The Right Choice: Garbage w/KRISTIN KONTROL at The Fillmore Charlotte
(The following #twitfromthepit are from Andy Frisk himself)
“Most of our fans, if not all of our fans, think the same way we do. So it was decided that we would come to North Carolina tonight,” announced Shirley Manson in reference to how HB2 has induced a wave of concert and event cancellations across North Carolina-the type of cancellation that she and her bandmates were also considering. Luckily, Manson and co., collectively known as Garbage, played The Fillmore July 23rd.
“The world is so fucked up and so crazy that it seems nuts to me that anybody is concerning themselves with what people do in private. You all should be looking at what people are doing in public!” finished Manson, just before the band launched into an especially relevant performance of “Androgyny” off of her band’s 2001 album Beautiful Garbage.
Boys/Boys in the girl’s room/Girls/Girls in the boy’s room/You free your mind in your androgyny.
These lyrics, to what was just another pop/rock song on alt-radio back in the early naughts, crystallized the spirit of acceptance and tolerance, which was tinged with just a bit of frustration towards the “old white men who are out of touch with the state of the human race” and served as the overriding theme of the evening. For many fans in attendance, the choice to be there at The Fillmore enjoying the band’s return to Charlotte early in the tour supporting their recently released album of new material, Strange Little Birds, was an easy one. For the fans who were there casually, it was a lucky one. Plenty of events in Charlotte that night vied for the the disposable income of the city and region’s concert goers. For those seeking a little more than just an escape from work week doldrums and stresses, the smart choice was choosing to see Garbage.
It was a night for rumination as well as exclamation for both the band and the audience. Manson mused upon how different the world is now as compared to how it was 21 years ago when Garbage released their first album, along with its breakthrough single “Queer.” Releasing a song called “Queer” back in 1995 was “not considered wise” according to Manson, but as time has proven-over and over through the years: what was once considered progressive has become not only accepted but also correct. Garbage, a band that might have been deemed as not being able to attract a crowd beyond a certain alternative niche, is now, along with bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, easily worthy of being considered “elder statesmen of rock music.”
As with many “elder statesmen” of the type that have not only been around for some time, but have also proven their worth and relevance time and again, Garbage’s fans are composed of a broad swath of humanity. Many ethnicities, sexualities, ages, and genders mixed and were moved by the band’s electronica and industrial tinged hard rock, soaring ballads, and moving dirges like the newly minted “Even Though Our Love is Doomed.” Garbage’s new material fit in perfectly with it’s old, even if their newer songs often were touched with a little more of a world weariness than their early rockers. This band, lead by the ever lovely-voiced and beautifully visaged Shirley Manson, demonstrated once again that there is an appeal about Garbage that many other bands just can’t muster across such diverse a fanbase.
While Manson was quite talkative during breaks in the set, opening act KRISTIN KONTROL, fronted by Dum Dum Girls founder and lead singer Dee Dee (nee Kristin Welchez) kept mum during her set, and relied upon sharply choreographed moves that summed up both the best and worst of early to mid 80s New Wave danceability in order to communicate with the crowd. Cold, picture perfect, and with nary a hint of the beautifully disastrous dishevelment that is Shirley Manson, KRISTIN KONTROL’s performance was a masterful display in New Wave come nostalgic aesthetics, but with more depth and atmosphere than most New Wave bands could have ever come up with. This depth does not particularly come from the music itself, which is defined by its mechanical clarity, but from the lyrical content of the songs. The exceptional “Skin Shed” with its self-referential lyrics, passively violent imagery, and dark guitar lines that morph it into something much heavier than its dance beat demands it be, betrays an equally sharp artistic introspection of the type that we’ve come to expect, and be amazed by, from Welchez.
“The fact that you’re here meant you chose us, and for that we are thankful,” Manson demurely informed the crowd during one of her passionate asides with her audience. They wouldn’t have been anywhere else, and rightly so. Assembled in a spirit of more than just one motivated by the promise of a great concert, the crowd that chose to attend Garbage with KRISTIN KONTROL made not only the smart, but the right, choice on which major event to spend their money and time on.
Set list –
- I Think I’m Paranoid
- Stupid Girl
- Automatic Systematic Habit
- Blood for Poppies
- The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
- My Lover’s Box
- Sex Is Not the Enemy
- A Stroke of Luck
- Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
- Why Do You Love Me
- Bleed Like Me
- Push It
- Only Happy When It Rains
- Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
- #1 Crush