Aug 2, 2015

Marilyn Manson / Smashing Pumpkins - Camden, NJ

Category: Live Reviews


Marilyn Manson / Smashing Pumpkins

August 2, 2015

Susquehanna Center

Camden, NJ

Marilyn Manson Set List: Intro, Deep Six, Disposable Teens, mOBSCENE (Manson pulled into crowd), No Reflection, Third Day, Sweet Dreams, Angel With the Scabbed Wings, Personal Jesus, Dope Show, Rock Is Dead, “Faggot rant”, Lunchbox w/ Jay-z “Holy Grail” lyrics, Antichrist Superstar, Beautiful People, Coma White

If this concert took place in 1999 the venue would have been sold out months in advance and the crowd would be ravenous to experience the musical bliss of Manson and The Pumpkins together. In 2015 the musical climate has changed to where Manson and Pumpkins are essentially “old” and the draw for this show was a definite slow build.

The stage area of the venue opened it’s doors at 6 PM and the show started at 7 PM. When opening act CAGE took the stage the venue was almost totally empty with just around 100 people entering the building! Cage was a 2 man act who I’d describe as an unimpressive “Grunge” version of Eminem. Cage consisted of 2 white boys pretending to play guitar onstage and rapping over prerecorded was bland at best and no one in the room seemed to care at all for Cage.

The venue finally filled in just before Manson took the stage ALTHOUGH there were plenty of empty seats in EVERY section and the lawn was almost totally vacant!

Manson opened with “Deep Six” which rocked the place but 3 songs into the set Manson was pulled offstage by a fan and was slammed against the barricade. As you can see in the pic above security had to pull Manson from the crowd/barricade and assist him back onstage. I give Manson credit for not letting the stage fall interrupt “mOBSCENE” which he was performing during the fall. Manson took the fall, laughed it off, and finished the song.

 Manson’s onstage performance was a tad sloppy for many years and he seemed to lose his “Drive” at one point. In 2015 Manson’s onstage performance is tight and he hasn’t performed this well since the “Holywood” era. The overall stage show was violent, intense, and everything you would expect from Manson. At one point Manson grabbed a broken picture frame which Cage had used onstage earlier and proceeded to smash the wooden frame to bits. Manson tossed the large pieces of the broken wood frame into the crowd and 1/2 of the frame flew past my head. I can attest to the fact that the frame had a little weight to it and luckily it didn’t hit anyone because that could have hurt someone. Manson also threw out a tambourine which security confiscated following the set because Manson wanted it back apparently.

When the “Pale Emperor” tour started the band had 2 guitarists but over the course of the tour Tyler Bates decided to bale and I will admit that the overall live sound does suffer just a tad without Tyler there. Manson seemed a bit upset with drummer Gil Sharone’s cues and commented off mic atleast 2 different times that he wasn’t happy with how he started/finished things.

 I posted a pic in this review of Manson’s hand....I wasn’t able to get a truly tight close up shot BUT you can clearly see blood on Manson’s hand and that blood is 100% real. Between songs Manson would go to the drum riser, break beer bottles and slice his wrist and hand. When Manson got close to me I could clearly see scabs and scars all over Manson’s wrist and arm where he had clearly been cutting himself throughout the tour. When Manson would fist bump and shake hands during the show he was clearly dripping blood on the fans yet most probably had no clue that it was real blood he dripped on them and not fake!

Another interesting part of this show was when a fan heckled Manson and called him a “Faggot”. Manson stopped the show at 2 different points to address the fan and even invited him onstage so they could talk...the fan refused to come onstage with Manson.

Manson pulled out all the stops and gave it his all which made it nearly impossible for Billy and his Smashing Pumpkins to compete with! Manson closed his set with “Coma White” and what I will say about this era of Marilyn Manson is that the band and the man are back in rare form; MM hasn’t performed this well in many years and this IS the time to catch the band in good form!

When Manson’s set ended a small portion of the crowd left. The Pumpkins stage set up was simply the band and their gear up front and large strips of fabric which hung behind them and filled in the bulk of the stage. The strips of fabric were white and had varies colored lights shining on them which gave the stage an ambient feel. Billy and company opened with “Cherub Rock” and I give it to them, they played all the “hits” yet visually were boring compared to the spectacle that IS Marilyn Manson.

 Billy dresses like an old man with pleated slacks, sensible shoes, and dress shirts....his style of dress matched his frumpy attitude which makes him come off alot older than he actually is!

Musically Smashing Pumpkins sounded amazing but the power behind the band was 100% Jimmy Chamberlin! Jimmy’s drumming is beyond intense and he hits those skins HARD! From where I was Jimmy’s drumming was more powerful than Billy’s guitar playing! I’ve seen The Pumpkins with and without Jimmy and I will say for the record that without Jimmy The Smashing Pumpkins suck!

 The bottom line is Marilyn Manson’s set blew The Smashing Pumpkins away. It’s interesting how many people had no clue this show was even happening; the overall promotion for this tour was lackluster I wonder if that was partially why the attendance was so low? Interesting side note; you could buy a front row ticket from the box office for face value on this night and I know because I checked it out first hand....1/2 of the front row was still for sale and the box office attendant told me that there were plenty of tickets in ALL sections available.

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Author: Bob Suehs