Marilyn Manson at Myth, 7/2/13

Photo courtesy of the artist
Marilyn Manson
Myth, St. Paul
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Security held down the large black curtains as fans eagerly await their haunting hero. Suddenly the room went dark. Operatic waltz music began to play over the speakers. A tall, menacing shadow appeared with a mic stand outstretched in one of his gangly limbs. The curtain dropped Kabuki-style to reveal a masked Marilyn Manson, leather and chain-clad, emerging from a thick cloud of smog.

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Marilyn Manson at Myth, 5/18/12

Manson opened with "Angel with the Scabbed Wings" from the '96 release Antichrist Superstar. Former bassist-now guitarist, Twiggy Ramirez, sported a '60s-style lime green babydoll dress as his guitar let out menacing sounds. The song concluded and Manson had some stuff to say. It was hard what exactly the message was because he mumbled a bit. He said something about sex offenders, prison, and being on stage about to play "Disposable Teens." Not sure what the connection was, but ok. 

Manson switched costumes almost every song. With it, the stage morphed. Obviously a lot of hard work and organization went into the elaborate stage setup. There was actually a guy whose job was to throw clothes on Manson like he's a life-sized demented barbie doll. (His name was Ryan and Manson insisted the crowd loudly thank him.) Glitter confetti shot out to the crowd after a somewhat half-hearted version of "The Dope Show." Manson retired a white suit and mink cape for a mid-length black leather jacket, a darker version of what looked like Indiana Jones's hat, and gloves with lasers on the tips. It began to snow on stage as Manson hit "Four Rusted Horses." 

Manson is not so much a musician as a performer. He had more characteristic growls and screeches than anything resembling a beautifully tuned voice. This makes any cover he chooses to be interesting and unique. On this evening, Manson re-emerged from darkness to the intro of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams." Oh. And he was on stilts. Not that it was at all surprising. The audience cheered, and Manson delivered an aggressive yet haunting rendition all while lumbering above the rest of the band. If there is anything that really needed to be recognized about this band, it is that they were very good at ignoring what was going on around them. With Manson occasionally screaming and leaning on Ramirez's shoulders like an ornery toddler, the guitar didn't falter. One would think the whole show would be distracting with Manson flailing about, but the whole band really stuck to creating the music to the show.

A tall podium was constructed on the stage and a series of microphones were set up. Manson peeked over the edge, smiled, and began to kick the microphones off, leaving them to swing idly off the front. The guitar whined as the bass and keyboards dismally descended. Manson was wrapping up his set.

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