Marilyn Manson – LC Pavilion, Columbus Ohio 2/2/08

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So the Dark One invaded my hometown again, and as previously mentioned, with old pal Twiggy Ramirez joining him once more on bass. This had all the makings of a great show as Marilyn has never disappointed before. And I’m happy to report he didn’t this time either.  All the glitz, rock n’ roll and a little deviance that you’ve come to expect from the self-proclaimed God of Fuck was there (does he still go by that anymore)?

First off, let’s talk about going to a sold-out show in this day and age – especially if you live in the specific town where Dimebag Darrell died on stage. Safe to say it ain’t gonna be a quick process getting inside the venue. And it wasn’t. The wife and I waited next door at the House of Crave, downing a few brewskis and watching the two block long line that wrapped out of sight slowly make it’s way through the doors. Security had split the entrance into two lines – one for girls, one for guys. So you just knew you were in for the mother of all pat-downs.  We probably waited over a half hour before even thinking about getting into line, but I was fidgety – really curious to see the opening act ‘Ours’. 

Sadly, I never did see them.  It took more than 45 minutes to get through line and Ours was just walking off stage when I finally made it through.  I heard them, but never actually saw them.   They were a much touted addition to the ‘coveted’ opening slot on this tour, and frankly a rather odd choice as their more Alternative sound seemed out of place at what is arguably a Goth Rock show.  Of course, I thought Manson touring with Slayer was odd too, but in a good, Wow-that’s-two-awesome-bands-together kind of way. 

So, after I’d ordered another round of beers, we were just in time to worm our way next to the soundboard.  And wait.  And wait.  I later found out from security that due to the extremely high value of the sound and lighting equipment (and it was amazing stuff, I’ll give you that), no one sitting in the first row of the balcony was allowed to have beer.  Of course, some folks had chose to sit down with a cold one anyways and the roadies (and I do understand it was the crew, not Manson) said they weren’t going to start until this was rectified.  Thus the delay.

Finally, the lights dimmed, fog rolled out onto the stage and a giant Jumbotron full of lights (well, that’s what it looked like) flashed to life.  Manson had arrived!

He looked good; rested, energetic and seemingly friendly to the crowd.  It’s amazing how renewed success and a hot girlfriend can change a man’s disposition.  Or perhaps he’s getting older now, and feeling a bit less venomous?  Nonetheless, the consummate showman and entertainer, he strutted the stage as he barked out vocals & urged the crowd into a frenzy with as much vitriol as the first time I’d seen him. 

The show’s not as prop heavy now, with only one real set change near the end as the infamous podium made a return appearance,  but with as brilliant a lighting display and all the effects you could hope for.  In fact, the Jumbotron did most of the secondary entertaining with it’s Super Nintendo-type animations; truly an unusual addition to a rock show but it still worked.

Twiggy has long since foregone the dress and now looks like a vampyric member of the M.I.B., but the onstage chemistry between himself and Manson is still there, and it was fun to behold.  In fact, at one point Marilyn even introduces him as ‘my best friend’, so whatever problems they may have had in the past clearly seem to be settled.  Now if he could just get that pesky Madonna Wayne Gacy lawsuit to go away. . .  

Joining them onstage was guitarist Rob Holliday, who also doubles as half of the band Sulphur when not with Manson.   Ginger Fish remains on drums as he has more or less for much of the band’s existence & keyboards are now handled by longtime collaborator and former NIN drummer Chris Vrenna, who replaces founding member Gacy as mentioned above. 

The show was longer than usual, 18 songs with nothing from the first album but not an overabundance from the new one either.  The guys played well together and seemed to enjoy doing so – which wasn’t always the case as some incarnations of the band were far more ‘tense’.

But the song choices were good, the musicianship first rate and the crowd was really into it.  Thanks to a kind sound man, I can give you the official set list below, although due to time constraints ‘Little Horn’ got dropped.

  • Cruci-fiction in Space
  • Disposable Teens
  • Irresponsible Hate Anthem
  • Great Big White World
  • mOBSCENE
  • If I Was Your Vampire
  • Heart-Shaped Glasses
  • The Love Song
  • Sweet Dreams/R&R Nigger
  • Tourniquet
  • Little Horn
  • The Fight Song
  • The Dope Show
  • Rock is Dead
  • Coma White/Black
  • 1996
  • Anti-Christ Superstar
  • [Encore] The Beautiful People

Overall, a first rate show that has gotten me listening to my old Manson CD’s again.  I highly recommend going (EARLY!) to see him if the tour gets to your area.

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