JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
For all the hype that he's a weirdo, devil worshipper, Marilyn Manson is, at the end of the day, simply a tirelessly provocative, highly entertaining performer.
He proved it to a crowd of 2,400 Wednesday night at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and he did it with low-key stage effects compared to his previous eccentric, much larger shows here.
Wednesday's show seemed to be focusing on songs off the new Holy Wood album, at least in the first 20 or so minutes. Because he appeared an hour later than scheduled, this review could only cover that much of the show. A minor consolation was that the wait in the lobby was a show in itself.
You know you're in for a treat when signs are posted at the entrance that prohibit the wearing of spikes and chains. One woman was seen having to check her whip.
Once in, a mostly teenage crowd displayed fashion sense ranging from that of dominatrix to standard issue pancake face. The guy in rubber suit and gas mask deserves special mention. All in all, everybody looked like they walked out of a Tim Burton movie.
Manson finally appeared in silhouette behind a big white sheet. The sheet dropped, and looking fine in long leather frock and knee high combat boots, he launched into "Count to Six and Die" off the new album.
But not until the third song, a great guitar-charged rock anthem called "The Death Song", did Manson hit his stride. (When he and his four piece band get going, you can feel the bass vibrating your knee caps.) Now shirtless in corset, against a backdrop image of a crucified baby, the anemic, stick-like Manson got the crowd on their feet.
Later, he came out in stilts, leaning on long canes. He's used the props before, and to far creepier effect. The fact that Manson often repeats himself on stage has caused some fans to cry foul -- but to be fair, no one minded too much when Alice Cooper did the snake thing over and over again.
Manson eventually spoke to introduce "The Fight Song". "This next song is for every cop who called you a criminal...for every priest who said you were going to hell."
He was calling up the old spirit of rebellion against what used to be known as the establishment -- which, really, is what Manson is all about. It's that simple, and it's that fun, too.