May 1, 2012

Marilyn Manson / Pretty Reckless - Fillmore

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

Marilyn Manson / The Pretty Reckless

May 1, 2012

The Fillmore

Maryland

My initial expectations for Marilyn Manson 2012 were very low and I based that after what I’d read and what I’d seen on the internet from the bands current tour. Let me state for the record kiddies, Marilyn F**KING Manson is back and the show I saw was pretty damn good!

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The doors were scheduled to open at 7 PM but for whatever reason they didn’t open till 7:30 PM and the line waiting to get into the venue went probably 2 blocks or more down the street! Seeing the crowd in daylight hours was interesting because you had some very normal looking people in jeans & t-shirts there who were a bit older, then sprinkled in the mix were the mall goths, the old school MM fans who dressed the part, and at this show there was a surprising amount of bimbo groupie girls who felt like because they had large fake boobs they had the right to be a bitch to everyone around them and that’s something I want to touch on before I get into the actual show review.

When did manners become a forgotten practice? It’s a given that pushing will happen in a mosh pit, but just because you are showing some skin does not mean every guy & girl in the front needs to get out of your way because it doesn’t make you a bigger fan if you show your tits!

It’s always so comical when someone feels like they can push you out of your spot that you’ve been in all night & take it....I didn’t budge at all nor did my friends and to the bitches who try to that crap at shows, all I can say is you need to grow up a bit & learn some manners! It’s a rock show... dance, mosh, have fun, but respect others and have a little manners for ther people!

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Also, I saw the weirdest thing EVER at this show...somehow someone snuck a poodle in....YES, a real, live, Poodle! I don’t know if security got to the person with the dog and made them leave or not but I have to wonder, what kind of person would take a dog to a loud rock concert? Dogs have super fine hearing & the extreme volume at a rock concert is torture on to dog...that was actually animal abuse as far as I’m concerned! Taking a dog into the mosh pit at a Marilyn Manson concert....that’s probably the craziest thing I’ve seen at an MM show & I’ve seen alot at his shows over the years!

Taylor Momsen & The Pretty Reckless opened the show and their set was supposed to start at 8 PM but because of the 30 minute tardiness with doors opening later The Pretty Reckless set started at 8:30 PM and the band took the stage with a great rock n roll track called “Hit Like A Man” The guitar lick reminds me alot of a Jimmy Page styled riff but Ben told me the lick was actually written based on something that Taylor had hummed to him when they were writing one day.

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I was talking to Pretty Reckless guitarist Ben after the show and he told me that the band literally took the stage with no line check and no sound check.... they just took the stage at that very moment for the first time when the show started & from the crowd view point you couldn’t tell because they came out swingin! Taylor was in her giant strappy platform boots, vinyl mini skirt & matching jacket/top while the rest of the band was pretty much in the shadows for most of the set.

Ben did sing lead vocals for one song towards the end of the bands set and I was mildly surprised to witness Pretty Reckless actual do a few slower ballads in their set....I was expecting them to do a really heavy set for the MM crowd but as Ben told me after the show, the crowds have all been great so far and they all seem to like the Pretty Reckless material whether it’s slow or fast.

“My Medicine” was the only song they didn’t do in their set which I thought was surprising and Ben told me it was simply because of time...Taylor wanted to focus on the brand new material so “My Medicine” was cut from the set.

The Pretty Reckless actually did a great job opening. The crowd was entertained, there was no booing, no throwing stuff at the stage and I give it to Manson because he picked a good opener for the US tour when he chose The Pretty Reckless!

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After The Pretty Reckless finished their 45 minute set the stage was cleared really fast & a large black curtain was draped over the stage to hide the set up for Manson’s show. Theatrics wise there was nothing major onstage other than some lights and during “Antichrist Superstar” the podium came out along with the 3 staggered curtains in the background with the ACSS logo on it.

I was all prepared to state that Manson went from “Drive to Drivel” with this show review because I expected the worst! I expected a lazy, lackluster show and what the band delivered was a kick ass, strong, fun rock show that captured the essence of the past, present & future of Marilyn Manson!

“Hey Cruel World” was the show opener & it reminded me of how he used to open with “If I was Your Vampire” on the “Eat Me, Drink Me” Tour because the song starts off brooding & then when it kicks it all hell breaks loose!

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Twiggy came out wearing an odd looking dress that lit up on his chest where his heart was. Twiggy’s costume reminded me of that little robot from the old Battlestar Galactica tv show and the light up thing on his chest looked like a robotic heart. I was pleased to see Twiggy glamming it up a bit on this tour because on the last tour he downplayed it a bit & with this tour it felt a bit more like the old Twiggy minus the dreads!

What I’ll say about Marilyn Manson’s performance is:

Marilyn Manson was always sloppy, even in the beginning....the 2012 version of Marilyn Manson is NOT going to be the same as the 1996 version of MM. Manson is an older man, he can only defy the aging process so much and for what it’s worth he gave a valiant performance that covered all the bases. He tried to offer a set list that had old favorites, hits & some new stuff to make everyone happy. Marilyn Manson is still vital in 2012 and you have to compare him to Elvis for just a moment because Elvis was totally different in the beginning of his career than he was at the end of it and Marilyn Manson went through a sloppy phase on the last tour but this time around he’s actually sharp again and his vocals were always rough when you saw his live show. In 2012 I think Manson still delivers a good rock show to his fans despite how the internet clips make him look.

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Jason Sutter is a great drummer BUT I’ll tell the truth...I don’t think he fits the band. Jason plays dress up to fit the role and it’s clear that he’s not from the same place as the rest of the band. Fred’s PERFECT on bass & adds alot to the band and while Twiggy’s not great on guitar he has gotten better than he was the last tour!

“No Reflection” actually received a HUGE crowd response and it was surprising to me because it was played very early in the set and I think the pit was moving more for “No Reflection” than it did during “Disposable Teens”!

During a break in the set Manson started to babble about how some guitar magazine had said he was a crappy guitarist and Manson said that Twiggy had taught him everything he knew and then went on to say that Twiggy had gotten a blow job at a Bullet Boys unplugged concert in Hollywood & then said, “Twiggy didn’t give it, he got it, but when you get it you got it and you got it when you get it mother f**ker!”

When Marilyn Manson mentioned the Bullet Boys onstage I immediately thought to myself, wow, MM just jumped the shark! I know somewhere though Marq Torien will probably read this & then the rumors of the Bullet Boys / Marilyn Manson tour will start....that will of course happen after The Today Show appearance! If you’re not familiar with the Bullet Boys & Marq Torien you won’t get that joke, but to those who know the band, that joke will make perfect sense!

When Manson strapped on a black Gibson guitar he did try to play it at the end of a song and naturally it sounded horrible, but in a sense it wasn’t supposed to sound good anyways because Manson can’t play guitar... it was more of an onstage prop and probably something done really bad on purpose so people spoke of it.

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Manson’s theatrics consisted mostly of confetti during “Rock Is Dead” and numerous hat & jacket changes. He did change mic’s a few times & went from the brass knuckles mic to the knife mic & then to the flash light mic for “Sweet Dreams”.

Manson displayed a few new tattoos including the one on his chest and the one on the back of his neck, both of which related to the new “era” of the band. Twiggy’s make up design looked pretty cool but Manson’s looked like Crayola-gone-bad and I say that simply because he used to always do cool things with his make up and on this tour he didn’t put much effort into it. I will also point out that the leather vest Manson wears onstage for part of his set reminds me of something that Rob Halford from Judas Priest would wear...it’s adorned with pyramid studs & looks very old school metal with the back sporting the new MM logo done in some sorta lace design.

If you watch the current tour there’s one interesting thing you might notice....this is the first national tour the band has EVER done with no onstage keyboard player! The spot that was left vacant by Vrenna & Pogo is erased from the bands live show these days & the backing tracks are still there just there’s no one onstage pretending to play keyboards or press the sample buttons.

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The encore, if you wanna call it that, was split between 2 breaks in the set where the lights went off and the ACSS podium came out. Manson changed into a black jacket/red shirt and did the old school ACSS performance atop the podium and then a few minutes later he the stage was cleared and the intro for “Beautiful People” started...this was the nights last song.

Manson played a solid 80 minute set that reaffirmed he was back, he was still relevant and he still had “it”!

I will close this review by simply stating that 20 years into anyone’s career it’s hard to remain consistent, it’s hard to always be perfect, it’s hard to change yet still give people what they want and Marilyn Manson’s career has been filled with highs and lows that most artists will never experience. Marilyn Manson is a performer who’s not out to earn your respect via his virtuoso performance.... he’s a performer who wants to shock you with his message, looks & visual performance and for still being able to sell out an entire US tour 20 years into his career I give MM props. Manson has managed to maintain it all very well despite critics ridicule and changing trends in music....in 2012 Marilyn Manson still has it! To further prove MM put effort into this show look at the set list. The band played 15 songs which also happens to be MM’s favorite number that ties in with his birthday and all that IS MM!

SET LIST for 5/1/12

Hey Cruel World, Disposable Teens, The Love Song, No Reflection, mOBSCENE, (Coma Black intro) The Dope Show, Slo Mo-Tion, Rock Is Dead, Personal Jesus, Pistol Whipped, Tourniquet, Irresponsible Hate Anthem, Sweet Dreams, Antichrist Superstar, Beautiful People