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.

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  • David C on

    I’m not a Manson fan, just not my cup of tea. He doesn’t give a s–t what anyone thinks, I can appreciate that but there are a ton of “artists” who you can say the same thing about that usually produce just s–t, or say stupid s–t. Like dumbass Michael Moore.

    Not criticizing anyone who likes him because to each his own, and obviously he has some regional appeal especially in the east.

  • Doug R. on

    Get well to my buddy James K., sorry to hear about your back dude, “SOMEBODY GET HIM A DOCTOR!” Come on “TOP JIMMY”, only 3 more weeks ’til premier TMS, so “GET UP” and make it work! Well, it’s Saturday, and it’s party time! In the words of Ozzy, PARTY, “PARTY WITH THE ANIMALS”! This one’s for you James, CHEERS BUDDY! 😉

    • James K. on

      Thanks Doug, that’s awesome of you! I’m gonna be out of commission for a while but that’s life I guess. I’ll bounce back, I’m too stubborn not to. Obeying doctor’s orders is a pain in the ass, though. But never fear, my TMS premiere party is still on! I don’t care if I have to be wheeled into the party, I’m partying with my friends that night! I found out the hard way last week that I’m not a kid anymore and I paid the price big time. My only Van Halen reference to this has a back story: True story, since birth, thanks to my mom, nobody in my family calls me James. They all call me Jamie and I hate it. So as I got hurt last week and fell to the ground and couldn’t get up, all I can say is “OH, OH, OH, JAMIE’S CRYING, WAH-WAH”. I’ve hated that damn song since I was 9 years old! Cheers my friend!

      And many thanks to Dana, Harry and Carlos for the well wishes. That was great of you and I appreciate it very much.

    • James K. on

      Another thing I can say is while I’m on the DL I’ve used the opportunity to listen to albums galore, many of which I haven’t listened to in decades in some cases. I listened to SAVATAGE POWER OF THE NIGHT yesterday evening and I don’t think I’ve heard that album in full since I was a teenager! I also listened to BLACK SABBATH’S TECHNICAL ECSTASY and NEVER SAY DIE and even though those are the worst Ozzy era albums, there’s some good stuff on them to. I’m kinda stuck in bed right now, so I’m taking advantage of the rest time and I’m going nuts listening to albums and watching concert dvds. Anyone have any suggestions? My doctor said, unless I do something stupid, I’ll be on my feet for my TMS premiere party no problem but I’ll have to take it easy and there’s to be no headbanging or moshing at the party for old James K. I can’t wait! It’s been too damn long already! I just hope VH1 Classic doesn’t make us wait until February 2016 for the next season!

    • Doug R. on

      You’re welcome James, I hope you’re feeling better, hang in there! It’s good to be young at heart, but you have to be smart, you’re only human, so don’t let your body fall apart, or you’ll turn into an old fart! LOL! We may not be the “ATOMIC PUNK” or the “IRON MAN” anymore, but we still know how to party, and that’s for damn sure! Rock on James, get well soon, only 18 more days to go, take care bud, cheers! 🙂

  • Jason Falkinham on

    Saw them many times on the Portrait, Children and Antichrist tours…gave up when Mechanical Animals came out. It’s a real shame that he doesn’t play anything at all from the Portrait album. That is such a killer album!

  • Jae Beaman on

    Gotta say, Manson cares about his audience, which is way different than caring what an audience thinks.. He has continually reinvented himself but his audience still gets what they want. I am seeing him on the 11th in Denver at the Fillmore Auditorium. Should be a great time. He is one of the few acts out there that can make 1/3rd of his show new material but it all fits in a very relevent way and its not met with yawns and beer travels…I think the greatest thing about Manson (and this has been said before many times about metal) is that the more reclusive and underground one is as a fan, the more loyalty and respect for his craft is had. When a group of people far and large LOOK for the tour dates and LOOK for the announcements, it’s hard to go wrong….And why is that? Becuase we wouldn’t be here if he didn’t deliver time after time. Hey Eddie, I wonder what your thoughts are on the ironic name of his current tour… You think it’s a jab? A respectful nod? At any rate it’s interesting.

  • Mark Ellis on

    Unlike many of my headbanger pals, I actually liked Manson when he first came out, bought some of his records, and went to a big show in Portland. Twiggy Ramirez, (whose last name comes from the original serial killer dubbed The Night Prowler after the AC-DC song) really shredded that night, and total creepazoid Manson was something new. Although classic Pantera and John Bush era Anthrax were my mainstays, I was living in the heart of grunge, and was ready for some thoroughly decadent dressed up rock and roll hedonism.

    I think Manson might have been on absinthe when he came on TMS. This review helps me decide whether I’ll spring for a nostalgia ticket, and see Manson when he comes to Portland in March.

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