Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On this date in history, 8/11/2019, my girlfriend and I traveled to Ft. Wayne, IN to witness the Twins Of Evil: Hell Never Dies Tour, featuring Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson (with Palaye Royale in support).

The concert took place at Memorial Coliseum, a cozy little arena with great visibility and sound. Palaye Royale began the proceedings with a high energy set of raw, glam rock with plenty of attitude. Originally from Toronto, Canada, but currently residing in Las Vegas, the Sin City vibe definitely suits this band. I would love to see them in a club setting sometime.

They suffered somewhat from a lack of brightness in their light show, but the music and enthusiasm with which they performed was absolutely top notch.

Palaye Royale were much better than the opening band from last year’s Twins Of Evil tour. Yes, this was my second time seeing the Zombie/Manson combo, and much of both artist’s sets remained the same for both concerts. However, I was front and center last year in Noblesville, and this time our seats were a higher elevation looking nearly directly down on the stage, which gave me a new perspective…quite enjoyable.

Marilyn Manson remains problematic as a live performer. Having seen him in his prime, I am perhaps expecting too much at this stage of his career, but it just seems like his heart isn’t in the live performing as it once was. Manson is erratic, to put it delicately, and kindly. His live vocals are pretty rough, and his energy is sporadic at best. When he went down into the area in front of the stage and interacted with the fans in the front rows, he was electrifying, delivering a 9 minute version of The Beautiful People that was pure Manson at his best.

On the plus side, he now has a fantastic drummer, and several times the thunderous performance from that guy seemed to light up sparks with the goth icon.

I just long for the days when Manson put as much into his live act as he does in his studio efforts, The man is hilarious when he talks to the crowd, too. I really appreciate that he seemingly says whatever floats into his mind at any given moment….definitely not reading off a script!

As long as he keeps putting out great albums, I will keep supporting the live shows, because when he tries, Marilyn Manson is still capable of rock theater on a grand scale. Speaking of grand scale, Rob Zombie is the textbook definition of over the top spectacle. His light show, back screen projections, and sound are consistently cutting edge, and his band is a lethal machine.

One of the highlights for me was John 5’s ripping showcase of his incendiary guitar technique. He blazed away for nearly 5 minutes, covering several styles at dangerous levels of speed, but with a surgical precision.

Piggie D supplied the booming bottom end and contributed key backing vocals, while Ginger Fish supplied the blasting beats that provide that signature Zombie swing.

Zombie himself is perpetual motion, and totally committed to involving his audience in the experience of full immersion into the BIG SHOW. As I mentioned before, there weren’t a lot of changes in either headliners song lists this time around, but Zombie and band did throw in a scalding version of Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones in the middle of Thunderkiss ’65, and that was a huge highlight for me. Near the end of the show, Manson and Zombie teamed up on The Beatles’ classic, Helter Skelter, completed with images of the infamous Manson Family on the assorted screens. Zombie pointed out that the 50th anniversary of the Tate/LaBianca murders had happened just a couple of days prior to our show…”Better late than never,” he said. Even after seeing this show twice, I am pretty confident I would go back for more next year. That’s how much fun the Twins Of Evil are!

On This Date in History

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

I was on the fence about including another Marilyn Manson album, but then I started thinking about Mechanical Animals (1998), and realized what a bold, creative, and personal piece of work it was for the man and the band that share the same name. Manson did a big 180 degree change in musical style, appearance, and lyrical approach on Mechanical Animals at a time when he could quite easily have stuck with the format he established his stardom with on the Antichrist Superstar album, and that is commendable enough for an artist, but he went even further by writing a bunch of great songs in a glam rock style when that was a truly risky move.

The gamble paid off in a big way, as the album went platinum, spawning classic Manson songs like The Dope Show, Rock Is Dead, I Don’t Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me, Coma White, The Last Day On Earth, The Speed Of Pain, and Great Big White World.

The album cover became a big conversation piece and added to Manson’s notoriety, and remains a compelling and striking image.

https://youtu.be/5R682M3ZEyk

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Rich Deckard

Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar

Starting the album thing again because there are just too frickin many great records that shouldnt be ignored. Fuck all, its better than political posts or pics of what I had for lunch.

This record came out at the right time and place…zeitgeist as the volk say.

Pound for pound its my favorite…he was young, dangerous, fresh and new and gave a much needed black belt karate kick straight to the balls of the music biz.

Im a sucker for concept records and this is a brilliant one.

Portrait was fierce, Golden Age of Grotesque was equally brilliant, Holywood certainly had its moments, but this one shines like an evil black star…

FUCK IT!!!!

Quick Cuts

Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson

“Sweet dreams are made of these

Who am I to disagree

Travel the world and the seven seas

Everybody looking for something

Some of them want to use you

Some of them want to get used by you

Some of them want to abuse you

Some of them want to be abused”

Bryson

Bryson’s Picks

On this date in history, 7/18/2018, The Twins Of Evil Tour featuring Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Deadly Apples made an appearance at Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN (or Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center if you insist on being technical)! It is no secret that I am an enormous fan of all things Zombie and Manson, so my anticipation at seeing them both together was astronomical to say the least. This was my 10th time seeing Rob Zombie (twice with White Zombie and 8 times solo) and my 9th time seeing Marilyn Manson and this tour definitely lived up to the hype. Deadly Apples started the show with a good set of original material. I was unfamiliar with them, but learned they hail from Canada and this was their first tour in 8 years. Their sound was really well produced and at times they would build up this big crescendo of power, only to bring it down and kind of let the moment slip away. I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse. Speaking of better and worse, Manson has had his ups and downs on live stages, and I was thrilled that he seems to be back to caring about his craft again. His latest album, Heaven Upside Down, is a killer, and this performance included a couple of tracks off of it in addition to a handful of classics from Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals. Manson brought out two different pulpits to perform from, both songs being highlights of his set. The final song was a cover of the song Cry Little Sister from the movie Lost Boys. Like all the other covers he has done throughout his career, this one received the Manson touch and sounded suitably goth and menacing. As soon as Rob Zombie hit the stage there was absolutely no disputing who the true headliner was. Zombie pulled out all the big screens and every flashing light in the known galaxy to accentuate his ghoulish party anthems. Ironically, half of Zombie’s band spent time in the employ of Manson, making this a reunion show of sorts. The Zombie band consisting of Ginger Fish on drums, Piggy D on bass, and the astonishing John 5 on guitar, were in crushing form, delivering devilishly diabolical stadium sized riffs and rhythms without any pauses. When Zombie announced that he was going to do a song with his new BFF, the place went wild as Manson joined him for a high energy blast, covering Helter Skelter by The Beatles, complete with images of the infamous Charles Manson and his “family” projected on the screens accompanying the song that will forever be linked to them. Another short highlight was the unveiling of the official trailer for Zombie’s next movie, Three From Hell, due in 2019. All in all, The Twins Of Evil Tour was loud, fun, entertaining, and never a dull moment. I foresee adding to my numbers for both Manson and Zombie, because they still do that shock rock stuff better than anyone who isn’t named Alice Cooper!

Written By “The Concert Critic” aka Braddon S. Williams

On This Date in History

Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson literally consumed my musical listening upon its release in 1996. By the time this record came out, everything in rock music was starting to sound the same. I love a lot of grunge music, but I grew up in a time of performers, and grunge really was the antithesis of that. Marilyn Manson embraced the spotlight and had taken bits of David Bowie and Alice Cooper and created something new and dangerous. The record captivated me on all levels…conceptual, lyrical, production-wise, and musically…I would listen to it on headphones and get completely absorbed. I usually spotlight my favorite songs in these mini reviews, but this one just works from beginning to end and I usually played it through because it worked so well as a whole. Manson was basically public enemy number one during this period of his career. I caught one of the shows on his Dead To The World tour, and the amount of protestors outside was something I had never seen before. Inside, the band were owning that stage. They had hit their stride and it was their time. I will be attending the Twins Of Evil tour next month featuring Manson and Rob Zombie. I am hoping the Antichrist Superstar still has some of the dark magic up his sleeve…I wouldn’t bet against him!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

On this date in history, 2/13/1997, a good friend and I witnessed the diabolical Marilyn Manson utterly destroy a capacity crowd at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis. Manson was touring the Antichrist Superstar album and he was at the height of his popularity/notoriety. There was definitely a feeling in the air that literally ANYTHING could happen. The opening all female band, L7, had just played a really solid set and as we waited for the former Brian Warner and his interestingly named band mates (Twiggy Ramirez, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Ginger Fish, and the mysterious new guitar player, Zim Zum) to take the stage, the power tripping security steroid squad decided to make us all sit on the floor. Needless to say, a Manson crowd tends to be full of malcontents and non-conformists, so we didn’t take this order too kindly! When Manson hit the stage to the crushing industrial martial onslaught of “Angel With The Scabbed Wings”, we were up and frenzied! This was the first time I saw Manson headline and he was inspired. As crazy looking as the entire band was, it was the sinister and coldly charismatic front man who commanded our attention. He did some really creative theatrical stuff up there, from the stark lighting effect of him holding a simple construction lamp on an extension cord to illuminate himself during “Sweet Dreams”, to the pulpit where he tore pages from a bible and then threw the ruined book into the crowd during “Antichrist Superstar”, he knew he would be getting strong reactions! This was one of the few times I’ve ever witnessed people outside the venue protesting before a concert. They didn’t stop us…and we witnessed an incredible show. It’s not for everyone, but the best things never are!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On This Date in History