Music by Scott Martin

SM Blog

3/31/2013: Garbage at House of Blues


I was fortunate to see several live shows in 2013. This is the second of several posts about my experiences. It’s not a review (there are undoubtedly plenty of those out there) – it’s just my recollection.

Ahh, March in Cleveland, Ohio. The cool breezes off of Lake Erie flinging ice and slushy snow directly into your facial area. Days lengthening, but still seemingly composed of 80% darkness. What better stuff to do than hunker down in a recording studio or go to a dark concert venue and watch someone else rock out?

That venue was Cleveland’s House of Blues, and the someone else was Garbage, with the lovely (and tipsy) Shirley Manson fronting the snappily dressed boys in the band. It had been quite some time since I saw Garbage at Cleveland’s Agora theater, but I had good memories of the show then, and this time around they did not disappoint.

The opening band Io Echo performed a solid set of their rock-pop songs in front of some folding screens lit from behind. It was a nice touch, especially with the lead singer’s kimono-like wardrobe. And toward the end of their set, the screens were getting kicked around like Keith Moon’s drum set.

Garbage was up next, and they were firing on all cylinders, delivering a mix of songs from their newest album “Not Your Kind of People” and from their previous albums. Shirley’s commentary between songs got progressively longer as she enjoyed some cocktails to celebrate the Easter holiday (allegedly). I thought it was cute, although my friend Ray was getting annoyed.


They played a long show, too. If I recall correctly it was almost two solid hours of music. That is a band that is earning their money. I remember leaving HOB feeling pretty energized by what I had seen. And since I was in the same room with Butch Vig, I was only two degrees of separation from Dave Grohl that night.

It was a good night.