MARILYN MANSON – Live in Helsinki

January 7th, 2008
by Marko Syrjala

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MARILYN MANSON

20. 12 2007

Ice Hall, Helsinki

FINLAND

It’s been more than five years since Marilyn Manson last visited Helsinki. Now he’s returned with an all new line up supporting his latest album EAT ME, DRINK which was released in June 2007. This show was the very last concert on the European leg of “The Rape of the World” tour. Although his new album hasn’t been as successful as some of its predecessors, Manson still has a lot of demand here, as the concert was completely sold out.

 

REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

 

The evening was started by a local support band called Happiness. A pop band supporting Marilyn Manson…don’t know what more to say but they were certainly in the wrong place. They were absolutely the wrong choice for this slot. It’s a pity that we didn’t get the chance to see Norwegian Turbonegro instead like the other Nordic countries did. The Manson show was announced to begin at 09:00 PM but it actually started about 10:15 PM. This was the second longest wait I have endured; the winner at the moment is Guns ’n Roses for which we had to wait over two hours.  

After a long intro, the curtain finally dropped and band started to play the first song "If I was Your Vampire". The stage set was huge but pretty stripped and harsh. There was some really cool lightning and there was even "a sea of candles" on both side of the drums there which helped to create some kind of "funeral" atmosphere. It’s always hard to anticipate how Mr.Manson himself is looking but there was nothing shocking in his outlook this time. He had black clothes and a white/pink painted mask in his face, he looked kind of chameleon. What was not so usual was his microphone which was equipped with something like 15 inch long knife-blade.

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According the audience, I don’t know if that slow tempo six minute epic was the best possible opening track for this kind of concert? However, the second song "Disposable Teens" fixed that problem quickly and atmosphere rose up to the level where it belongs. Speaking about the show itself, for the first 30 minutes Manson looked a little bit tired, bored and lonely. It did seem that he didn’t get a proper connection with audience although the songs "mOBSCENE", "Tourniquet", "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" and "Are You the Rabbit" worked out very well. Somehow things started to change when band performed their distinct version of old Eurytmics hit "Sweet Dreams". Before the song started stage went completely dark. After some waiting Manson emerged from the middle of darkness wearing on helmed which was mounted with two spotlights. Of course everything went on again when song actually started but the effect was cool, very simple but very effective effect.


At that point of the show, for one reason or another, Manson turned out to be everything but bored and tired. He was really energetic and he talked a lot for the crow, of course we heard that the audience in Helsinki was the best and loudest on the whole tour. Maybe this brightening was also a part of the show and it was planned, probably it was? "Fightsong" was one of the musical highlight tonight. People really seem to like material from HOLYWOOD album and I don’t wonder it’s my personal favorite as well. Unfortunately his latest album EAT ME DRINK ME represents completely different side of Marilyn Manson. What is fortunate is that they did only two tracks from the album. Although the songs "Heart Shaped Glass" and "Putting Holes In The Happiness" sounded now better compared how they sound on CD those still stand out from the rest of the set but not in positive way.

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"Rock Is Dead" sounded good and then "The Dope Show" and "The Reflecting God"  continued "the best of" -theme before it was time of another highlight of the show; the title track of "Antichrist Superstar". Manson had built a huge pulpit on the stage. He was standing there wearing as a preacher and he was "discoursing" for the people. In the end of the song he was burning the bible people went crazy. As supposed "Beautiful People" was the last song on the set, which song would be better closer for Manson’ show? 

As a brief summary for the show – it was great, well planned and it was one of the most impressive shows what I’ve seen in ages. Set list was quite brief; it was less than 80 minutes, while band has material worth to play for at least two hours. Marilyn Manson himself is skillful, great performer and showman while the rest of the band stayed mostly in the background with the exception of guitarist Tim Skold who had a big role on stage. When Tim first joined Manson’s band in 2002 he then replaced bands original bassist Twiggy Ramirez.  Since then he has become Manson’s right hand man and he is now handling guitars, production, and programming and more for Manson, he has a big role on offstage as well. Skold was actually looking really cool with his "calcify corpse" look and it’s hard to even think that he’s the same guy who used play in 80’s hair metal bands Kingpin and Shotgun Messiah.

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Like said before, the rest of the band: drummer Ginger Fish, bassist Rob Holiday (ex-Prodigy) and keyboardist Chris Vrenna (ex-Nine Inch Nails) did a good solid job there but they stayed kindly in the background. They had no make-up or costumes, they just did their job. Although their playing was overall solid and accurate I was personally missing some former members of the band. Twiggy Ramirez and John Lowery aka John 5 or even Zim Zum were such persons who are hard or even impossible to replace. Back in the days this was more a band while it now is clearly Mr. Manson and his sidemen  on stage.

It also must be mentioned that Marilyn Manson owes a lot to Alice Cooper. Actually it can be said that this show was a modern version of Alice Cooper show. There were a lot of show elements which would do Vincent Furnier proud. What is also common with them is the fact that in the 70’s Alice was treated same way by religious groups how they now are treating Marilyn Manson.

I don’t know? I somehow understand when some fanatic bigot’s go crazy about things like burning bibles but even they should understand that things like that are just a part of the show. People should not take everything too seriously, no matter if we are talking about sex, politics or religion. In Manson’s case it’s all about show and people should understand it.

Welcome again soon! 

 

SPECIAL THANX TO RAMONA FORSSTROM FROM WELLDONE FOR PHOTOPASS !

A SET LIST:

If I Was Your Vampire

Disposable Teens

mOBSCENE

Tourniquet

Irresponsible Hate Anthem

Are You the Rabbit?

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Lunchbox

The Fight Song

Putting Holes in Happiness

Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)

Rock Is Dead

The Dope Show

The Reflecting God

Antichrist Superstar

The Beautiful People

 

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