Live Show Review and Photo Essay – Marilyn Manson

coverMarilyn Manson
John Labbatt Centre
London, Ontario
September 20, 2009

Twelve years after I entered Varsity Arena in Toronto to catch the spectacle that was Marilyn Manson, I finally found myself in a position to take in his show once again and see how things have, or haven’t, changed.

One thing that definitely changed was the fact that the Christians were nowhere to be found this time around. Twelve years ago, Manson was the Antichrist so they lined up parallel to us heathens all the way down the other side of the street and shouted bible verses and condemned us all to hell.

Now my idea of Christianity is such that you can sum it up with one question to prove or disprove someone “acting” in a Christian like manner. That question is, “What would Jesus have done?” For some reason I just can’t picture Jesus standing across the road from a pile of freaks screaming at them to go home or forever burn in the fiery depths of hell.

I had just scored free tix to go and shoot some pics of Mr. Manson and company and I didn’t even really know or fully understand what he was all about. To me, Manson was just the over amped inflated version of Alice Cooper. Alice could scare you with images of spiders n snakes back in the 70’s but these days, a guy’s gotta really go out on a limb to freak someone out.

Sure some of Manson’s show back then was a little over the top. Slicing himself up with a broken bottle, if he actually did that, was pretty wild. But when he tore up the bible and threw it all over the place, I thought that was kinda bad but really I think he was just making a point that it’s only a story.

Hell, even Tony Iommi punched Ozzy Osbourne in the nose for doing that one time. So one has to look at the evil men that comprised Black Sabbath and re-evaluate. Would they REALLY be devil worshipers if one of them actually chastised another for doing such a hedonistic thing?

So it proves to me again that this supposed EVIL guy/band is really just a normal guy/bunch of guys who are cashing in on controversy and fear. What’s the matter with that? Our fuckin government does that to us every day! N1H1 anybody?

So really when you look at all the horridly evil bands like Slayer, Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Kiss (Knights In Satan’s Service) and Manson himself, one must wonder if they’re all in the same boat.

We KNOW the guys from Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden are about as far from devil worshipers as you can get. Sure they all have songs about Satan in some form or other, and album covers which can be construed as Satanic or just ARE Satanic, but if you’ve ever seen “Family Jewels” or “the Osbournes” on their shows, you’d realize they’re just fuckin people.

But what about a guy like Marilyn Manson? I’m of the opinion that a lot of the shit floating around about Marilyn Manson is more of a made up story to perpetuate a negative interest amongst the media and have something “bad” to talk about even in the Entertainment section.

Or maybe Manson IS into Satan worshiping and sacrificing virgins. One may never know. I read his autobiography, “Long Road Out of Hell” and I really didn’t see anything other than his visits with Anton LeVey that pointed to the guy being a devil worshiper.

On the show “Bowling for Columbine”, Manson truly seemed like the only guy who made any sense with his interview as he hit the nail squarely on the head of a few points he was asked about. And HE was the one they tried to blame it all on.

It’s just my opinion but this is what I think Marilyn Manson really stands for. To me, he is the embodiment of a million improperly answered and unanswered questions. This is just scratching the surface of the barrel of questions but I don’t wanna get right down n dirty with em all.

Why is the speed limit only 60k on that 3 lane stretch of highway? Why do I have to pay $75 for a fuckin STICKER every year to prove that my car is STILL mine? Why is our justice system not based on right and wrong but who hires the better Liar? Why is money more important than our environment? Why would a company be forced to recall and destroy a huge shipment of the most energy efficient vehicle ever made? Why is our medical system geared towards supporting the drug companies as opposed to natural alternatives which actually treat the problem, not the symptom?

You get the point. Now take all the answers, and unanswers and what do you get? One pissed off S.O.B. asking WHY? And that S.O.B. is Marilyn Manson. Add a soundtrack to the most pissed off fucker on earth and it’s gonna sound something like every one of Marilyn Manson’s albums.

Satan worshiper or not, I say he’s just a dude who wants some real answers to some real questions instead of the propaganda drivel we’re spoon fed through the media every day. Enough of my shit… now on with the show!!

I was real happy to see Die Mannequin in the opening slot all the way across Canada as I hope it gives them the exposure they need to continue their climb to the top which I truly believe will happen.

Manson’s people allowed us ONE song to shoot from the pit, no flash of course. Albeit the song was an epic 6 minute beast “We’re From America” which afforded anyone with a 5 frame/second or more camera to knock off a jillion photos in search of the perfect pic to sum up the evening. It still would have been nice to get another song or two in as the lighting was pretty bad and I wasn’t the only one whining about it.

So the one thing I was really glad that didn’t change at all, was the fact that Marilyn Manson, probably the most controversial person the rock world has ever seen, is still good at helping you just forget about all your damn problems and just have a good time to some great music. Yes I said GREAT music. I have been a huge fan since Antichrist Superstar and every time he pulls one of those tunes out of the bag, it just takes me back and makes me smile.

Though the set was short and sweet due to a case of “throat AIDS” as Manson termed it, he still put out a decent hour and 10 minutes of good hard rock n roll. There were no huge props, no major explosions, no blood, no stilts and no pulpit but the music was there. And I still say to this day, no matter how much controversy, no matter how many schoolyard killings and suicides and all that negative shit, Manson get’s blamed for, if it wasn’t for the kick ass, catchy and entertaining music, he wouldn’t be in the position he is today.

Mike Forbes
Rebel Reviewer.Com