MARILYN MANSON – Heaven Upside Down
Manson recently released his 10th studio album “Heaven Upside Down” signalling a return to form after a few lack-lustre affairs. He injured himself on-stage in New York at the beginning of October when an oversize gun which formed part of the stage-set fell on him. Add the sacking of long-term band-mate Twiggy Ramirez at the end of October due to rape allegations from his ex-girlfriend, this was building up to be an interesting night in the company of Brian Warner.
And so it proved.
A little bit broken
After the elongated intro-music of The Cure’s “Killing an Arab, followed by The Door’s “The End”, the curtain dropped. The band launch into a blistering “Revelation #12” and revealed Manson sporting a cast on his right leg and in a customised throne-like electric wheelchair.
He remained in said chair for “This is the New Shit” after announcing that he may be “a little bit broken but you won’t break me”. He also thanked us as he’s “got a little bit of Scottish in me”.
This prompted him to a shout a mildly irritating “Glasgow” (rhyming it with cow) for the first time of what seemed like several thousand throughout the course of the evening.
Throughout the set he had two personal roadies (or should I say “orderlies”) on stage appropriately dressed in scrubs. They were there to helped him around stage and changing costumes. For most of the set he was on a half crutch strapped to his knee. While this made him fairly immobile, it didn’t stop him putting on a great show with his voice better this time than on the last few occasions I’ve seen him.
“Disposable Teens” and a fierce “mObscene” followed before another cut from the new album “Kill4Me” with added groupies stage front. I have to say the newer songs were among my favourites that he played in tonight’s set.
“Deep Six” and “Day Three of a Seven Day Binge”, two of the stronger tracks, and the only ones making an appearance, from previous album The Pale Emperor followed.
Then we were treated to a trio of Manson classics. The band started to play “I Don’t Like the Drugs (but the Drugs Like Me)” before cutting and Manson stating “that was 100% a lie”. They then launched into one of his best songs “The Dope Show”.
This was followed by his bruising take on the Eurythmic’s classic “Sweet Dreams (are Made of This). This song signalled his injury in New York. In Glasgow he writhed on a hospital trolley like a patient in a secure unit, overseen by his 2 orderlies.
“Tourniquet” (“the last song I played the first time I played here”) was the 3rd classic Manson track in a row.
We Know Where You Fucking Live!
He then transferred back to a wheelchair with all the house lights right down and kicked off the next song with a torch/mic combo searching the audience. An appropriate intro to the menacing fury of the full-scale assault that is “We Know Where You Fucking Live”.
The bombastic theatre continued with him donning a big coat for the latest song in his ongoing God vs Satan debate with “SAY10” from Heaven Upside Down.
Then it was almost over with the wall of sound that is crowd pleaser “The Beautiful People” was the thrilling main set closer.
Of course things were not quite over and the encore saw him come back to an extravagant lit-up mic stand covered in white stars and play my particular favourite song from the new album, “Saturnalia”, followed by perhaps one of my favourite Manson compositions, a potent “Coma White”.
As he left the stage again, the lights stayed down there was uncertainty whether he would return. However the strains of his cover of Johnny Cash “Gods Gonna Cut You Down” split the air and it was show over.
For someone who was not fully fit it was a stunning show. And to someone who thought he was possibly past his sell-by date, I was impressed