I’d gambled on missing Garbage at the Jack FM show, betting that they’d be back later in the tour, and it paid off when they played at the cemetery, a much better choice, for the venue, for getting a full set, and for getting to not have to see House of Pain. This was on the tour for Strange Little Birds, a fair effort well after we expected the heights of their earliest stuff, and the comfort of playing a home-town show once they moved here (to whatever degree that was, but their mailing address was on Edgemont, also not far from there). We had been to the cemetery frequently in the summer for movies, and we had been to the lodge room for a smaller show, but not a full concert on the main lawn. We knew to take a picnic, not expecting to move too far up to get into the claustrophobia of bodies jockeying to get close to the stage (if they have fans still young enough to want to get so close and sweaty). It turned out the stage was expansive enough to afford a view from the comfort of the back, as close as we needed to get, and the music sounded fine. On a cool early-autumn evening shortly after the sun went down, it was a singular environment, with much of the moody material from their newest album making for a lush atmosphere. There was still plenty of rock and pop in there, too, the mixing of which is only one of the great things they’ve always done. Shirley was in fine form, being in vamp mode, maybe with the focus of a bad mood, on display when she got into an altercation with someone in the front of the crowd, an incident we only found out about afterward (like finding that it wasn’t Butch on the drums). Another club show would have been redundant, and frustrating for them and us since they deserved to play somewhere bigger on their own, that seeing them in this unique venue that doesn’t regularly have concerts in the first place made it seem like a special thing. Even if the set was unexciting with familiarity and the new stuff still needed more time to sink in, their experience as veterans paid off in a slick show, even if it became just another show for them.
Not knowing the set-times we showed up early enough to see the openers, Cigarettes After Sex. They were locals who started getting around shortly after this, but at the time just sounded like Slowdive, which was actually fine, for easing into the evening.
“I Think I'm Paranoid“
“Automatic Systematic Habit“
“Blood for Poppies“
“The Trick Is to Keep Breathing“
“Sex Is Not the Enemy“
“Shut Your Mouth“
“Even Though Our Love Is Doomed“
“Why Do You Love Me“
“Night Drive Loneliness“
“Bleed Like Me“
“Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)“
“Vow“ (with "Don't Hurt Yourself" snippet)
“Only Happy When It Rains“