Like a lot of rock and roll fans my age (I’m 35), I really loved Marilyn Manson as a young teenager, especially after the release of Antichrist Superstar in 1997. There was something about his over-the-top, grotesque persona and anti-establishment message that really appealed to me as a 14 year old. At the time, I was regularly buying Hit Parader magazine, anxiously ripping out the Manson posters and plastering them on my wall (probably next to my NIN posters). Despite my adolescent love of Manson, it quickly faded with the release of Mechanical Animals, a much different record that didn’t resonate with me at that particular time. By then, I’d already moved on to punk and hardcore, and Manson was largely an afterthought.
I’ve sampled a few newer songs of his over this years, but Marilyn Manson for the most part hasn’t done much for me for two decades. Every now and again I’ll still put on Portrait of an American Family (it still rules), but it most definitely isn’t in my main rotation.
When word got out that Manson would be making a tour stop at The Louisville Palace, the 14 year old in me got super excited, leading me to anxiously get tickets right away. I’d never seen him before, so I figured “fuck it, why not now? If not now, when?”
When Marilyn Manson at last took the stage, it was quickly evident to me that despite reports of rocky live shows, he was on point for this show in particular. He was full of energy, and his voice sounded surprisingly good. I wasn’t expecting his signature screeches to hit the pitches they did throughout their set, but was certainly blown away at his range, if not just his willingness to exert himself to get those pitches. Maybe I set the bar a little low for this performance, but everything was hitting me right in the sweet spot from start to finish.
My favorite part of the show was when Manson got behind a large podium to perform “Antichrist Superstar” which might be my favorite MM song he’s ever put out. There’s something about him behind an oversized podium that really does it for me. He looked like a classic villain or horror movie character as he theatrically maneuvered through each verse and chorus. Watch a video of this below: