I took my daughter to a concert last night.
Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. I’ve been to a lot of concerts since finding out I was pregnant, so technically I’ve taken her to quite a few. Some, like Billy Joel and Morrissey, were while I was in the deep throes of morning sickness. I figured if I was able to get up and go to work every day, even when feeling like I had a 24/7 hangover, I could handle a few shows. Others, like Hum, were after I leveled out a bit. However, the concert last night was special.
It was Garbage’s 20th Anniversary tour. Their self-titled album came out in the summer of 1995, when I was a ripe and angsty 14 year-old. I got to see them live the next year at the Hampton Coliseum, when they opened for the Smashing Pumpkins’ Infinite Sadness Tour. By then, I was 15 and starting to rebel against the world. Or so I thought. I remember that the tickets were 30 dollars, and to me that was out of sight expensive–but it was going to be worth it. To an impressionable 15 year-old, seeing a show like that was cool. In hindsight, it was an experience of a lifetime.
Fast-forward almost 20 years later. I live right outside of DC, and when Garbage announced their anniversary tour with a stop at the 9:30 Club, I knew I had to go. Two awesome lady friends of mine (who also saw Garbage back then) jumped on the bandwagon, too. Before you could say #1 Crush, tickets were bought and the three of us were, to quote of the ladies, “Garbage’d.”
I was a little apprehensive about going to a concert six months into the pregnancy, to be honest. One, my feet were starting to swell. I was kind of worried about how long I’d be able to stand. Two, I’m starting to show a lot more. A part of me was a little nervous about whether or not people would react to it. Last, I’ve read the baby can hear by now. Some small, paranoid part of me was worried about whether it would harm her or not. Luckily, all of these fears were unfounded and I did just fine.
It was a fun night out. I know I’ve got to soak these kinds of nights in as much as possible before Zelda comes. We had dinner at a Mexican spot, then camped in the nearby Satellite Room until about 20 minutes before Garbage came on. The ladies had a beer and cocktail, I had a milkshake. Hey, it’s a damn good substitute. Damn good milkshake, too.
While I’m on the “damn good” kick, I’ll say it was a damn good show. When the band played “Supervixen,” the second song of the night, I flashed back to a fond memory of listening to this song in the car with my brother years and years ago in his crappy little Honda Civic that reeked of bagels. It sounded like 1996. It sounded like black hair dye, cheap drugstore kohl eyeliner, flannel shirts, and Doc Martens.
SIDE NOTE: I wanted Shirley Manson’s dress and boots from the Stupid Girl video so damn much. Or maybe I just wanted to be her.
I didn’t really think much of the present until Manson said, “We’re not a band who believes in nostalgia, at all,” followed by the comment that this was more for us, the fans, who have stuck with them for the past 20 years. It kinda hit me then. Almost 20 years ago, the last time I saw this band, I was a teenager with blue-black dyed hair that had no clue how to apply eyeliner properly and was flunking Algebra in high school. I was hopelessly in love with a dude that didn’t care about me. I wasn’t thinking about where I would be 20 years from then. The world was then, and it was all I knew. I still thought I knew everything. When they did “Only Happy When it Rains,” a song I considered my own personal anthem at 15, I sang along and reveled in the then and now. In some ways I’ve grown up so much, and in other ways I’m still that girl without a clue.
I reflected on that, then considered that now, I’m seeing this band as an almost 35 year-old with a growing baby in my belly. I summed my feelings up in one succinct social media post:
The feeling still kind of floors me. I’m guessing that will take awhile to get used to.
I’m also hoping Zelda grows up with an appreciation for Garbage. I’ll be sure to tell her, when she’s old enough to understand, that this was the first band she really got to “see” (by which I mean be physically there for and hear) in concert.