at Oslo Spektrum, Norway, December 18, 2003

A Marilyn Manson concert is always somewhat of an event, owing to the effort he puts into his shows in terms of theatrics and genuine showmanship. Artists like Marilyn Manson simply don’t come around that often these days, which is too bad, really, because one and a half hours in the company of Manson is a highly entertaining journey into the more murky aspects of the human mind. So often portrayed as a raving madman by his critics, his label as the USA’s guilty conscience is probably much more relevant. Obviously, he has some kind of concept to what he is doing when he flips his (middle) finger at all sorts of authorities. “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” finds Manson singing, “I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers.” So there you have it!

His stage show this time around finds inspiration in the German Weimar republic of the 1920s, much in the same way as his latest album, cleverly entitled The Golden Age of Grotesque, which this tour is supporting. He opened his set with the fierce “This Is The New Shit,” which was followed by “Disposable Teens.” These two songs really got the capacity crowd going, and there is no doubt that from this moment on, Manson was the master of Oslo Spektrum. His stage command exudes such authority that his more-than-decent backing band members (Marilyn Manson are, after all, not only a person, but a band, even though this is rather easy to forget sometimes) are hardly noticeable. “Last time I was here I had 20 naked Norwegian girls wrestling backstage,” brags Manson as he unleashes his latest hit: the irresistibly catchy “mObscene.” The song is performed with two female dancers dressed in German pre-WW2 uniforms on stage. Very pleasing, indeed.

After this peak, however, the concert lost a bit of its momentum. A couple of the weaker tracks from the last album followed, and unfortunately resulted in a fall in intensity. Always a master of tasteful and innovative cover versions, Manson included both “Tainted Love” and “Sweet Dreams” in his set this evening, although the latter was sadly cut short in favor of an unrecognizable duet with the Canadian support act: Peaches. Her opening set was truly horrible, and I do recommend Manson seriously reconsider who he brings with him on tour next time around. Enough said, I suppose. “Fight Song” and the crowd pleaser “Beautiful People,” from breakthrough album Antichrist Superstar, close the set, and after a hasty encore number, the night is over.

All in all, this was a concert way above average, and Manson confirmed his strong reputation as one of rock’s best and most vital entertainers. May he never be subjected to anger management or a therapist…


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.