JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
Marilyn Manson was late last night in the Lifestyles Community Pavilion. During the wait the sound system set the stage expertly tracing the singer's inspirations. The lineage included David Bowie's "Quicksand" as well as two selections from Bowie's vampire film "The Hunger", including Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and a classical duet.
Over a half-dozen albums, Manson has extended his Goth pedigree to reach beyond Bowie and the ’8 0s to reach a spiritual connection with the likes of 19th century writer Mary Shelley.
Songs such as the crunching "Cruci-Fiction In Space", reinforced that connection last night with Manson tapping imagery and props — which included a microphone with a large, gleaming blade jutting from its base — to commune with the dark side.
Often his devilishness was cartoonlike, at one point evoking Charlie Chaplin. During "Heart-Shaped Glasses" Manson yanked the head off a female mannequin and danced it around the stage.
But last night's show was first and foremost about good old rock ‘n’ roll. After six years, Manson has reunited with bassist Twiggy Ramirez, with whom he wrote most of his early hits. The concert was celebration of that event; the set list was filled with chestnuts from the band's catalogue. It also featured songs from the new album "Eat Me, Drink Me".
Vintage tunes such as "Mobscene" and "Antichrist Superstar" displayed the thundering, earth-shaking rock that has built the band's reputation. With Ramirez back in the saddle, the best, hardest numbers shook the venue's rafters and inspired a response that bounced the floors upstairs.
It is a sound that not only has appealed to hard rock fans, out in force last night pumping fists, pointing middle fingers and chanting obscenities, but estranged youth.
Manson's show was well-thought theater, terrific rock ‘n’ roll and a voice for an ostracized population.