The air in and around the OESC in Penticton on Saturday night could only be described as electric. The anticipation of what exactly Marilyn Manson’s live show would bring had the crowd buzzing, even before the beer started flowing and the lighters were sparked. The crowd didn’t have to wait long though, with openers Die Mannequin playing to the early arrivals that made it through the security check line that wrapped around the building. Fittingly, Die Mannequin channeled a mid ‘90s/early ‘00s feeling, recalling the time period in which Mr Manson made his rise to fame. The most well received song in their set list seemed to be a cover of The Fresh Prince of Belle Air theme song which kind of speaks volumes about their whole set.
Next up were Deap Vally, a two-woman act from LA, who brought a large and demanding of attention sound that recalled Hole to the stage. They were much better received by the audience though it was pretty obvious that a large contingent of those in attendance were born post-90’s and really didn’t have any frame of reference for this sound. If one were to close there eyes during Deap Vally’s set, you could almost pretend you were in 1994, listening to a band inspired by Courtney Love and crew’s body of work.
Taking advantage of the break for the stage setup, I took a walk down into the throng of people that had gathered to see Marilyn Manson do what he does best. The crowd was full of exactly the kind of people you would expect to find at a Manson show; neon colored cockatoo hair held high and covered in equal amount of leather and tattoos, with a smattering of locals who were there to see “the big show”. Don’t take me the wrong way on that last statement though; THIS is the perfect crowd for a Manson show. The punks, freaks, geeks and locals alike were all on the same level and ready to see what a big name like Manson would bring to their relatively small town. There wasn’t a whisper of hipster irony to be found in the building, only genuine enthusiasm. Coming from someone who frequents shows of the “no one moves because they’re too cool” variety, this was a refreshingly welcome change from the norm.
Using his fog machines to the fullest, Manson managed to almost fill the entire arena with fog as he made his grand entrance. Once the bass dropped in for Deep Six, it was a no-holds barred mix of new and classic Manson tracks, spanning his multi-decade career. Decked out in heavy overcoats and suits, Manson has tossed some his wilder stage antics aside for a more mature, but no less dark and troubled, stage presence. Though blood and semen may be absent from his act these days, he still puts on an energetic performance; rolling around on the stage, jumping into the audience and running to and fro on stage.
Long story short: Manson’s Hell Not Halleluiah tour is a damn good time. If you have any interest in the mans body of work (excluding maybe the Spooky Kids days) do yourself a favor and hit up his show when it’s nearby.
-Scotty can be found on twitter, spooking it up with the spookiest kids around