Beloved Freaks.

2 06 2012

Buffalo, New York. July 2nd, 1996. Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The first time seeing Garbage live was actually my first concert ever. Shirley and co. were the supporting act  for The Smashing Pumpkins on their Infinite Sadness tour.

I went to the show with my best friend at the time. He was a pseudo-metal head who lived across the street and was two or three years my senior. We initially bonded over our love of alternative rock music… Garbage being no exception. I looked up to him like a he was a cool and rebellious big brother. I remember him introducing me to new music to obsess over with every shipment he received from Columbia House.

Garbage (Phoenix Concert Theatre 05/28/2012)

The show was to be one of the last handful of events at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Later that night, seats would be ripped up as the crowd surged when the Pumpkins went into “1979.” I don’t recall exactly where our seats were but I know they were probably about halfway up from the floor of the arena slightly to the right of the stage. People piled into the Aud, filling it to capacity. The weirdos. The outcasts. The kids who were always picked last for dodgeball. The bookworms. The queers. The freaks. All of them coming together because they all find support and acceptance in the music of a fiery-haired, Scottish “supervixen” and her bandmates.

Toronto, Ontario. May 28th, 2012. Phoenix Concert Theatre. “This song is for the freaks,” Shirley Manson would coo into the microphone before segueing into “Cherry Lips” from their third studio album, beautifulgarbage. She would also go around to each band member and ask them what made them freaks in their younger years. Steve Marker responded that he was a member of a marching band and Butch Vig smoked a lot of pot.

If there is one thing to be said about Garbage, it’s that they have always welcomed and championed their “beloved freaks” and those who “may not have made the football team.”  They have always had a way of making an outcast feel less, well, outcasty. Returning to a tedious world of normalcy is always more bearable after immersing yourself in a big pile of Garbage.

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