Last year Garbage was touring in honor of the 20th anniversary of its eponymous album and I was all excited until I discovered they were not coming to Portland. I was really disappointed
We had seen Garbage several years before when the toured in support of their last album (as if there are albums anymore) and I was pumped to see that they were touring again.
The day they went on sale I got tickets for their show at the Roseland. Geezers hint: sometimes you can get reserved seats in the balcony so you don’t have to stand, but the seats are limited. We got seats. Ahhhhh. So nice not to stand for three hours.
The show’s opening act was Cigarettes after Sex and they were good, if a little repetitive: every song had the same slow rhythm, kind of Mazzy Starish and I felt sorry for the drummer who I swear played the exact same drum beat for every song: 4 beats on the left drum with a snare added on the 4. It looked as boring for him as a county bass player.
But Garbage: a tight band, great guitarists, catchy songs (you may know them best for I’m Only Happens When it Rains, which I will always think of as a Portland song, even though the rain is metaphorical. 1:45 of high energy music, they ended with my favorite, #1 Crush, which I rate as one most passion/obsession songs of all time. I almost thought they were not going to play it.
But Shirley Manson, the lead singer. I have talked in the past about how great musicians are not necessarily great performers? She has charisma and passion in buckets. And at 50 incredible energy on stage and still has a gorgeous voice.
Rock doesn’t get any better than that.
After the show it was the Slingshot on the way home. It has become our go to bar near Happy Valley. The drinks and food are inexpensive and delicious, the service always excellent, and the ambience is comfortable/local. There is a Pub look, with wooden picnic tables and booths that seems de rigeur in Portland. The McMenamins look. Slingshot is not that place and is the better for it. Although we are usually about triple the average age in the bar. And I still think their burgers are the best in the city.
Happy Hour, in old Gresham, has an unfortunate name for a bar because if you search the interwebs you get all the happy hour listings in the city. Let me make it easy for you: here is the link. And let me make it even easier for you. Go.
It is a cocktail lounge with a late 50’s early 60’s posh vibe. White leather covered chairs and old Playboy covers framed on the wall. They have both classic cocktails (I had the Manhattan) and signature drinks (I had the Mile High Club of rye, ginger liqueur, lemon and bitters). The food was mostly appetizers and sandwiches but the menu options will evidently be expanding as time goes on. I had a sandwich and homemade chips that was tasty and artfully presented. The owner has an eye for the little things
The drinks were served in aluminum martini glasses and maybe it is my imagination, but it gives the drinks (well, the first drink) a metallic lip feel. Or maybe not. I just like glass.
But that is a little quibble. An excellent spot in Gresham for a late drink and a bite and you can feel like you are back in the time of Kennedy’s.