Garbage at Marquee Theatre – Show Coverage

Coverage By Cynthia Wilkins
Photos By Adam Messler

Shirley Manson was a Viking queen in a former life, I’m convinced. Wearing a short black shift dress, with her vibrant hair pulled back in a ponytail and a wide stripe of colorful war paint across her eyes, this Scottish cyberpunk goddess still brings it.

As expected, Garbage turned out a packed house at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ, on Sunday night, playing to an energetic crowd that didn’t seem the least bit concerned Monday morning was right around the corner. But maybe that’s exactly what we need every Sunday night to get us ready for the week – a live sound bath of raw female power. I may be onto something.

The show was part of the band’s tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 1998 platinum album, Version 2.0. Garbage played the entire set list of Version 2.0, which included “Push It”, “Special”, “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” and “You Look So Fine”. Manson also gave a powerful rendition of the Seeds’ cover “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” originally on the B-side of the album, which felt like she was singing my pain.

What stands out most to me from the night though, oddly enough, was something unexpected – Manson’s brief nod to Stevie Nicks. And, of course, her belting out the much-anticipated single “When I Grow Up.” To quote a story published on Oct. 4 by the Phoenix New Times, “The world may be falling apart around us, but the optimistic energy of that single can breathe new life into the listener’s ongoing fight against responsibility and authority into adulthood.” Heck. Yes. But now it feels like an anthem for figuring life out as an adult. (Also worth a mention: opening band Rituals of Mine, a Los Angeles-based electronic duo, offered up a tensely energetic set that was well-worth arriving early for).

In between songs, Manson showed the crowd how strong and positive and real she is, and she made it clear that the tour isn’t about nostalgia – it’s about living for what matters most, and moving forward. But I couldn’t help but dance like I was 20 again anyway.

Garbage’s Version 2.0 tour has a few more dates through Nov. 3, heading west to New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, then up and over to the East Coast, and back down to Mexico. If you can catch them, I highly recommend you do.

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