On one side of the coin, it’s strange seeing Marilyn Manson like this. The ‘antichrist superstar’ stands above a half-full arena of metallers and Goths. Here in Nottingham he seems worlds away from where he was a decade ago playing to thousands. On the other, it seems like the artist has finally regained his vitriol and the passion for his fans, performing and for music in general.
As the double-M launches into his vast catalogue of heavy-as-hell alternative rock following a typically decadent and atmospheric introduction, it seems like a lot of tension is lifted as openers ‘Crucifiction In Space’ and ‘Disposable Teens’ show that the artist’s passion still burns.
Manson picks out his best and most impactful new material for this set – ‘Four Rusted Horses’ turns the mood down a bit and as such the vocalist is allowed to share real emotion with his adoring ‘family’. Indeed, with their re-found form and Manson’s more pained and personal approach to writing, the band seems to have captured the same underground appeal as it had in the early 90s – while the arena isn’t packed, the die-hard fans chant to every word and show boundless support as they shout the words to the aforementioned track back at Manson.
After some typically debauched samples from the ‘Portrait Of An American Family’ era, a white cloth covers the back of the stage displaying lyrics and the strong statement – ‘Exit now. All unsaved changes will be lost’, With this in place, Manson powers into his current live favourite ‘Devour’. This is arguably one of the most accessible tunes from the last record and it’s certainly our standout of the night. Following the emotive ‘Coma Black’, the band explodes into action with some dirty Industrial metal in the form of ‘Dried Up, Tied And Dead To The World’ from the timeless ‘Antichrist Superstar’ album. It’s refreshing to see fists pumping and people chanting, ‘Don’t you want some of this?’ along with their enigmatic ring-leader. The unit seem particularly energised for this one and the follow-up ‘Little Horn’ with Twiggy Ramirez (guitars), Chris Vrenna (keys), Ginger Fish (drums) and Andy Gerold (bass) throwing themselves around chaotically and doing a grand job of recalling the unique energy that made the music so appealing years ago.
While they have never been the most accessible act on the planet and Manson’s personal issues over recent years have definitely effected the aural impact of the songs (in different ways) Marilyn Manson (the man and the band) remain a complete spectacle and something that should without question be on everyone’s ‘list of things to do and see before I die’ – good stuff.
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