Garbage in Bucharest at Arenele Romane: a musical journey back in time

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I first had the chance of listening to Garbage live back in 2012, during B’estfest. But it’s been years since then and memories started to fade, so I thought a revisit would be nice. That’s how I ended up going out on Saturday night in one of my favorite venues in Bucharest, Arenele Romane, for a concert that was part of the 20th anniversary of the release of the album Version 2.0 tour, that started last year and was later heavily extended.

Considering the crazy volatile weather we have experienced lately, it must be said fans have been fortunate to experience a perfect evening, neither stormy, nor torrid, but moderately temperate. So they gathered in moderate numbers in Carol Park, where, at 21:00 sharp, Shirley Manson and company got up on stage.

foto: Năluca

foto: Năluca

Manson is just as we remember her. Energetic, redhead and intense. And, above all, very talkative: several times during the concert she found a couple of minutes in between songs to talk to us and share some thoughts. That’s how I found out that she crossed the border to Romania early in the morning, and the first thing she saw were the sunflower fields that made her say: “We’ve come to the right place!”

She also had a small introduction for Bleed Like Me, about how people are very different in many ways, but in general, they want the same things: to be happy and safe and raise their children in the best way they can. And how beyond the things that separate us, we all get to suffer and that is what we have in common.

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foto: Năluca

And because June is Pride Month, the singer also talked about how important it is not to discriminate and judge, how men should support women in defending their rights and how it’s nobody’s business what you do with your life or your body. Then she concluded by dedicating the song Cherry Lips to all the weirdos out there.

The concert lasted for about one hour and a half, and took us on a journey through all of the band’s albums. While playing Wicked Ways, the band had a short interlude of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, which of course got lots of cheers from the crowd. There were also classics like Stupid Girl, Push It, I Think I’m Paranoid and, near the end, Only Happy When it Rains. Before leaving, the band once again thanked the audience for the warm welcome and returned to the stage for an encore with When I Grow Up.

foto: Năluca

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If I think about it, for me and for many, this kind of concert is basically a journey back in time, something that was also confirmed by the average age of the audience, which was well above 18. It makes perfect sense since the band was after all celebrating two decades since they were young and starting out. And everything felt all the more authentic because the people on stage and the experience they offered seemed to be unaffected by the passing of the years. So, in the end, we got to go home filled with a mixture of nostalgia and joy that surely did us good.

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