If you’re wondering what that hashtag #20YearsQueer means, it’s inspired by one of Garbage‘s biggest hits back in 1995 called “Queer” from their self-titled debut album. A smoky-air in a bottle tune that messes with the initial reference of the word “queer” in regards to sexual identification and more so with the includes the topics of alienation, anxiety and tempering with the status quo.
In celebration of their debut’s milestone, the original lineup (that’s actually never changed) of Garbage featuring the rock goddess Shirley Manson, renowned alternative producer Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson have been touring the U.S. to play the album in its entirety. On October 21, they brought their set to Boston’s classic Orpheum Theatre.
The show was fantastic and the band is as raucous and passionate about their music as they were when their videos “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains” played on MTV (because there was a time MTV played videos). They also performed the B-Sides of Garbage, including the surprise inclusion of their 1996 hit “1# Crush”, that wound up on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann‘s reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. It was originally going to be on their album.
It was nearly a packed house inside of the Orpheum. And while some attendees were in their twenties, likely kids when Garbage first hit the scene, there were plenty of adults who clearly listened to the band in high school or college. Someone’s parents were singing oh so loudly to “Not My Idea” (one of the greatest moments of the show).
While it was a tour meant for their first album only, fans yelled in-betweens songs titles from their others like the records “Push It”. But the only other non-1995/1996 songs that got some play were “Bad Boyfriend” and “Why Do You Love Me” from 2005’s Bleed Like Me.
Bleed Like Me was an amazing, as usual provocative project from Garbage but it definitely would’ve been a treat to hear a song from 1998’s Version 2.0. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the most underrated albums of the ’90s. It was dark, it was confrontational and sentimental. It’s damn near perfect.
Garbage was anything but at what felt like a homecoming show for such a talented band. Cheers to 20 years!