July 31, 2016
Rams Head Live
Garbage set list: Subhuman, I Think I’m Paranoid, Stupid Girl, Blood For Poppies, Automatic Systematic Habit, Trick Is To Keep Breathing, My Lover’s Box, Sex Is Not The Enemy, Special, Beloved Freak, Even Though Our Love Is Doomed, Why Do You Love Me?, Shut Your Mouth, Blackout, Bleed Like Me, Push It, Vow, Only Happy When It Rains, Cherry Lips, ENCORE: Sometimes, Empty, #1 Crush
At roughly 7:40 PM on July 31, 2016, all of the power in the Powerplant Live area went down. Garbage were booked to perform at Rams Head Live and the show was scheduled to start at 8 PM with Kristin Control opening. The power was still out at 8 PM and did not come back on until around 8:10 PM which set the entire show back roughly 20 minutes from the originally scheduled set times.
Kristin Kontrol took the stage just around 8:15 PM and her set was a fun mix of snazzy, electro-pop. Kristin is from the band Dum-Dum Girls and her solo effort is an interesting exploration into the pop/rock world with songs that blend live elements with tracks. Kristin was fun to watch onstage and at times she reminds you of a much prettier version of Bjork. Kristin has legs for days!
It was interesting to watch the crowd filter into the venue. When the show started it had clearly sold well; by the time Garbage took the stage the place was sold out!
Garbage opened with “Subhuman” which served as their set opener for the 2015 “20 Years Queer” tour. “Subhuman” is predominantly all samples/tracks right down to the vocals and the band usually performed this number behind a large curtain which hid the fact that it was all samples. On this night the band had no large curtain and just did their thing directly in front of the crowd!
“I Think I’m Paranoid” and “Stupid Girl” sounded amazing and clear throughout the venue. If you listened closely you could hear updated elements and samples which made both songs sound new and fresh for 2016.
Midway through the set Shirley put her hair in a bun on top of her head thus showing off her new Under cut hair style.
Butch Vig is not performing with he band for this leg of the tour and Shirley addressed that by dedicating the song “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” to Mr. Vig.
“Blood for Poppies” and “Automatic…” were switched in the set list due to an error with the start of “Automatic” which forced the band to stop the song a few bars into the intro.
Shirley thanked the Baltimore crowd for showing up and told a funny story about how she was talking to her Dad recently and he told her “The reason the world is so messed up is because historically some people have always been assholes!”
“Sex Is Not The Enemy” was dedicated to the LGBT community and the victims at the recent Florida night club shooting.
“Bleed Like Me” was a nice addition to the set list; it was touching, dark, and sweet.
“Vow” has always been a dominant, powerful song and on this night it rang out amongst the Rams Head Live crowd.
“Only Happy When It Rains” was clearly the song of the night and the entire venue sang every word with Shirley. It was touching to witness so many people who were moved by this song.
The encore started with “Sometimes” off the bands latest release, “Strange Little Birds” and the Encore featured 2 newer songs with one classic. “Empty” was next and “#1 Crush” closed the show.
I’ve always believed a band should close with their biggest hit(s) and Garbage’s song selections for their encore were quite risky because the casual fan could have left before the encore ever started; the main set featured all their biggest hits!
This was a fun show and the crowd had just as much fun as the members of Garbage did!