I have heard many things about Marilyn Manson. He is a “spectacle”. He is the “antichrist”. I am not sure what I think about all that, however, there is one thing I can say about him after seeing a live performance. He is a true entertainer. I wanted a Marilyn Manson concert, and that is what he gave.
As I walked to the entrance of the Molson Amphitheatre, there was a sole man standing under the bridge with a “God Hates Sin” sign and a microphone letting us all know we were on the “highway to hell”. He clearly didn’t care for Manson, but perhaps he was just a way bigger ACDC fan.
Once we were inside and waiting for the concert to start, several horror movie trailers played on the big screen, and then the music turned up loud to play an old country hit called “Satan is Real”. Smoke clouded over the stage as the man himself appeared.
The show involved some of Manson’s usual antics. The stage was decorated with church stained glass with a solemn looking Manson as its focal point as opposed to the Virgin Mary. He had stilts for his rendition of “Sweet Dreams”, his dagger microphone, sailor hat, preacher stand and the burning of the holy bible. This must have been why the “God Hates Sin” fan was so upset. I probably would have preferred the show without the “Scream if you hate Jesus” vibes, however I get that’s what Marilyn Manson is all about.
At one point in the show Manson said he wouldn’t play the next song until bras and panties were thrown on stage at the guitarist. Eventually some brave ladies stepped up, unclasping their undergarments and flinging them towards the band. One girl took it even further. Of course Manson brought her on stage so the entire audience got to see the topless fan bouncing around. After asking the nude Superfan what rhymes with Rock, Manson announced that Rock is not dead before launching into his next song.
One of the highlights for me was how Manson kept repeatedly kicking, punching, and knocking over the exact same amp throughout the entire show. This poor, dedicated roadie had to keep coming out to put it back up, only to have it knocked down again minutes later.
Manson is definitely in touch with his fans. He interacted with several audience members, including Jeffrey- a front row fan clad in a plastic bag. Manson asked if he was going to murder someone, or if he was his penis. After answering yes to both, Jeffrey also announced he was on LSD. Him and Manson became beset friends immediately.
One of the things I love about music is all of the different people it touches. I was expecting to be amongst a very unique crowd to say the least, however, I think I was more surprised by the people at the Foo Fighters concert. It was definitely a mix of Manson fans and Pumpkins fans, and a few in between.
When the Smashing Pumpkins took the stage, they didn’t waste any time, opening with “Cherub Rock”, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “Tonight Tonight”. That is the kind of introduction I like- getting right to the point. It was so great to see Billy Corgan in all his glory. He rocked the concert and the best Dad outfit. His interaction with the crowd was relatively limited, but the music speaks for itself. I sometimes forget just how many incredible songs they have- the true 90’s staples. They played one cover- Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. Fans whipped out their lighters to sway along. A highlight for me was when the band left Billy Corgan with just his acoustic guitar to play “Disarm”.
For the encore the band came back for “Today” and “Geek USA”- one that Corgan says they never play anymore but would do for us. That definitely ended the show on a special note. I often wonder if artists say the same things night after night to their loyal fans when on tour. “You were the best audience yet”, “We are only playing this for you guys”. Perhaps they should as a way to make their audience feel as appreciated as we make our favourite bands feel. Who doesn’t like feeling special? Either way, it was an incredible show that I will be dreaming about for the weeks to come.