SHOW REVIEW: Marilyn Manson was just weird enough at The Louisville Palace 8/5

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?”

After securing my tickets, I decided to dig in to his recent tours and performances, and became concerned when I read multiple accounts of Manson showing up to shows blitzed out of his mind on booze, drugs, or both. There were reports of him sloppily mumbling through sets, reports of him cutting sets short, and reports of him abruptly not showing up for the show due to an “unforeseen illness”. Despite all of the red flags, I was excited. 

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.

The band would go on to perform classic tracks like “Angel With Scabbed Wings”, “Tourniquet”, “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These”, and of course the always crowd pleasing “The Beautiful People”. The rest of the set was largely made up of newer songs that I’m not overly familiar with, and while I’m not necessarily a fan of his later tunes, I had a good time watching and listening. It is a bit of a bummer that he played nothing from his first record, but whatever I guess. The band finished the show with an interesting cover of Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister”. Check out the full setlist here.

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:

Overall, the show was as good of an experience as I could have hoped for. It was a satisfying nostalgia trip that scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. The crowd was very loud and receptive and seemed to be having as good of a time as I was, at least in my section. I can’t speak for Marilyn Manson shows from the past, but I can easily say that his stop at The Louisville Palace was a great time. He certainly isn’t as shocking as he used to be, but on Sunday evening he was just weird enough to keep my attention for an hour and a half.

One thought on “SHOW REVIEW: Marilyn Manson was just weird enough at The Louisville Palace 8/5

  • August 11, 2018 at 12:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. I have also been a fan since Antichrist Superstar but had never gotten the chance to see him live. I think he put on a phenomenal show in the midst of his tour with Rob Zombie. My only negative…that I didn’t fork out the money to get front row. He was so interactive with the crowd and especially to the ones right in front of him. He even took off his jacket and put a shirt on that a fan handed him. Just a stellar show and the crowd really felt it. I traveled over two hours to come to the show and can’t wait for him to come back this way again.

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