Last Night: Garbage at House of Blues
Shirley Manson pays her debts.
Maybe it's that Scottish Calvinist ancestry, or the discipline honed by decades with the same group of bandmates. Maybe she's really a Lannister. Whatever the reason, the Garbage front woman was very eager to make it up to Houston for canceling their previously scheduled April show.
Don't get us wrong, we appreciated the love and extended encore (including audience requests), but the cancelation was really more of an act-of-God thing, right? Illness in the family? It isn't like Butch Vig was arrested for aggravated frottage or something.
In any case, Houston got a real treat last night on the penultimate date of the North American leg of their Not Your Kind of People tour, though we can imagine a lot of us with 9-to-5 jobs are upping our coffee intake this morning.
Manson was in 100 percent vamp mode from the opener ("Supervixen," from the band's self-titled debut album), strongly encouraging the assembled fans ("darklings," as we/they are called) to "bow to me." This was followed in quick succession by "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Shut Your Mouth," after which Manson once again went into repentant mode: "Houston, Texas...you have waited so long."
The next cut, "Why Do You Love Me?", was dedicated to us. "You know how it is when you really piss somebody off?" Manson asked. Not to belabor the point, but we don't think anyone was really that upset. And if they were, the repeated squeals (and shouts, dudes were equally effusive about their love of Ms. Manson) of "I love you!" echoing through the HOB proved by ten minutes into the set that there were no hard feelings.
Next up was "Queer," as sinuously sinister as it was in 1995, followed by "Stupid Girl." Manson was in full command at this point, engaging every section of the audience while striking seductive poses which were highly effective in spite of her choice of outfits; a Halloween-y orange and black sleeveless shirt and shorts ensemble. The rest of the band, clad in black, wisely stuck to the side (guitarists Steve Marker and Duke Erikson) or hung out back by the drum riser (bassist Eric Avery, formerly of Jane's Addiction).
Side note: I referred to Marker as "Mike E" in my notes, because of his uncanny resemblance to Breaking Bad's Mike Ehrmantraut.