Sex Is Not the Enemy

Special

Beloved Freak

Even Though Our Love Is Doomed

Why Do You Love Me

Control

Blackout

Bleed Like Me

Push It

Vow

Only Happy When It Rains

Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)

Encore:

Sometimes

Empty

#1 Crush

Anything else I write will not convey how great this show was. I’m not one to take pictures at a concert because I don’t like to see a show through a viewfinder or a phone screen. On this night however, I took several hundred pictures with my phone. So, as words now elude me, here are some pictures. 

Girls with guitars ROCK!!




If Garbage stop in your town, go see them. They are proof that rock is not dead. 

Thanks for reading,

Barry