Release Date: 10.31.98
Record label: Marilyn Manson with Twelve Rounds
Genre(s): Country Western
Rock is Deader... or Maybe It's Just Unconscious
by: tiffany funk
So. . .
Your mom thinks you are a devil worshipper. Your pre-Vatican II Irish catholic grandmother douses you with holy water each time you enter her icon adorned home. You priest hisses, screams, and brandishes a crucifix whenever you enter the church. You are accused of being in a gang, doing drugs, and committing acts of vandalism by the school authorities of countless Texas school systems. Your favorite Goth-shock-rock celebrity misses the last step off the stage, is knocked unconscious, and can not perform the finale of the October 31st concert that you paid money to go see.
You are pretty damn unlucky.
You are a Marilyn Manson fan.
Being a fan of shock rock and all that has to do with Marilyn Manson, I attended the October 31st concert in St. Paul at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium (also known as the River Centre). All the freaks came out to play that beautiful All Hallow's Eve, from the Anti-Pope (a pope look-alike adorned with upside-down crosses) to the group of droogies straight out of A Clockwork Orange. The stage seemed to be set for the appearance of the Biggest and Greatest Freak of them all (this is not meant to be derogatory, but rather in praise), Omega, the New Model No. 15 himself.
The concert kicked off at 8:30, despite it's billing at 8:00-- bands LOVE to keep you waiting (the bastards). The opening band was the relatively obscure Twelve Rounds. Their sound was a culmination of punk rock and heavy metal -- not a new idea. Their female vocalist reminded me briefly of the snake android chick from the movie Blade Runner; she was a novelty for about two seconds, and then you just wanted her dead.
Okay, okay, the band wasn't that bad. it's just that all of their songs sounded pretty much the same, the vocals were less than audible, and I WANTED TO SEE MANSON! Their one redeeming quality? The keyboard player. He was jumping around toward the back of the stage, looking like that Harry character from "Third Rock from the Sun." He amused me.
And then, out of the smoke and blazing guitar chords (after a twenty minute wait) came Marilyn Manson in all his blue-sequinsy alien-chick glory. Thus began the two part opera (originally three parts), beginning with "Mechanical Animals."
I should be noted at this time that I was in the balcony seats. NO, that does not mean I am a wimp of any kind (I love the mosh pit as much as anybody), it only means that I actually wanted to hear the music being played, and see the band on stage. I've been in enough brutal mosh pits to know that you just can't hear the music when you are stuck between five sweaty guys' armpits.
What you hear in a mosh pit is comparable to what you hear when you are swimming. When you come up out of the mosh pit, you can hear everything-- the screaming fans, the wailing guitars, the heavy industrial beat-- then, in a split second, you plunge under the waves of sweaty fans again, only to hear the intense muffled sound of feet and bodies thrashing against each other.
From the balcony it was apparent that many fans were experiencing just that. Waves of people swayed back and forth to the music, the lights distorting their faces, all just hoping that the next time Manson spits water into the crowd, some of it splashing onto their sweat-streaked faces. . . The songs were played with a bit of heart and soul. "The Last Day on Earth" made us of the snow machine (previously used during the song "Apple of Sodom"), while "Mechanical Animals" featured Manson on stilts (as he did previously during the song "Kinderfeld" during the Antichrist Superstar Tour). The new twist added to this tour was the huge sign that flashed the word "DRUGS" during the song "I Don't Like the Drugs [But the Drugs Like Me]. Flashy, bright, and gaudy-- It was straight out of Vegas, baby.
Twiggy Ramirez, as always, was a bit aggressive with the microphone stands, and Ginger Fish, as always, was less than visible (such a travesty!) while Pogo (a.k.a. M. W. Gacy) stood above flashing television screens above Manson, who seemed to be giving it his all.
And apparently, he did. As you all probably have figured out by now, after the second finale, Manson was knocked unconscious and the concert ended early. Surprisingly enough, I didn't even care. This show was a spectacle, and most assuredly one of the best I've ever gone to. I wear my "Rock is Dead" T-shirt with pride.
So, all you Manson fans, take a break from your devil-worshipping and gang related activities, and see the show! I'm sure you have enough money stashed from selling all that heroin to the kindergarteners.
(Fuck those damn Texas authoritarians, busting our drug deals!)
Oh, and watch out for that last step. it's a doozy.