Marilyn Manson at Myth, 7/2/13
Photo courtesy of the artist
Myth, St. Paul
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Security held down the large black curtains as fans eagerly await their haunting hero. Suddenly the room went dark. Operatic waltz music began to play over the speakers. A tall, menacing shadow appeared with a mic stand outstretched in one of his gangly limbs. The curtain dropped Kabuki-style to reveal a masked Marilyn Manson, leather and chain-clad, emerging from a thick cloud of smog.
Marilyn Manson at Myth, 5/18/12
Manson opened with "Angel with the Scabbed Wings" from the '96 release Antichrist Superstar. Former bassist-now guitarist, Twiggy Ramirez, sported a '60s-style lime green babydoll dress as his guitar let out menacing sounds. The song concluded and Manson had some stuff to say. It was hard what exactly the message was because he mumbled a bit. He said something about sex offenders, prison, and being on stage about to play "Disposable Teens." Not sure what the connection was, but ok.
Manson switched costumes almost every song. With it, the stage morphed. Obviously a lot of hard work and organization went into the elaborate stage setup. There was actually a guy whose job was to throw clothes on Manson like he's a life-sized demented barbie doll. (His name was Ryan and Manson insisted the crowd loudly thank him.) Glitter confetti shot out to the crowd after a somewhat half-hearted version of "The Dope Show." Manson retired a white suit and mink cape for a mid-length black leather jacket, a darker version of what looked like Indiana Jones's hat, and gloves with lasers on the tips. It began to snow on stage as Manson hit "Four Rusted Horses."
Manson is not so much a musician as a performer. He had more characteristic growls and screeches than anything resembling a beautifully tuned voice. This makes any cover he chooses to be interesting and unique. On this evening, Manson re-emerged from darkness to the intro of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams." Oh. And he was on stilts. Not that it was at all surprising. The audience cheered, and Manson delivered an aggressive yet haunting rendition all while lumbering above the rest of the band. If there is anything that really needed to be recognized about this band, it is that they were very good at ignoring what was going on around them. With Manson occasionally screaming and leaning on Ramirez's shoulders like an ornery toddler, the guitar didn't falter. One would think the whole show would be distracting with Manson flailing about, but the whole band really stuck to creating the music to the show.
A tall podium was constructed on the stage and a series of microphones were set up. Manson peeked over the edge, smiled, and began to kick the microphones off, leaving them to swing idly off the front. The guitar whined as the bass and keyboards dismally descended. Manson was wrapping up his set.
He paced back and forth and kicked some remaining microphones away while Twiggy and Sutter led into "The Beautiful People." Although it is one of Mr. Manson's most notable songs, he didn't really get into it. Maybe he's sick of it, who knows, but the crowd had it under control. (This crowd was singing along to waiting music before, so they're pretty good.) Was it really a disappointment? No. Why? Because it was about his mannerisms, costumes and ever-changing set design that kept everyone entranced. Manson finished his contribution and confetti cannons went off. The room was filled with white shreds of paper.
The confetti cleared, Manson ended with "Irresponsible Hate Anthem," quickly jabbered something presumably offensive, called someone a motherfucker, told everyone he loves them and exited the stage.
The Crowd: Everyone dusted off their craziest pair of pants for the show.
Witnessed in the crowd: A woman sticking gum in another lady's hair because she stood too close in front of her. Then they fought.
Random Notebook Dump: Silly Manson, books aren't for eating!
Critic's Bias: Growing up, my friends and I thought Marilyn Manson would be the funniest character to reference in any situation (picture him grocery shopping, camping, coaching a middle school basketball team etc.). As someone who attended a Catholic high school, this always bothered parents, peers and teachers. Therefore I made it my goal to become very familiar with his music and to research the shit out of him. It carried over into adulthood I guess.
Say what you want about Marilyn Manson, but he is an artist. Although it was more captivating on a design and art level than musically, the show was well-organized and interesting. The setlist was rather short and mostly made up of his greatest hits, therefore the show moved at a steady pace and didn't feel like it was dragging. Overall it was extremely entertaining.
Angel with the Scabbed Wings
Rock is Dead
Four Rusted Horses
This is the New Shit
Anti Christ Superstar
The Beautiful People
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
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