January 20, 2008
The Fillmore Miami Beach
Better Than: You can imagine.
Only a dingbat or a dolt doesn’t dig Marilyn Manson. Really. I mean, unless you’ve absolutely no sense of humor, let alone sense of the absurd, or you believe rock shouldn’t come from a loud place, Manson’s your man (and band).
But before Sunday's show, a medicine man told Manson he really was too sick to take the stage. But when Marilyn looked outside his hotel window and saw the small slew of protesters, he decided to damn the advice and go on anyway, lest the catatonic sign-holders claim their efforts – or their God – had something to do with a cancellation.
So, Bible-belting dingbats, I thank you for ensuring that the show went on.
And it was some show. Beginning and ending with soundtrack slices from The Hunger, Manson (both man and band) brought rock back to a place where it belonged all along – to the place of spectacle.
Manson (the man) is a consummate showman – stagy, theatrical, and full of himself, in the best of all possible ways. Sure, he still cribs from the Bowie/Murphy school of posing, prancing, and preening, but that’s only because both David and Peter were – and are – true rock apostles.
So too Manson, who wouldn’t invoke ire if he wasn’t. Yes, he bared his ass; yes, he fondled, then decapitated, a rather fetching mannequin; and yes, he burned a Bible while perched atop a podium straight outta Albert Speer. But what dingbats and dolts fail to realize is that Manson does these things not simply because they may or may not be shocking or controversial (though there is that), but to free us of what we’ve been told to think and believe.
Whether strutting to the narco-stomp of “The Dope Show” or covering high priestess Patti Smith’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger,” Manson delivered us from evil. And at the Fillmore Miami Beach, that was worth all the good in the world. -- John Hood
Personal Bias: I’ve dug the cat since the days when I used to see him slinking around South Beach with his Spooky Kids.
Random Detail: I think I saw recently reunited bassist Twiggy Ramirez smile, but then, even twelve hours after the show, I was still seeing things.
By the Way: Manson is still with Evan Rachel Wood – and you’re not.