Garbage – Concert 1999

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Concert Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Live at the Wembley Arena, London – 20 January 1999

This is a special night, Wembley is a famous venue and it’s a big crowd, bigger than Garbage usually play to.

This is what Shirley Manson told the audience in between tracks on Wednesday night.

And what a night!

Shirley prowled or leapt around the stage depending on the mood of the song, had a go at her critics, they probably deserved it, and told us that when she was a teenager she thought she would never get a date and named some artists whose music kept her going, then proceeded to bring one of them on stage…… Chrissy Hynde…… who joined Shirley for ONLY WHEN IT RAINS.

Let’s not forget though, “Garbage” is not just Shirley. The band sounded great. This is not a raw group just broken into the charts, and they’re not boy band ( or girl band ) with a catchy number and a gimmicky video. This is a group of excellent musicians who are real professionals.

The numbers sounded so good, you could have been listening to a CD recorded in a studio. Not that the music was identical to the CD’s, because it wasn’t. It wasn’t supposed to be.

One complaint, the evening was over too quickly. That wasn’t “Garbage’s” fault though. Any time goes too fast when you’re having a good time. After the last number, SPECIAL I really thought there would be a second encore, the stage lights still dark and Shirley hadn’t said goodbye, only Wembley’s advertising sign at the back of the arena came on so abruptly, and brightly, that the audience thought it was all over and made for the exits, presumably to be first out of the notorious Wembley car park! Of course I could be wrong, and it was really supposed to be all over.

If I had to say one highlight of the evening, for me it would be the sheer power of “Push It”.

But then the power, excellence and excitement of the whole show overshadowed any single highlight.

As we are rapidly approaching the next century the music of Garbage has the ring of the future about it, with the feel of the power of the rock of the past.

This was, is and will be one of the best bands of all time……..This is the new meaning of the word GARBAGE!!!