I just can’t get over this.
Let me explain: One of my jobs includes working as a stagehand at The Rave in Milwaukee. After setting up for the show and going home to eat, I get to come back, clock in, and watch most of the performance before tearing down. It’s pretty awesome, to say the least. Plus, it allows me to see a variety of artists that I would never have seen live otherwise.
One of those artists is Marilyn Manson.
I know a handful of Manson’s songs, seen a couple of his music videos, and have obviously heard about the good ol’ days in the late 90s early 00s when he had these wild concerts and did all kinds of bizarre and otherwise questionable things on stage. Some of my coworkers had been at The Rave long enough to have experienced one of these performances. As we uncoiled the snake and daisy chained the data cables that Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of hearing several fantastic tales of Manson’s eccentric and outlandish behavior on stage. To say that I was intrigued and excited to be experiencing one of these peculiar concerts firsthand (while getting paid to do so!) was an understatement.
So you can imagine how shocked and disheartened I was when I realized this sad fact: The Manson of 2012 is disappointingly not weird.
First, I learned that Mr. Hardcore needed his dressing room to be at exactly 62 °F. Even though his crew referred to him as “Satan” when delivering this order and had us hang black drapes all throughout the dressing room, I began to doubt that I’d be witnessing the same grand spectacle of a performance that my coworkers experienced 9 years beforehand. But hey, I can appreciate a man who wants a cool room to chill in (terrible pun absolutely intended). I decided to let the petty room temp requirement slide.
But then I saw the concert.
I missed the first two songs and came in halfway through the third, so there is a possibility that he did something obscene and unthinkable during that time…but I doubt it. Manson had a quick change room on stage, so while he occasionally threw a different hat or blazer on, he mostly donned black combat boots, black skinny jeans, and a hooded leather vest (guess what color it was).
Come on now. My sister wears that same outfit sometimes.
His hair was cut pretty short, buzzed a little on the sides and shaggier in the front and on top. Edgy, but still a pretty standard “Rock Star” haircut. He still wore some makeup, but it certainly wasn’t up to par with the face paint of Manson circa 1999.
Still, there was always the performance itself. That was what I was looking forward to anyway, so Manson still had a chance to live up to the hype. However, the most exciting thing he did while performing was walk nonchalantly across the stage as he screamed every other lyric into the mic. He did bring out his trusty pulpit during the encore for “Antichrist Superstar” and threw a few bibles at the crowd, but that was it.
There was a half-empty bottle of absinthe in his dressing room, though. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.
But, yes. In sum, the Marilyn Manson of 2012 no longer embodies the “shock” factor. As a co-worker succinctly put it, “He’s getting old, I guess”.