Garbage was one of my favorite albums from 1995, so I was definitely looking forward to when Butch Vig, Shirley Manson, and the rest of the band took the stage at Metro, my favorite place to go see bands (mostly because it's around the corner from my apartment). I have to really like a band to go see them in a Q101 all ages show. Put plainly, there was no way in hell this show would live up to my expectations going in. The biggest difference between Garbage live and Garbage on CD is that the subtlety is gone. Manson's whispering and crooning is so seductive on songs like "Queer" and "Not my Idea" on their debut album, and that quiet sensuality is replaced with something much more up front and in your face. It's not bad by any stretch, as was clear by the new cut, "Trip My Wire", and the hit single "Only Happy When It Rains", which worked much better live than on the CD, but it is different from how I think about this band. Manson is the obvious focal point of the live unit. She seemed to have her movements down pat, which is not to say that her stage behavior seemed rehearsed, but rather that it didn't seem overexaggerated or too understated.

The biggest letdown about this show was that the guitars were mixed in stereo. Standing on the left side of the house, I could only hear the guitarist on stage right, except in "Vow", when the stereo delay bounced over to the my side. I was also a little disappointed with Butch Vig's interpretation of the album's tunes on drums. A lot of that comes from my own visualization of live drums with this band. I thought he resorted to too many stereotypical rock parts for an album that I find really hard to stereotype. I would have like to have heard him use more triggers and electronics, and maybe not square things off as much as he did, but I'm a drummer, and I like to nitpick about drums.

Overall, this was a very good show. Not quite a great show, but a solid effort. Given the difficulty of recreating the studio artifacts of the record, criticisms have to be taken with a grain of salt. This show did not diminish my opinion of this band, and based on the two new tunes that they played, I'm anxious to hear what they have up their collective sleeves for their next album.