Marilyn Manson - Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Right at this very minute there are hundreds, probably thousands, of up and coming UK rock bands hungry to support Marilyn Manson at Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Instead, in a worrying trend for the live scene, we have DJ Amazonica, a competent DJ spinning and mixing the latest and greatest hits from the world of rock and metal. Rob Zombie had the same kind of set up at his London show last year. This type of support act, you know the ones, laptop or iPad on stage twiddling knobs making air raid siren noises, bigging up the main act should be nowhere near this stage. If we were in a rock club, this would work, but right here and now, it's torturous.

Marilyn Manson is now in his late 40's, his mid 90s heyday long gone. After not one but two recent onstage accidents, he greets the sold-out Wolverhampton crowd in a motorised scooter that can go from sitting to standing while taking his weight. With his overt theatricality in mind, it's just another stage prop for theself-proclaimedd God Of Fuck to play with, and it works wonders, Manson writhing around in faux agony as he belts out his hits. Newer tracks from recent album , Heaven Upside Down, like 'KILL4ME' sound outright pop on record, but in the live environment have a dangerous, sexualised energy to them.

Later in the set further theatrics abound with figures in surgeons gown attending to Manson whether it's a costume change, a brow wipe or a lay down on a gurney. Manson's big hitters are left to the end; 'The Beautiful People' starting with the all familiar drum beat or the coiled fury of 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem' from his magnum opus 1996 album Antichrist Superstar. As an over enthusiastic fan is pulled back by security from the balcony before diving into the baying crowd Manson leaves the stage as he started, theatrically. A triumph, even with Manson not at 100%, let's see how he plays at Download Festival next year.


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