Garbage - The Roxy - May 30, 2012
Pamela Chelin Shirley Manson
Nylon threw a party at The Roxy last night, and it was the fete's rock starlet hostess -- Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson, who graces the cover of the magazine's current issue -- who owned the night.
The varied crowd of party goers included musician Gregory Rogove, cast members from Pretty Little Liars and America's Next Top Model, who apparently were shooting scenes right inside the West Hollywood club. Garbage emerged at 9:45. Wearing high heeled black ankle boots, black shiny tights, black and red high-waisted short shorts, a black tank top and black wristbands -- with her red hair braided back into a bun piled on top of her head -- Manson looked like what would happen if Princess Leia had sex in the '80s with an outer space punk rocker.
Though the performance was just seven songs, Manson threw herself into them, fully immersing herself. For this reason the short set actually felt complete. At times prowling around the stage looking like a hungry panther stalking her prey, while at other moments seeming like a playful dominatrix, Manson proved that, after 18 years as Garbage's frontwoman, she is still one of the most compelling performers in rock.
She was clearly enjoying herself. When she wasn't thrusting her body wildly around the stage, she would stand at the front of the stage, target a male fan and sing directly into his awestruck eyes.
Opening with "Automatic Systematic Habit" (from Garbage's most recent album Not Your Kind Of People), Manson proceeded to go back into Garbage's catalog, including hits "Stupid Girl" (from Garbage's self-titled debut album) and "I Think I'm Paranoid" (from Version 2.0).
"It's kind of surreal being here," Manson said midway through the set. "The last time I was here at the Roxy I was lugging my own gear." She dedicated the next song, "The Trick Is To Keep Breathing" to everyone pursuing their dreams. She followed it up with Garbage's most recent single "Blood For Poppies".
Just before the second to last song of the night -- "Only Happy When It Rains" -- Manson gave a heartfelt thanks to her fans, and she referred to the success of Garbage's latest release, which is currently the number one alternative album in the US. "It's fucking weird and surreal and crazy. Just when you think it won't get weirder, it will get weirder." Closing out the night was an energetic and perfect evening climax, "Push It."
Personal Bias: Shirley is my favorite Manson.
The Crowd: WeHo chicks looking like Emma Stone, reality TV stars, Garbage lovers.
Overheard in the crowd: "I hope that girl is wearing sunglasses indoors due to Lasik eye surgery, because that is the only acceptable reason besides a cataract operation."
Set list below