Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson team up for a co-headline tour across the US with the Twins of Evil: The Second Coming tour. With both performers championing shock rock, it’s as if Halloween came a little early in New England.
Up first was an unlisted band on the bill from Montreal called Deadly Apples. Apparently they’ve been around for a while, but this was my first time hearing of them. Sound wise they kind had a Manson/Zombie-lite style, I kept waiting for them to get grittier the entire set and it just didn’t happen. They might lend better to small clubs, but something here was lost in translation. However, as the set went on they got a little more interesting. Their bio says their known for chaotic live shows, so maybe this was an off night?
Next up was Marilyn Manson, who believe it or not was my first time seeing him play live. In the past he’s been on Ozzfests I’ve been too and somehow I missed the sets. I remember 20 years ago him being a very polarizing figure, with his shocking vulgarity disgusting people to protest, but considering how vile the world is currently, does he still have the same vile venom he once had? I haven’t heard a lot of his material because the landscape has changed quite a bit since ‘Antichrist Superstar’, ‘Mechanical Animals’ and ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’ singles all received plenty of MTV airplay, but of a lot of his newer material came across as very raw and honest, no backing vocal tracks, which was very much appreciative. There’d been a lot of talk concerning whether or not his recent controversy with health scares would even see him perform, but he looked in great shape on this night. While new songs “Kill4Me” and “Say10” sounded good, the crowd came alive for “mOBSCENE”, “This is the New Shit”, “The Dope Show” and their Eurythmics cover of “Sweet Dreams”. Closing at the set was Manson staple “The Beautiful People” and a great cover of the Lost Boy’s theme “Cry Little Sister”.
Next up was Haverhill, Massachusetts own Rob Zombie. It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen Rob Zombie live and I can’t imagine why I’ve missed this, but this live performance was just as solid as it was when I saw him at the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie New York all that time ago. I forgot that Zombie’s band features 2 ex members of Manson’s band with both John 5 and Ginger Fish doing stints. Rounded out by bassist Piggy D, Zombie’s new band is better than ever, ripping through a flurry of classics from the first ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ album. As I noted with Manson, I wasn’t familiar with some of the more recent material, but given the great stage production, with giant robots and demons as well as gigantic video screens it didn’t matter. Rob took the time to address the local crowd pointing out he grew up here before departing to New York to go to art school, which would eventually give birth to White Zombie before launching into “Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.”. Launching through “Living Dead Girl” and other songs I could help but notice how clean and effortless John 5’s guitar playing was, without a doubt the best guitar player Rob’s ever had in the band. Going through the set more with 2 ‘The Sinister Urge” era songs in “Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)” and “House of Corpses” we get to a brilliant guitar solo from John 5. White Zombie material was represented well with “More Human Than Human” and “Thunder Kiss ‘65” which also included a cover in the mid section break of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” before finishing. The regular set closed out with a Beatles cover of Helter Skelter joined by Twin of Evil Mr. Marilyn Manson on co-lead vocals, followed by an encore of “Dragula”.
A fun set from Zombie who never fails to entertain, and Manson’s performance tonight was better than a lot of the bad press he’s been receiving for off nights. If you can catch this tour, I’d recommend it.