Your kind of people: Garbage at Showbox SoDo

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After releasing a few well-received albums in the ’90s and a few mediocre ones in the ’00s Garbage — which also features drummer Butch Vig and guitarists Steve Marker and Duke Erikson — took a hiatus and waited seven years to release its latest album, this year’s “Not Your Kind of People.” The band is currently touring behind the record and its sold-out, all-ages show at Showbox SoDo delivered a satisfying mix of all of Garbage’s hits and cuts from the current record which complimented the older material well.

The band’s set kicked off with “Supervixen,” the first song on its 1995 self-titled debut, and from there it was a musical joyride through the catalog of one of the most distinctive bands to survive the alt-rock era and a solid reminder of how many good songs Garbage has under its belt. The band’s hits range from the delicious pop candy that is “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go),” a song that could easily be an Elastica b-side, to the dance floor-friendly “Stupid Girl.” Both of those songs were highlights of the set as was the hard rock of “Why Do You Love Me” and the smoky vocals of “Milk.” Of the newer songs “Man on a Wire,” with its clapalong, driving beat and “Automatic Systematic Habit” made the biggest splash.

The band played a tight set, as was to be expected from such a seasoned group of musicians and Manson made sure all eyes were on her. She prowled the stage throughout the set, flanked by Erikson and Marker, strutting and posing between songs all the while exuding an underlying essence of sexiness. There aren’t many female vocalists in rock who can compare to Manson. She’s like a sinister Gwen Stefani, except where Stefani comes across as poppy and playful, Manson gives off vibes of danger and seduction. Former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery is serving as the band’s touring bassist and his lowend filled out the band’s rhythm section well. For his part, Vig, who is best known for producing Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” displayed solid chops behind the skins while triggering electronic backdrops to accompany his thunderous drumming.

Garbage played most all of its hits faithfully with main set closer “Only Happy When It Rains” being the only one that was given a little extra something. That extra something came from Manson’s slowed-down, sultry vocal delivery during the song’s first verse. The treatment made the alt-rock classic come across like a torch song and gave its chorus of “pour your misery down on me” some extra emotional heft.

The show ended with a four-song encore that featured the live debut of “I Hate Love” off the new album. The “Not Your Kind of People” song fell flat live as it lacked some of the spunk of the other new songs in the set. This could have been because it was the second-to-last song of the night, or because it was the band’s first time playing the song live. But the lackluster performance made a moot point during what was otherwise a strong showing by a once mighty band back on the road to relevancy when it was followed by “Vow,” a song that sent everyone home happy.

 

Setlist

Supervixen

I Think I’m Paranoid

Shut Your Mouth

Why Do You Love Me

Queer

Stupid Girl

Hammering in My Head

Control

#1 Crush

Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)

Blood for Poppies

Special

Man on a Wire

Milk

Battle in Me

Push It

Only Happy When It Rains

 

Encore

Automatic Systematic Habiy

The Trick is to Keep Breathing

I Hate Love

Vow

 

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Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.