Editor's note: Photographer KT Wright and Mercury contributor Aris Wales each attended the Marilyn Manson concert at the Roseland last night. Here are Wright's (truly stunning) photos of Manson and opening band Butcher Babies—click on each to see the full-size photo—and Wales' thoughts on the Gaga-esque spectacle.
I’m a sucker for theatrics. Quality of music can be sub-par, or completely go out the window, if I can go to a show and get “a show” at the same time. Why else would I have seen Rob Zombie three times willingly? Not for the vocal styling and timeless songwriting of Mr. Zombie—rather, for the 10-foot-tall walking robots, dancing girls, and confetti cannons! That is why I had to see what Marilyn Manson, the king of '90s shock, had in store for his devoted fans. What I saw was entertainment—ridiculous, extravagant, pompous… entertainment.
Fourteen songs, and roughly 10 costume changes. It could have been more, but I let some hat and prop mic changes slide. This was all in a set that lasted maybe an hour. There was smoke guns, gloves with lasers on the fingertips, a total of three confetti cannon uses, and snow. Yeah, snow. Or some foam/bubbley snow-like substance that gently fell from the ceiling just over the crowd front and center. Manson’s State of the Union? How about upside-down flags, red, white, and blue balloons, and Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”?
Music? Oh yeah, I guess Manson had some hired hands with bad hair and make-up playing instruments with him. I don’t really remember, because I was too distracted by how many sweaty towels Manson threw into the flailing arms of his fans. His towels were one-use-only, then he whipped them out into the crowd. I was beginning to think he had some bodily fluid sharing fetish, then it was confirmed when he collected sweat off his forearm and flung it into the audience. Did I mention that before the show started, a photographer friend claimed that he was warned by security to watch out for snot? Apparently an eager photographer caught some the night before in Seattle… in his mouth.
In all seriousness, I haven’t heard a crowd cheer louder then Marilyn Manson’s in a long while. I’m talking big, sustained, frantic cheers after almost every song. Frankly, I can’t blame them. I had good time, despite the music.
KT Wright's photos of opening band Butcher Babies: