Concert Reviews

Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 10, 2014    
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Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie - MEN Arena, Machester (UK) - 27th November 2012

Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie are the perfect touring partners; if only Alice Cooper could have hit the road with them too then it would have truly been a shock rock spectacle. Sadly, the Manchester Arena was only half full, which was to be expected given Manson's fairly low-profile these days while Rob Zombie is more of a cult metal star in this country perhaps even better known for his horror movies than his music. Still, it was a tour that could not be missed.

I've seen Manson twice previously: Brixton Academy and Manchester Arena several years ago. Both were headlining tours and both were fantastic, however, he's either lost his muse or he was having a bad day because he looked as though he was simply going through the motions. He's looking podgy these days too and was not nearly as fiery and energetic as he used to be. There was little audience interaction and the few seconds break in-between songs ruined the fluidity of the set, which was relatively short at 70 minutes though equal to Zombie's triumphant headlining performance. Manson opened with 'Hey, Cruel World' from his latest and most acclaimed album in years, 'Born Villain'. It's not the best opening song and it wasn't until the second number, the more well-known 'Disposable Teens' that the audience began to get into it. The sound wasn't great especially on the vocals but the band were tight and well-rehearsed. 'No Reflection' and 'Slo-Mo-Tion' were the other new songs that were given an airing but Manson's best songs remain anthemic metal numbers like 'The Dope Show', 'Rock Is Dead', 'Antichrist Superstar' and 'mOBSCENE' as well as his excellent versions of Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus' and the Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams'. 'Coma Is White', 'The Love Song' and King Kill 33' from 'Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death' were more than welcome. He closed the set with the awesome, 'The Beautiful People'. Overall, it was not his best performance. He's capable of much more and the audience from where I was sitting did not seem overly impressed.

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It was obvious that a majority of the crowd was there to see Rob Zombie. He made better use of his allotted 70 minutes by filling it with more songs and certainly more interplay with the audience. He is a real showman. He even crowd surfed and came into the audience directly facing me before running up and down the steps! He had a bigger production, more lights and better sound. His band (complete with the awesome guitarist John 5, previously of Manson's band, who played a fantastic solo) were excellent. Zombie opened with 'Jesus Frankenstein' and ripped through excellent versions of 'Superbeast', 'Meet The Creeper' and 'Scum Of The Earth' as well as the White Zombie song, 'More Human Than Human'. The stage was a bit too busy with walking robots and roadies dressed in B-movie horror costumes but it was a hell of a lot of fun. They closed the set with half of Cooper's 'School's Out' before returning for the inevitable encore of 'Dragula', his most well-known song. Zombie showed who's boss and the audience loved every minute of it. It was my first Zombie gig and it won't be my last.

Neil Daniels

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