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Marilyn Manson
Butcher Babies
MTS Center, Winnipeg, Canada
February 4th, 2013

The once Master of the live shock-rock goth show, Marilyn Manson, has fallen from grace. It has been a hard, painful descent as Chris Hearn observes in this live concert review.

Well, let’s start with the opening band shall we, Butcher Babies. They were thoroughly horrible. Okay, that is out of the way, so let’s move on.

Now, first off, it was apparent by the size of the crowd that Marilyn Manson’s stature has decreased somewhat. There just didn’t seem to be a whole lot of people there. At one time, there is no doubt that he would have filled the entire arena. In 2013, he had trouble filling half of the arena. Times have changed.

After the aforementioned horrid band that I will not mention ever again, a giant black curtain falls from the ceiling, sheltering the stage from our gaze. And we wait. And we wait. And we listen to the music on the intercom system: Slipknot, Jimi Hendrix, Pantera. Then, BOOM, the lights go out at 9pm sharp, the crowd screams, and with a dramatic woosh, the giant black curtain drops down and there is the man and the band of the hour, with the as to be expected brilliant backdrop featuring a giant neon cross (of sorts) and plenty of lights and smoke.

 

And then Marilyn Manson begins to move and sing and it becomes all too clear that, yes, his best days are behind him. On the stage was a man who has destroyed himself with an over inflated ego and far too many drugs. He has become a bloated caricature of himself. I wasn’t entirely surprised for I have been watching YouTube videos of him over the last number of years and been reading reviews of his live shows and have been aware of his demise, but it takes seeing him in person to realize the extent of the self-inflicted damage.

Between song banter was nothing more than mumbles, weird little songs he seemed to be making up in his head or painfully childish rambles about dick sucking or whatever he was going on about. It just seemed that half of the time the guy just didn’t even know where he was or what he was doing. He was able to hold it together to create a relatively coherent set, but constant fooling around with props and gadgets was distracting and at times pointless.

 

The band itself was spot on, never missing a beat. Without them, Manson himself would have been nothing more than a joke. But, the band propped him up. Good work by them. They sounded amazing, tight, together and sober. They may be better off ditching the lead singer.

But, the show had all of the expected songs and elements.’Fight Song’, ‘Personal Jesus’, ‘Dope Show’,’mOBSCENE’, ‘Sweet Dreams’ were all there. So were a number of songs from his newest album, which I haven’t actually listened to yet. They were mediocre, but not awful. The brief, one song encore was ‘Beautiful People’ which Manson nicely mangled. Of course, there was the giant podium with the Anti-Christ Superstar logo which was dragged out at one point that Manson kind of draped himself over. And then, at one point, for some reason, he brought a cake on stage and threw it into the crowd. I’m not sure why, but it did happen. The cake looked pretty good actually. I wish I could have caught a piece.

With his one encore song done, he was gone and off the stage. One hour to the minute! The lights of the arena were up even before the rest of the band got off the stage. It was done. He had disappeared. The crowd kind of looked around and collectively shrugged in puzzlement, “So, it’s over? That’s how it ended?” And, then everyone began to quietly file out of the arena so that the stage could be torn down to get ready for the next night’s big Winnipeg Jets hockey game which will have seen a much larger and more energetic crowd in attendance.

Marilyn Manson can be found online at their official site! Word is still out on what universe Marilyn Manson himself is.

Live pic and words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.

11 COMMENTS

  1. An incredibly one sided and spiteful feces fling of a “review”, the author of which, clearly should not even have been at the show.

    Manson has returned and is as sharp as a knife! His vocals were spot on, he got the familiar rise of unpredictable chaos out of the crowd, who were going wild I might add. Twiggy has also returned. What more could one want?

    The author of this article (likely hipster scum) is kicking back in his mom’s basement wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt, probably playing videogames and living a life of reclusive security and comfort akin to an archetypal need to suck on his nurturer’s tit. Who cares! As a 17 plus year Marilyn Manson fan, I will say, he DID deliver!

    You wanted the second coming of Christ? Well, here’s the second coming of the Antichrist (Superstar)..he does not disappoint!

  2. Well, what can I say. I’ve been a fan of Marilyn Manson for a long time now, and have always wanted to see him. I didn’t mean to come across as spiteful and mean, but rather disappointed and frustrated. It’s sad to see an artist you like do the damage to himself he has done. Now I full agree, the band itself was excellent and I hope that came across in my review. But I was thoroughly disappointed by him. When you pay what, with “convenience fees”, is 70 dollars for a ticket and then get what I considered to be a lackluster performance by the man at the center of the stage, it is frustrating as a fan.

    My hope is that he CAN clean himself up a bit. He was a mess and that is the honest truth. It’s sad to see someone who, in the past, was such an amazing performer become what he has become. I wish I could have seen him 10 or 15 years ago when he truly was at his best. I don’t believe he is at his best anymore and I thought it was plainly evident the other night.

    Lastly, keep in mind that this is just an opinion and yours is as valid as mine. It is hard to be a diehard fan and hear someone, for lack of better word, “trash” your favourite performer. He is someone who I have had respect for and liked as well. I WANT to see him back, clean and on his game again.

  3. Well, what can I say. I’ve been a fan of Marilyn Manson for a long time now, and have always wanted to see him. I didn’t mean to come across as spiteful and mean, but rather disappointed and frustrated. It’s sad to see an artist you like do the damage to himself he has done. Now I full agree, the band itself was excellent and I hope that came across in my review. But I was thoroughly disappointed by him. When you pay what, with “convenience fees”, is 70 dollars for a ticket and then get what I considered to be a lackluster performance by the man at the center of the stage, it is frustrating as a fan.
    My hope is that he CAN clean himself up a bit. He was a mess and that is the honest truth. It’s sad to see someone who, in the past, was such an amazing performer become what he has become. I wish I could have seen him 10 or 15 years ago when he truly was at his best. I don’t believe he is at his best anymore and I thought it was plainly evident the other night.
    Lastly, keep in mind that this is just an opinion and yours is as valid as mine. It is hard to be a diehard fan and hear someone, for lack of better word, “trash” your favourite performer. He is someone who I have had respect for and liked as well. I WANT to see him back, clean and on his game again.

  4. Not exactly a compelling review, since it doesn’t really paint a picture of what kind of a performer Manson is and was. It’s the same consumer-friendly lamenting of shock-rock iconoclasm that gets dished out in every city he performs in: “y u no shock?”

    It’s a boring angle, his fans are obviously aware that Marilyn Manson isn’t generating crowds of protesters anymore (and that’s not what it really was about, anyway – even in the ’90s), yet the shock-o-meter seems to be a fashionable talking point that every amateur writer is eager to exploit.

    But more telling is buddy’s observation that Manson didn’t fill out the entire MTS Centre, as though it were the measurable scale of musicianship and artistry. This kind of garbage is opportunistic writing, plain and simple. It’s what Simon Cowell is to music and it goes without saying that music doesn’t need people like Simon Cowell.

    • Well, I appreciate the feedback. A review is basically an opinion. I just tried to explain what I saw and experienced. I was disappointed. I just tell it like I saw it. I think the videos attached do a good job of showing how things were as well. It really is all subjective. Everyone who left that show will have their own opinions. This is mine…:)

  5. I do see what you mean, in 2012 he really wasn’t great and in early 2013 he wasn’t a lot better. However towards June he started to slowly pick up again in my opinion, he won’t ever sound like he did in the 90s however he’s still trying his best and can still sell a LOT of tickets for someone his age. Just saying, I think he started to get a touch better later on in the year and when I saw a video of him at Red Rocks the place was packed

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