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.