Saw Marilyn Manson last night in NYC at Terminal 5. I have been a fan of Manson’s since the very first album came out. I played it on my radio show and first saw him at a club in NJ called The Birch Hill with maybe 250 people there. It was one of the most insane and disturbingly brilliant shows I have ever seen. Back then very little was known about the man and the band. But what I did know was that at a time when it was extremely uncool to have an image, put on a show, and embrace being a rock star (this was grunge mania era), Manson didn’t give a crap and came out and just went for it. Most of my audience over the years doesn’t quite get Manson it seems or why I like him so much. The showmanship in a time when everyone sounded and acted like Pearl Jam is one of the reasons (I write more about this in my second book). The other is that I truly think most (not all, but most) of his music is pretty amazing. And the albums are produced brilliantly. Mechanical Animals among my all time favorites, and I love the new one The Pale Emperor as well. Manson shook things up when they desperately needed to be in rock and made it okay to put on a show and be a rock star again. I watched him go from a club act to arenas. To small stage props to insane arena productions. I saw the peaks and valleys, the controversy, the lineup changes, and in recent times the slip ups where his excesses started to impact his songs and performances. The truth is that a few years ago some, especially in the UK, thought Manson was a dead issue and had let himself fall apart. But a couple years ago a very solid album called Born Villain was released. Things got better. Now last week Pale Emperor takes another huge leap back. It will enter #8 next week on the overall sales charts and has sold more than 50K in one week, a huge number by today’s standards. I don’t know Manson that well. We have hung a couple times and text from time to time. We had him on TMS a couple times and he wasn’t all there. But you know what? In this day of super PC answers and everyone acting so safe, I kind of liked it and found it fun. Manson is an artist in the truest sense. Always creating, always taking chances, always reinventing, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s also had some great talent around him like Twiggy Ramirez, John 5, and most recently Tyler Bates to name a few. Much like Alice Cooper which started as a band and became a solo thing, Marilyn Manson these days is all about the person the group was named after. The shows have all been sold out or near sold out. Last night there had to be at least 3500 crammed into the venue with no name opening act. In a market like NYC where his music gets no play outside of my weekly Q104.3 radio show this is pretty amazing in and of it self. It was younger and older fans and they were totally into it all night. 5 new songs and many from the catalog were featured. Manson has so many great songs in my view it’s now becoming tough to do a set list. Twiggy is all that remains in the band from the early days but this current lineup is really good. Way less reliance on any canned tracks, two guitars, way more raw live rock. It was so good to see this turn out for a heavy rock artist in NYC and made me feel good to know rock fans are out there and will find this stuff even if local radio doesn’t play it. Check out the new album if you were ever a fan. Rock needed Manson to kick it up it’s ass when he debuted in ’94, and it was great to see he is still kicking it strong in 2015!
Catch my radio show tonight 11PM ET on Q104.3 NYC and WAAF Boston. Streaming free on both stations. It will be an encore show tonight due to the snow storm earlier in the week delaying my shows delivery. If in NJ area don’t forget I’ll be live with Don & Jim at Mexicali in Teaneck NJ tomorrow night. Tickets and VIP meet & greet tickets available at the door. Live music and special guests include Whitesnake’s Joel Hoekstra and Adrenaline Mob’s Mike Orlando. Show starts at 8P.