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By LAWRENCE MANN
On a brisk (for Los Angeles) Friday evening, Garbage returned to the Greek Theatre co-headlining a massive tour with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the tour value-added by the addition of opener Metric.
On their second trip to the L.A. since the release of their seventh album, “No Gods No Masters” (they opened Alanis Morissete’s anniversary tour at the Hollywood Bowl in fall of 2021), Garbage emerged with the same core lineup they’ve had since they started in 1993: Shirley Manson (vocals), Duke Erikson (guitar), Steve Marker (guitar) and Butch Vig (drums, producer). Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction joined on the bass for the tour.
Manson, cool as the Griffith Park breeze, kicked off Garbage’s set with an early radio single (and opening track on their 1995 debut album), “Supervixen.” Manson’s vocals sounded a bit off, prompting concern about how the show would progress. Halfway into the second song, “”#1 Crush,” everything started to gel. They hit their stride with the James Bond tune “The Men Who Rule The World.”
Manson was typically chatty, and her between-song banter was spot-on. A third of the way into the set, Shirley asked for forgiveness for how horrible their previous show at the Greek went in 2015. On this night, Shirley told the crowd 1) We are glad to back. 2) They were here to redeem themselves for the 2015 show at the Greek, and 3) She loves them. The band then broke into a beautiful version of Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Cities in Dust.” From there, the hits kept coming.
Garbage ended their set with “Vow,” their first single back in 1995. Manson thanked KROQ for playing the song and helping break the band in the United States. She said the band has come a long way since their first show in Los Angeles at the Silverlake Lounge 30 years prior. They returned with “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)” for their encore.
Gallagher split his set between songs from his latest album, “Council Skies,” and the Oasis catalog, adding in a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Metric’s nine-song set stuck to the second half of their 25-year career, with three of the first four tracks coming from 2009’s fourth album, “Fantasies.”
Garbage setlist: Supervixen, #1 Crush, The Men Who Rule the World, Run Baby Run, Special, Wolves, Beloved Freak, Bleed Like Me, Cities in Dust, I Think I’m Paranoid, Stupid Girl, Push It, No Gods No Masters, Only Happy When It Rains, Vow. Encore: Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!).
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds setlist: Pretty Boy, Council Skies, Easy Now, We’re Gonna Get There in the End, Open the Door, See What You Find, We’re on Our Way Now, In the Heat of the Moment, AKA … What a Life!, The Masterplan, Going Nowhere, Little by Little, Live Forever, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
Metric setlist: Gold Guns Girls, Dark Saturday, Gimme Sympathy, Help I’m Alive, All Comes Crashing, What Feels Like Eternity, Now or Never Now, Black Sheep, Breathing Underwater.
Photos by Stevo Rood / ARood Photo