Aug 31, 2021

Garbage / Alanis Morissette - Merriweather Post

Category: Live Reviews



Columbia, MD

Merriweather Post


GARBAGE Set List:  

Vow,Men Who Rule, Stupid Girl, #1 Crush, I Think I’m Paranoid, Wolves, Not Your Kind of People, Special, Wicked Ways/Personal Jesus, When I Grow Up, Push It, Only Happy When It Rains

 ALANIS Set List:  

All I really want, Hand In My Pocket, Right Through You, You Learn, Forgiven, Mary Jane, Reasons I Drink, Head Over Feet, Ablaze, Perfect, Wake Up, Not The Doctor, Ironic, Smiling, You Oughta Know, ENCORE:  Your House, Uninvited, Thank U


Formed in 1993 by studio musicians Duke Erikson, Butch Vig, and Steve Marker, Garbage were not complete until they found their front woman by accident while watching MTV one late night.  A music video by the band Angelfish came on and the rest is 90’s Alt Rock History.

 Garbage have had many highs and lows throughout their storied career:  They’ve received two Grammy Award nominations, wrote the Theme song to a James Bond Movie in 1999, Broke up in 2005, Regrouped in 2007, went on Hiatus again until 2011, formed their own record label “Stunvolume”, and continue to release new music and tour in the present day.

 On March 30, 2021 Garbage released it’s seventh studio record, “No Gods No Masters” which featured the lead single “The Men Who Rule The World” and was followed by the release of the title track as the second single.  Garbage’s latest release is politically charged and at times features themes which reflect the current climate of the world.  It’s interesting how the men in Garbage chose to step aside and allow Shirley to be the sole focus/mouthpiece for the band and that fact is never more obvious than when you check out the bands social media.  Fans have occasionally stated that they wish the boys in the band had more of a presence in the bands online/media showings.


 Garbage are slated to reissue and expanded/remastered version of their record “Beautiful Garbage” on October 1, 2021.  The record celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year.  Released on October 1, 2001, it was the bands third studio release and their most ambitious at the time.  Critics panned the record while fans adored it.  The reissue will come in several configurations which include unreleased tracks, alternate mixes, b-sides, and remixes.

 Garbage were slated to tour with Liz Phair and Alanis Morissette in 2020 but a global pandemic shut the entire world down thus preventing the tour from happening until 2021.  When the tour did finally start Phair decided to drop off and Cat Power replaced her.

 The last day of August 2021 was a mild day with the threat of severe rain and hurricane winds in the not too distance future.  Gates for Merriweather Post in Columbia, Maryland opened at 5:30 PM and the show started at 7 PM.

 The venue did not mess around when it came to checking for Covid vaccination cards or a negative test result.  ALL patrons were required to show proof of vaccination or supply a negative test result before entering the venue.  There was an easy access tent set up on premises which offered Covid tests so all patrons had no excuses when it came to presenting whether or not they were sick.  After showing your picture ID and Vaccination card a tiny red mark was stamped on your hand which showed you were clean.


Cat Power took the stage at 7 PM.

If you look at the photo above, that’s exactly how her entire set was.  Catpower is a one woman act and what she does is best seen in a small club rather than a large outdoor venue because her one woman act felt lost on that large stage.  The Catpower set suffered from low attendance because this was a work night and patrons were still arriving as the Catpower set played on.

 Garbage took the stage at 7:45 PM.

Garbage chose to start their set with a song that often times closes their shows, “Vow”.  “Vow” had a watered down, slightly less heavy feel which fit this tour perfectly.  It’s interesting how the band has altered a lot of their songs over time to keep things fresh.  “#1 Crush” started off slower as did their closer “Only Happy When It Rains” which is far less poppy these days and a tad overly dramatic with it’s ultra mellow beginning.  Garbage owned this show and their set was the highlight of the night.  

 The night prior Garbage had the day off and posted a photo on their social media pages of the three guys in the band walking down the streets of Baltimore.

 Shirley was in an upbeat mood and thanked the crowd repeatedly for coming to the show and supporting what they do in these hard times.  When Shirley introduced the band she made a joke about herself being the cute one in the band and then laughed it off by saying that she was the one with the mic in her hand so she was allowed to be a c*nt!  

 During “Wicked Ways” they intertwined a few bars from “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.  Shirley’s husband works for the band and on this night it was his birthday which prompted Shirley and the boys to do a whiskey toast with him onstage.

 “Men Who Rule The World” and “Wolves” from the bands latest release “No God No Masters” were performed and they fit in quite well amongst older classics.

 “Not Your Kind of People” was the surprise track in the set and one that they have been tossing in the set list occasionally.  

 Alanis took the stage at 9 PM.

Alanis started off strong with old classics off her “Jagged Little Pill” record but her biggest flaw was not ending the show with “You Oughta Know” because there was nothing stronger in her set than that song!

 A five minute retrospective on Alanis’s career was played before Alanis took the stage and clips included Wesley Willis, SNL, Car Pool Karaoke, and pretty much any major television thing she had done throughout her career. 

 “What I Really Want” opened Alanis’s set and that led into “Hand In My Pocket” which set the pace for most of her show.  Alanis wore baggy pleather pants, an oversized orange shirt with bling on it, and her hair was bleached blonde.  

 Alanis’s backing band were spot on and superb.  They recreated all of the sounds on “Jagged Little Pill” while also reinventing them and making those 90’s riffs sound new and fresh.

 Interesting side note:  When Alanis performed tracks off “Jagged Little Pill” the crowd stood up, danced, and sang every word.  When she tossed in a newer track the crowd would sit down, go to the bathroom, or get a beer.  The new songs were clearly of no interest to most of the crowd on this night.

 At the merch stand there were two Garbage shirts, one Garbage hoodie, and a hat.  Catpower had a minimal amount of merch, while Alanis had a nice selection of shirts, signed vinyl, and vintage grab bag merch to choose from.  Most shirts were $35.  The signed Alanis vinyl was $150, the Alanis Grab Bag of vintage merch was $100, and for the big rollers there was a framed, autographed Harmonica from Alanis which sold for $250.

 This show was a fun flashback to the 90’s and if I had to choose one phrase to describe this night it would definitely be “Girl Power”.

Author: Bob Suehs