JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
Marilyn Manson has gone on record saying that he’s treating his new disc ‘Born Villain’ as a comeback album, and he’s definitely not taking any shortcuts. As with any true comeback, he’s gone back to his roots, trading in arenas for more intimate clubs, getting up close and personal with his fans – who by the way have never waned – on his current North American tour run.
Getting to witness Marilyn Manson perform live in a venue that has a capacity of roughly 2000 people, is a pretty unique experience and it certainly lived up to the hype. On Saturday (April 28) Manson rolled into a sold-out Casino Ballroom in Hampton, Beach, N.H., on his ‘Hey, Cruel World’ tour.
Starting off the evening shrouded in a cloud of smoke, the curtain dropped and their stood the original antichrist superstar in a pose fit for a true ‘Born Villain.’ Aptly kicking off the night with the new song ‘Hey, Cruel World,’ Manson held the crowd firmly in the palm of his dark and dastardly hands – the church of Marilyn Manson was officially back in session.
Known for his onstage theatrics, there was curiosity about how the smaller environment would impact the show, and honestly, it only enhanced it. There’s nothing like getting down and dirty in a sweaty club to bring things back to basics. While Manson thrives at delivering over-the-top dramatics, it’s those raw moments and connecting with his audience that really showcase the duality of his art. That said, he still served up his fair share of theatrics from a contraption that blew both blasts of light and cold air onto the crowd, a light-saberish microphone that he surveyed the audience with during ‘Sweet Dreams’ and an overall light show that rivaled the Northern Lights. He also managed to throw in a few wardrobe changes, but you’ll have to check out the show for all the details – some things are better left to the imagination.
The set list, a healthy mix of new tunes intertwined with legendary Manson tracks, was the perfect dichotomy of old meets new. With his new disc out this week, it was important to showcase the new songs and he did just that with the first single ‘No Reflection,’ followed later in the set by ‘Slo-Mo-Tion,’ and ‘Pistol Whipped.’ Arguably one of his most popular discs ‘Antichrist Superstar’ also had a strong presence throughout the evening with ‘Tourniquet,’ ‘Irresponsible Hate Anthem,’ ‘Antichrist Superstar,’ and ‘The Beautiful People’ making the cut. Also on tap for the night were Manson’s two monster covers, ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ by the Eurythmics and ‘Personal Jesus’ by Depeche Mode.
Vocally, Manson sounded as good as ever. Not saying too much between songs, he powered through his seventeen song set in under two hours.
It would be remiss not to note what an amazing band Manson shared the stage with. Bassist Fred Sablan, drummer Jason Sutter and guitarist Twiggy provided the perfect backdrop to the quintessential Marilyn Manson experience. Twiggy, never one for the mundane, looked like an extra from ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ He came out onstage sporting an ankle length cloak and he appeared to be in full makeup or wearing a mask on his face; it was hard to discern under the low light – either way, he increased the entertainment value exponentially. Marilyn Manson has said that his new disc was driven by deep-rooted ambition and overall confidence – it was plain to see that play out onstage. Marilyn Manson didn’t necessarily need to wage a comeback, but if that’s what fuels his creative fire, it’s definitely working.