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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Marilyn Manson - Live in Montreal

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It wasn't an obvious double bill. And when the crowd went wild for the punishing thrash metal of veteran rock act Slayer, one had to worry about what kind of a reception headliner Marilyn Manson would get.
The schticky shock-rocker's heyday is behind him, and his new album Eat Me, Drink Me is his most subdued, by far. But it took all of one song to set the record straight. If Slayer has street cred, Manson has star power - or Antichrist Superstar power, if you will. Last night, before an enthusiastic audience of 8,100 at the Bell Centre, he showed that he's still got it.
It was a new song, and a slow song - If I Was Your Vampire. But rather than a wimper, his entrance evoked a slow-building howl. The rising full moon on the screen behind him, bursts of smoke, and an arsenal of red lights set the tone for the melodramatic ballad. All eyes were on Manson as he stepped to the front of the stage and dropped to his knees.
Two songs later, he wore a top hat and striped jacket for mOBSCENE, playing boisterous ringleader to the party, which was now in full swing.
Manson is no fool. While he made a point of including several songs from the new disc in his set - and incorporated them quite well - he didn't hesitate to deliver the hits. He seemed to revel in revisiting them, as if reminding himself and us what the fuss was once all about.
Always a fan of a good prop, he sat, swiveled, humped and wiggled atop a supersized chair for the Alice In Wonderland-themed Are You the Rabbit? He lurched and swung his way around a boxing ring for The Fight Song, later; preached from a podium for his early-career smash Antichrist Superstar; and unleashed a barrage of streamers and smoke for the party track The Beautiful People, in the encore.
In between, Manson played his old cover of Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams; did a couple more new songs - the ballad Just a Car Crash Away and the funky Heart Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand); and let loose to the swinging dance beat of Rock is Dead.
"Montrea-a-al," he called out, throughout the tight set, which clocked in at a trim 75 minutes. And the crowd answered back, every time. Chalk it up to the rumoured existential crisis that sparked the new album, but Manson seemed more driven and in control last night than in his last couple of visits. And like his audience, his was having fun.


Marilyn Manson - Live in Montreal 2007


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