JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

September 10, 2016
South Side Ballroom
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andrea D. Morin
Photos by Michael Insuaste


Garbage Welcomed With Open Arms At South Side Ballroom

American-Scottish alternative rock band, Garbage, took the stage at Souths Side Ballroom in Dallas, Texas and began with a solid performance kicking off with their obscure song, "Subhuman" which transitioned in their mega hit "I Think I'm Paranoid" off their second studio album, Version 2.0. The show went into high gear when Shirley Manson belted out the first note of "Stupid Girl," from their debut album Garbage.

Manson, who just celebrated her 50th birthday, doesn't look a day over 29! Looking radiant with beautiful pink colored hair wearing a black fringed, asymmetrical shirt over black fish nets. Her sultry and powerful vocals were spot on from to start. She had a leopard print microphone stand to match the leopard backdrop image behind the band that added a nice stylish touch. Connecting with her fans from the start, at the beginning of "Stupid Girl," a young male fan gave her a hot pink feathered boa and she wore it proudly, keeping it on the mic stand for the rest of the night.

The South Side Ballroom stage is huge and was perfect for Shirley to criss-cross from side to side, interacting with fans in the process. The depth of the stage gave her free range to jump around, dance and at times would lay flat down, rolling around the floor and even sang the entire song, "Vow," the debut single off their first self-titled album. Other fan favorites were clearly the super hits "#1 Crush," "Special," "Only Happy When It Rains," "Androgyny" and "Cherry Lips."

A noteworthy trait about Mrs. Manson is while she's a powerful force that exudes feminism and girl power, she is incredibly humble. Before performing their new ballad, that she has only performed a few times, "Night Drive Loneliness," off their new album just released in June, Strange Little Birds, she apologized in advance if she got it wrong and said, "I have no one to blame but myself." She adoringly spoke frequently in between songs telling stories in her charming, thick accent straight from Edinburgh, Scotland. At one point explained her connection to Dallas... the Dallas Cowboys, being her husband's favorite football team, and also had a politically incorrect moment when she discussed how the word "cunt" in Scotland has a much different, less offensive, non-degrading meaning than it does in America.

On tour with the band was legendary drummer, Butch Vig. After taking off most of the 2016 tour to nurse his acute sinusitis illness, Vig also played the Houston show Friday night after Eric Gardner stepped in to fill his shoes for the first leg of the US summer tour. Matt Walker and Matt Chamberlin sat in while the band toured Europe before that. Guitarists Duke Erikson and Steve Marker rounded out the tight, original lineup band with a flawless performance, playing a sampling of songs from all six studio albums.

Closing the set with a powerful rendition of "Push It," they took a brief break before coming back for an encore and performed two new songs of their latest album, Strange Little Birds, "Sometimes" and "Empty." They ended the show with "Beloved Freak" off their fifth studio album, Not Your Kind of People. While it is a great number, it was surprising that they would close their show without a high energy tune, that would leave the crowd screaming for more, instead, ended with a mellow clap from most of the audience.

As the lights went up, I found myself talking to fans who gave comments like, "I still need time to process how amazing that was"... "I cried when she sang '#1 Crush' like a religious experience"... "She looked fantastic"... and "That was Liberating!"

Overall Shirley Manson and Garbage did not disappoint their devoted die-hard fan base. Manson is the 90s Alt Rock Icon for the Girl Power Generation of all ages and strong advocate for the LGBT community, who were there in droves. I for one am glad they are back cranking out new hits with meaningful lyrics and Shirley Manson's beautiful and powerful voice, lets hope Garbage keeps the new music and tours coming!

Southside Ballroom