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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Marilyn Manson

Live in Chicago, August, 2007

Review by Travis Jensen

The first time I saw Marilyn Manson, was about 10 or so years ago at an Ozzfest at Alpine Valley in East Troy Wisconsin. I had several of his CD’s and thought he was a very strange, yet also very creative and artistic individual, as we all did. I had been intrigued by Smells like Children, mostly because of the Eurythmics’ "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)" cover, and soon after that, picked up a copy of Portrait of an American Family, which was released one year prior.

I believe that when I saw them live for the first time, it was on the Dead to the World Tour, which supported the Antichrist Superstar album, that I also had in my collection and thought was a decent LP. “The Beautiful People” was their big hit at the time because it debuted at number three on the album charts that year. It was a rainy, cloudy day until the sun came out and made it 100 degrees in about half an hour into the show. Pantera came on and had the 50,000 screaming fans on their feet in a frenzy. Marilyn Manson came on quickly after, and the mood of the crowd changed quickly. Apparently they weren’t ready for Marilyn and the rest of his crew, as the cheers soon turned into boo’s. Chunks of sod started flying around and after three or four songs, the group left in a hurry. If I remember correctly, Manson took one in the eye, which was the reason for his departure.

This time, it was a different story. The crowd was pumped to see and hear someone who is probably one of the most iconographic and controversial figures in musical history. Of course, any concert experience is different when you are close enough to touch them, but let me say that I was very impressed with the performance. Manson does more than just sing; he’s a phenomenal entertainer as well. He came out on the stage with one of his notorious, fruity leather outfits, but I don’t think that we could have expected anything less, as that’s part of his extreme image. The first thing that caught my eye was his microphone, which was attached to a giant butcher’s knife blade. I thought this was a very cool prop which seemed to accentuate his unique stage style. He was also very active on stage, covering all corners; particularly on the catwalk.

One of the more entertaining parts of the stage show was when Manson was on top of a huge chair, that must have been 20 feet high. He would gyrate and sing atop of it like something out of Alice In Wonderland, in a bizarre sort of way. The fact that he sang “The Dope Show” during all of this made it even more effective. Another thing that I should mention is that he is a great singer. Any true test of a musical group is how they compare to their studio recordings, and these guys passed that test with flying colors. They also covered the Eurythmics song which was a nice touch to break the monotany of the show. It also provide an opportunity for the crowd to identify with because of its previous popularity.

     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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