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Reunited alt-rockers in fine form despite bare bones production

Garbage - One Mile High...Live
DVD Review

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
June 10, 2013

Review by Andy Argyrakis

At the height of fame in 2005, Garbage took an indefinite hiatus, though thankfully seven years later, the beloved alternative rockers returned with the new studio album "Not Your Kind Of People." To support the project, the group comprised of singer Shirley Manson, guitarists Steve Marker and Duke Erikson, drummer Butch Vig (also of Nirvana production fame) and adjunct bassist Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails) hit the road hard, including a stop at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado.

The results make their way onto the new Blu-ray/DVD "One Mile High...Live," which finds the band in ultra fine playing form that makes the years since the last outing practically melt away. Rather than merely trotting through the hits, the set is stacked heavily with recent tunes like "Control," "Big Bright World" and "Blood For Poppies," which continue in the group's tradition of blending the best of the alternative era with plenty of electronic and industrial elements. That fusion also helped fuel past smashes like "I Think I'm Paranoid," "Stupid Girl" and "Only Happy When It Rains," all enhanced by Manson's vibrant showmanship and the still mighty rhythm section.

Considering how superb the band sounds, it's disappointing that the bare bones production leaves a lot to be desired. Given Garbage's multi-platinum sales status, it's surprising very few visuals adorn the stage, while the camera work is equally basic and simplistic. The most annoying aspect of the entire show comes whenever the wide angle shots of the stage pop up on the screen, which are repeatedly impeded by fans pointing their cell phones and pocket cameras at the performers. With some simple editing or perhaps a higher riser for the film crew to stand on, this could've easily been avoided and seems downright dumbfounding for an internationally established act.

A case could be made that "One Mile High...Live" might make a better live CD than a viewing experience, but at least there are several special features throughout the two hour project that help make up for the missteps. Besides several story behind the song interview snippets, a pair of music videos help round out this otherwise exciting chapter in Garbage's robust rebirth that will hopefully ignite enough momentum to warrant more appealing imagery next time the group takes to the touring trails.

Related articles:

Garbage - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI April 2005
Garbage (Voodoo Music Experience 2002) - Concert review - New Orleans, October 2002
Garbage - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI May 2002
U2 / Garbage - Concert review - Chicago, IL October 2001
Garbage - Bleed Like Me Album review
Garbage - Version 2.0 Album review

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