As Charles Baudelaire once wrote “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.
For over 20 years Marilyn Manson has been trying to convince the world the devil is real and he walks amongst us. While many people attempt to demystify the devil, many could argue that he only grew stronger. With that said, there was a time when Marilyn Manson nearly became a victim of his own fame and virtually pissed it all away with a string of throwaway albums and erratic, shambolic live performances showing him up no end. But as they say, it’s a long hard road out of Hell, and one that Manson has now seemingly come to the end of.
London marks the first night of a short UK run on the ‘Hell Or Hallelujah World Tour’ in support of his latest opus “The Pale Emperor“. It’s a highly anticipated return to these shores, as with the exception of Download Festival in June of this year this is the first chance many have had to see him in three years.
Before Mr. Manson made his grand entrance, there was the little matter of openers Krokodil who aimed to bring a bit of blood and bile to the night’s proceedings. They waste no time with their Dillinger Escape Plan-meets-Mastodon racket flying over most of the audience’s heads. With tight, raw power they put on an absolutely brutal display and made sure to leave a lasting impression on a largely appreciative, yet bewildered, audience.
There are many ways to make an entrance and Marilyn Manson knows how to, better than most. Walking onto a stage covered mostly in smoke and darkness he makes the kind of entrance that is usually reserved for the likes of WWE Superstar The Undertaker and the crowd goes justifiably batshit! As the lights come up just enough to make out the man himself and the opening strains of ‘Deep Six’ ring out, things are officially on. For the next hour and twenty minutes the hits come thick and fast. Focusing the set tonight on songs from the illustrious triptych “Antichrist Superstar”, “Mechanical Animals” and “Holywood” was a wise choice as it is the material that is the most rich in Manson‘s catalogue. Manson himself seemed to be in fine form, making jokes and being as antagonistic as we have seen him over the years. Tonight he brought some of his old tricks with him, like bringing out the stilts for ‘Sweet Dreams’ and burning a Bible at a podium during ‘Antichrist Superstar’, which shows he is still a showman at heart.
Over the years Marilyn Manson has lost his way here and there but it seems like he has once again found a way to reinvent and revitalise himself. While it’s the older material that still shines the brightest, he’s still proving there is some creativity left in the tank. This is perhaps the best performance from Manson and quite easily the best he has been in the last 10 years.
He still might be the Antichrist but tonight London definitely witnessed the second coming.