- The Orpheum Theater, Madison, WI.
- April 7, 2013
Setlist (see photo below for actual setlist) and review:
The homecoming show, in Madison, finally. In an evening filled with reminisce and even brief chatter from all 4 band members (reluctantly so) Garbage did its best to knock down the same walls it once used to rehearse 17 years ago before their first tour. Now keep in mind that the Orpheum is no masterpiece and majestic it is not. Acoustically, it’s just fine, but you’ll never confuse this venue with the Chicago Theater. The restrooms alone are 5 tiny minutes of terror that you try to avoid at all cost – but for a good-bye show, it works just fine. It’s not like a I need to sleep here (amen).
Musically, Garbage was as tight as Butch Vig’s drums during what is a by-the-numbers run through of the Garbage catalog and that’s not a knock, but that’s what Garbage typically delivers – standard versions directly from the album. Only tiny amounts of improvisation, if any, are present – except for a few in the 3-song encore, most notably with the Fleetwood Mac insertion into the blistering finale of ‘You Look So Fine’. Given all that, they are still stunning. Vig, at age 57 is marvelous and Manson looks no part of 46 years old. When I saw Garbage in 2002 in Minneapolis Manson (then 35) looked like she was 25 and she remains an ominous stage presence that other leading ladies (and men) would kill for.
I attended this show from 2 very different vantage points and the contrast in crowd interest was rather stunning. Or perhaps it’s just the utterly rude behavior that exists at concerts. While up front things were great – loyal fans drooped over the rail, waiting to intake every note coming their way. But 20 feet back by the soundboard things worsened. That’s where we find the attendees who chose to chat and laugh loudly with friends during the songs, but whatever – because thank God the music is louder than they are. And then there are those who choose to chat and laugh loudly while Shirley and Butch are thanking the crowd and sharing stories. Those talking drunks are the real tools. I understand that a rock show at the Orpheum is code name for Drunkfest 2013 but seriously, the rude behavior is rampant and I shook my head in pity of Shirley while she was trying to talk to this distracted, unappreciative set of fans that were scattered from one end to the other. A better homecoming crowd should have been there.