Words by: Gina Pefley
Photos by: Eric Pefley

Garbage’s “20 Years Paranoid” tour finally jumped across the pond to the US, kicking off in Seattle, Washington on Saturday night. This tour coincides with the 20th anniversary of their “Version 2.0” album, and the recent release of a deluxe edition/remastered “Version 2.0” that includes 10 additional B-sides and covers.

The Seattle show was an early sell-out, and the fan base in the area seems to still be going strong after all these years. Honestly, a larger venue could have been booked for this show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Showbox Sodo as packed as it was for the Garbage show on Saturday. The stage show was an explosion of pink and orange lighting, with references to the cover of “Version 2.0” popping up on the screens at the back of the stage. On this night, the fog machine was turned up to 11!  At one point in the show, lead vocalist Shirley Manson joked that the fog was so thick she couldn’t even see guitarist Steve Marker standing next to her, and asked the crowd “should we chill on the fog machine for a bit”? After a few minutes, the air cleared, and the crowd was able to actually see fellow founding-members Butch Vig (drums) and Duke Erikson (guitar, bass guitar, and keyboards).

The show opened with B-sides Afterglow and Deadwood. Manson’s voice sounded as powerful and smooth as it did the first time I saw Garbage live 20 years ago. The energy level was ramped up over the next three songs, Temptation Waits, Wicked Ways, and Special, all of which are from the 1998 “Version 2.0” album release. The remix of Wicked Ways included an impeccably done fade into and out of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus in the middle of the song, which thrilled the crowd.

During the next song, The World is Not Enough, Manson had to stop the band to deal with a couple of aggressive fans near center stage in the pit. After shutting the unruly behavior down and determining that no punches were thrown, the culprits were allowed to stay, the song was restarted, and the concert continued without any additional incidences.

The two cover songs included on the 20th anniversary release of “Version 2.0” were also included in the set. The first cover was Thirteen by Big Star followed by a cover of The Seed’s song Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, with a snippet of The Kinks’ Tired of Waiting for You mixed into the song.

The next song, I think I’m Paranoid, kicked the crowd into singing along again. The show continued with several more B-sides and “Version 2.0” songs before ending with You Look So Fine. On this song, the band flawlessly mixed in Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Shirley donned her guitar and the show was closed with a wall of sound.

The crowd remained, cheering and clapping, to entice the band back for more. The encore included The Trick is to Keep Breathing, and two of the three songs not from the 20th anniversary release of “Version 2.0”. First up was their most recent single No Horses. The final song of the night was Cherry Lips, originally released in 2001 on Garbage’s third album release, “Beautiful Garbage”.  

The 20-song set and a three-song encore is one not to be missed. Fans new and old will enjoy this one, and Garbage puts together an impressive show. There are shows across the US until the end of October.

You can find tickets here

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Set List:

Afterglow
Deadwood
Temptation Waits
Wicked Ways
Special
The World Is Not Enough
13x Forever
Get Busy With The Fizzy
Hammering In My Head
Medication
Thirteen
Can’t Seem To Make You Mine
I Think I’m Paranoid
Sleep Together
Dumb
Soldier Through This
Lick The Pavement
Push It
When I Grow Up
You Look So Fine

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing
No Horses
Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)

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