Regrettably another gig with a spare ticket due to baysitting issues, and then further sad news as a friend who was taking the spare was hospitalised two days before. At least I managed to pass it off to a scalper for £20, and better I was out of pocket by a small amount than said friend by the full £35. He’s better now, too :)
The gig had sold out which wasn’t surprising given the reputations of the artist involved (even if Manson’s isn’t as good as it used to be). A big extravaganza was to be expected and the lack of any other support act as far as I could tell showed that all of the attention was on the co-headliners. Apparently Jonathan Davis (Korn) was opening for them with some kind of electro-metal stuff, but I was there from around seven o’clock and there was no sound coming from the arena to indicate anyone else playing.
I’d seen Marilyn Manson twice before. Once at Leeds festival around the time “Beautiful People” came out, and then a few years back at that fateful Download performance which pretty much ruined his live reputation by being… erm… shit.
I’m glad to say that tonight’s performance was certainly an improvement, though he’s still not as good as he seems to think he is. If he ever had a “regular” singing voice, he’s lost it somewhere along the way and should stick to the louder numbers.
Having said that, I know about three songs by Manson (and one of them’s a cover) so I wasn’t there to listen – I was there to watch. And, fairness to the guy, he puts on quite the performance. With a new costume for every song, one of my gig-going companions likened him to Kylie Minogue. Though, if pushed, I’d say that she has the better arse while he has the better songs.
There seemed to be a new stage set for each song as well, which was pretty impressive, with some good lighting effects, ticker tape, and props to boot. As a spectacle, there’s no denying that he still has it. I’m still not going to go and get all his music, but I would consider seeing him play live again if I knew enough of the stage show had been changed to make it worthwhile.
The half of the ticket I was waiting for, though, was Rob Zombie. After missing out on his last tour (couldn’t get a ticket for the first leg, he cancelled the second), I’ve been bombarded with comments about how good he was. The git. So when I saw the Twins of Evil bill I grabbed my chance as soon as I could.
And, yes, he is good value for money.
Arriving on stage via the chest of a huge metal robot and wearing incredibly long, articulated, grabby arm things. As well as some cracking songs, there’s no doubting Zombie’s showmanship. The fact that he makes horror films in his spare time showed up with the increasingly bonkers pieces of kit that meandered onto stage as the evening progressed.
As Rob thundered through a pretty damn good set, including “More Human Than Human” from the White Zombie days, we were treated to an oversized Satan, a huge Johnny-5-a-like robot, a massive wheeled machine during “Mars Needs Women” and more. Hell, we even got beachball-sized balloons. The scale was quite amazing, and yet I know we missed out on a lot due to the comparatively small size of the venue.
Ending with a cracking rendition of “Dragula”, Zombie wandered offstage to huge applause and an audience wanting more. You know, just how a good showman knows how to leave the crowd.