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Marilyn Manson - Brixton Academy, 05.07.2012
Once upon a time Marilyn Manson was seen as the spawn of the devil, the bringer of evil. People protested his gigs and he was the epicentre of worldwide moral panic. Fast forward to 2012 and things could not be more different. Where once there was a buzz about the self-confessed ‘God of Fuck’ playing a gig, these days its just another show.
Manson has somewhat fallen off the radar in recent years, thanks to a couple of dodgy post-divorce albums. He lost touch with his fans who weren’t keen on his new direction, and he lacked excitement live. But, he recently released new album Born Villain which has sort of been a return to former glory, his best album in years, and all who attend the Brixton Academy this evening hope tonights show reflects the same.
Neon blue lights glow behind a black curtain, the curtain drops to the sound of thousands screaming and the silhouette of Manson can be seen. He opens with Hey Cruel World, the first track from Born Villain, and his deep raspy voice bellows throughout the academy. Straight into Disposable Teens and Love Song from his Holywood album, the crowd go wild as it appears Manson is very much back. He seems really together and in great form, and certainly sounds fantastic, although it has to be said his screams are not as powerful as they once were, but the energy is still there.
The return of Twiggy Ramirez is certainly a welcome one. He adds to the whole show by just being present, he and Manson are two of a kind, a double act who bounce off each other perfectly. At one point, Manson emulates Bowie and falls to his knees infront of Ramirez and he delivers a guitar solo, of course to an enormous reception.
Tonight is not just all about Born Villain either. Manson visits the past and we hear some of his ‘classics’. Tourniquet, The Dope Show, Sweet Dreams all sound fantastic, but the new material does also. No Reflection sounds just as good live and new single Slo-Mo-Tion is a perfect drill of heavy bass and taunting vocals. I wish we could have heard more of the new album live actually as there are some great tracks I think would work really well.
Of course, Manson’s theatrical side shines through. A microphone that looks like a knife, fake snow falling on stage and the return of his commentators stand during Antichrist Superstar, he certainly likes to entertain. He ends the evening with undisputable anthem The Beautiful People and it is clear that once again Manson has returned to form and his army of loyal fans are incredibly happy to have him back.