Jun 19, 2022

Garbage / Tears For Fears - Merriweather Post

Category: Live Reviews



Merriweather Post

Columbia, Maryland

 Garbage Set List:  Automatic Systematic Habit, No Gods No Masters, Stupid Girl, Special, Wicked Ways/Personal Jesus, Queer, The World Is Not Enough, Wolves, Only Happy When It Rains, Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!), Push It, You Look So Fine

 TEARS FOR FEARS Set List:  Stay, No Small Thing, The Tipping Point, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Secret World, Sowing the Seeds of Love, Long Long Long Time, Break the Man, My Demons, Rivers of Mercy, Mad World, Suffer the Children, Woman in Chains, Badman’s Song, Pale Shelter, Break It Down Again, Head Over Heels/Broken, ENCORE:  End of the Night, Change, Shout


“No Gods No Masters” is Garbage’s seventh studio release and was released on June 11, 2021.  In 2022 the 90’s alt rockers are on the road supporting their “No Gods No Masters” record as the opening act for 80’s icons Tears For Fears.

 The tour rolled through Maryland on a mild Sunday evening and the venue was filled with fans of both acts.  Initially this billing felt odd because both bands are quite different BUT once you experience it in person it makes perfect sense because both bands were the darklings of their respective scenes.  Garbage are a legacy act at this point but on this tour they are a baby act next to Tears For Fears who’ve weathered five decades in the music business.

 It’s refreshing to say that Garbage remain all original members with Shirley Manson on vocals, Duke Erikson & Steve Marker on guitar, and Butch Vig on Drums.  Touring bassist Eric Avery has anchored the low end in the band for several years now and most people will remember Avery as the original bassist for Jane’s Addiction.

 In August of 2021 Garbage released the 20th anniversary box set for their album “Beautiful Garbage” which is considered a cult classic amongst their fans and perhaps their most polarizing release to date because much of the record was therapy for the hard times band members were going through at that point in their lives.

 Garbage Discography:  

Garbage (1995)
Version 2.0 (1998)
Beautiful Garbage (2001)
Bleed Like Me (2005)
Not Your Kind of People (2012)
Strange Little Birds (2016)
No Gods No Masters (2021)

 Garbage took the stage at 7:30 PM sharp and delivered a strong one hour set that offered fans an interesting assortment of both new tracks and older classics.

 Opening with “Automatic Systematic Habit” off the bands “Not Your Kind of People” release and going directly in to the title track for their “No Gods No Masters” record, Garbage opened their set strong, upbeat, and on a positive note.  Garbage die hards were obvious to spot because they stood during the bands set and sang every word.  A Garbage headline show is very different than seeing Garbage as a support act.  Tears For Fears have an older fanbase than Garbage and the older patrons chose to remain seated during Garbage’s set thus bringing the energy of the show down just a little.

 Shirley commented that the weather on this night was perfect and much to her liking because the band has been performing in nearly 100 degree weather on many nights of this tour.  Shirley also made it a point to wish all the fathers in the venue a very Happy Fathers Day and she jokingly said that bassist Eric Avery was not a father but was a good Cat Dad.  She then made sure to wish everyone a Happy Juneteenth and pointed out that it was nice to see the States finally going in the right direction.

 Shirley had her husband Billy bring her a shot of whiskey towards the middle of the set because she was having a great time and the band did a toast with her; Butch drank Gatorade and Shirley joked about it.

 The arrangement for “Cherry Lips” was drastically different than the original version; the version performed on this night was more of a dance remix and the revamped version of “Only Happy When It Rains”, which the band has been performing in this style for several years now, starts with a slow intro that gradually builds up to the original tempo.

 At the Merch table there were three different Garbage shirt designs, a Garbage Hoodie, and a Garbage messenger bag.  The Grey shirt featured tour dates on the back and was the only one not for sale via the bands official web site.  The Grey shirt was only available in Large, 2X & 3X.  By the time Garbage finished their set all of the Large’s were sold out and only 2X & 3X remained.  All shirts were $40.

 Merriweather Post did not require proof of vaccination nor did they ask patrons to wear masks.  This made it feel like things were finally going back to normal in the post Covid world!

 “Push It” was the most powerful song in Garbage’s set and “You Look So Fine” was a somber closer for them.  The only downside to Garbage’s set was the absence of the track “Vow” which the band has almost always performed on every tour since the beginning.

 Tears For Fears were the nights headliner and their set was fun but their fanbase did not rock as hard as Garbage’s did.  For the most part, the Tears for Fears fan base remained seated throughout the TFF set UNTIL the band performed one of their “hits” which made the crowd stand.  

 Garbage blew Tears For Fears off the stage in terms of their energy, their catalog, and their song choices.  Garbage are performing several random headline dates this Summer during off days on this tour.

Author: Bob Suehs