I saw Garbage during their Version 2.0 tour - here’s what to expect from their set at TRNSMT 2024

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How one writer managed to navigate high school in 1999 - thanks to Garbage
  • Garbage performs on the main stage at TRNSMT 2024 this week (July 12 2024).
  • The group make their welcome return to the festival as part of their wider European tour.
  • Writer Benjamin Jackson recalls how important the band were while trying to find his feet in high school
  • Plus - where are the band performing in the UK after their festival appearance?

Oh yeah - you could say I am a fan of Garbage. Long time a fan too, if that gives me bragging rights.

Since the drummer recorded one of the most important albums of my life, I took notice around the 1995 mark, once again plonked in front of the welcoming glow of a TV set watching music videos. It was on one particularly cold evening that I happened upon Shirley Manson in a fluffy coat and TV sets surrounding her.

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This was the music video for “Vow,” my first experience with a band named such because other music producers thought the mix of electronica and alternative rock sounded like, well, garbage. 

Music producers throwing shade at other music producers; Manson fronted the band while Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker were the members who invited her to join the band - and are music producers themselves. 

Full admission; I have quite bad FOMO that I won’t be able to see the band at TRNSMT on Friday because the times I have seen them have been mindblowing. Which might come across as hyperbole admittedly. 

But have you been to a show during a certain point in musical time that became imprinted in your rite of passage consuming as much music as possible? You could say that for anything - film, television, literature. 

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My first time with Garbage was one of those moments; a high school student who finally might have gained “some” acceptance from his peers. Only some, mind you.

Garbage at the Doncaster Dome - January 18 1999

Getty Images/Provided

I’m at high school, minding my own business and listening to a brand new album I bought during lunch hour - while not getting knocked out due to whatever inter-school rivalry there was that week. 

Two of my classmates who I “kind of” got along with (“kind of” being that the peer pressure of being mean to me was waning) asked me what I was listening to. Now I knew one of them was a Metallica fan as he had started wearing the hoodie he got from the market, while the other I had chats regarding Foo Fighters - I was confident to respond.

Garbage. Version 2.0,” I answered. “Oh yeah, can I give you a tape and get a copy, I heard it’s good,” the Metallica fan responded. This was a big deal for me - having moved over from New Zealand and found making friends hard, sharing music became a means to engage in conversations with people.

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I don’t condone home-taping, by the way, as I believe it’s killing music

Long story short, the three of us got along as alternative music at the turn of the millennium was being more embraced by mainstream media outlets, and what was considered this “weird Greebo music” suddenly led to us in the town we lived in becoming part of a majority. 

Turns out Garbage were touring “Version 2.0” and that they were performing at a location close to where we lived; Doncaster. The gig was a 14+ show too so we were set; off to Doncaster Dome to see the band that cemented this blossoming friendship. 

I went in expecting Brixton Academy and instead, I felt like I was in a high school gym. Maybe that’s my perception of it now and given age being unkind to memories, I still recall walking onto a basketball court, with the stage set along the sidelines. No, I remember that now. 

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Garbage opens up their “Version 2.0” tour date with the first song from the album, “Temptation Waits,” as the crowd start jumping in unison as Shirley Manson’s bittersweet vocals during the chorus kick in. Yet I’m finding myself just looking at Butch Vig behind the drum kit - with perspex screens shielding him and his drumming style so mathematic to watch. 

“Holy s**t - this is the guy who recorded “Nevermind.”

As Shirley Manson exploded and bounded around the stage, I was greeted with the pulsating beat of not only the band’s catalogue, including those hit singles, but the stomp of a hundred or so feet bouncing in unison during the highest of highs, and then introspectively staring at the ground during the more downbeat tunes from the band.

We were commanded not through Manson telling us to “jump the f**k up” or some variant of that - it was the music and the dynamics, those cascading, breakbeat style moments that almost felt like I was at a rave or a drum ‘n’ bass event than a rock concert.

I seem to recall also that there was no mosh pit or shoving; just a bunch of people having a good time, the antithesis of what I had experienced previously at shows.

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I earned extra points with the people I was with when I started to sing along to tracks off their first album - “Vow,” “Stupid Girl,” “Queer” and still one of my favourite songs to put on, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains.” 

“If you’re such a fan, tell me when their first album came out,” I was challenged the next day during a particularly boring geography lesson. “1995,” I responded. “That checks out,” was the response. 

One gig and already I was being harassed about music trivia that, years later, I still retain - yet forget where I’ve put my reading glasses. 

As we made our way back to the car, I took the time to pick up the obligatory bootleg shirt from a couple of minutes away from the official merch stall - I was still in high school so hadn’t a huge amount of money. 

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While that T-shirt lasted all of three washes before the print came off, I gained a lot more from that show; I found like-minded music fans during a time when peer pressure can be incredibly insane. Music was a way for me to meet people and I finally started to feel comfortable with who I was - just making high school that little bit easier. 

Setlist from 1999 show

  • Temptation Waits
  • Not My Idea
  • I Think I'm Paranoid
  • Special
  • My Lover's Box
  • Hammering in My Head
  • Supernatural (Vic Chesnutt cover)
  • Milk
  • Stupid Girl
  • Vow
  • Sleep Together
  • Queer
  • Push It
  • Only Happy When It Rains
  • You Look So Fine

Encore:

  • Medication
  • The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
  • Can't Seem to Make You Mine (The Seeds cover)
  • When I Grow Up

Where are Garbage performing after TRNSMT 2024?

If I’ve sold you on the idea of seeing Garbage, but heading to TRNSMT might be a long shot at this late juncture, they are continuing on their UK tour dates afterwards - with tickets available for many of the shows on Ticketmaster.

  • July 14 2024: Usher Hall, Edinburgh (tickets)
  • July 15 2024: Bridlington Spa Centre, Bridlington (tickets)
  • July 17 2024: University of Wolverhampton at the Civic Hall, Wolverhampton (tickets)
  • July 19 2024: O2 Manchester Apollo, Manchester (tickets)
  • July 20 2024: OVO Arena Wembley, London (tickets)

Garbage perform on Friday evening at TRNSMT 2024, with multi-day, weekend and single-day tickets still available. To avoid missing out or to see the options you have to attend the Glasgow Green festival, visit Ticketmaster in the United Kingdom before it’s too late.

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