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12th December 2017

Live review: Marilyn Manson

The godfather of goth puts on an extremely underwhelming and borderline insulting show at O2 Apollo

Marilyn Manson’s show on Monday the 4th of December was disappointing on so many levels. I really like Manson, his persona, and music. It’s over the top, edgy, and fantastically entertaining, and so my expectations were relatively high. To the dismay of the crowd and myself, the sorry excuse for the show he put on at O2 Apollo was unacceptably bad and definitely didn’t justify the £35 price.

Firstly, let me highlight what was good about the show — slim pickings, to say the least. Back in September of this year, Manson injured himself during a show in New York when a prop he was climbing fell on top of him, crushing his ribs, skull and legs. Despite his injuries, he tried to rock the stage with a leg brace that made him look like a wobbly pirate, unintentionally, of course. We could argue that he’s dedicated to his fans and that he truly cared for them but his actions said otherwise.

The list of what went wrong definitely outweighs this stand-alone positive. ‘Amazonica’ opened, or at least tried to open, the show with her metal DJ set. A ‘metal DJ’ is a concept that is already pathetic in itself but Amazonica’s ‘performance’, if you can even call it that, was beyond terrible. She had zero crowd interaction and was just playing a metal playlist in a failed attempt to warm up the crowd.

Said spectators were underwhelmed and then further insulted by Manson’s tardiness. He was supposed to come on at 9pm sharp yet he didn’t show up until half an hour later, making for an hour-long wait between acts. Arriving late to your own show and not apologising is just insulting. As an artist you owe everything to your fans, the least you can do is show up on time.

Manson’s attempt to rock the stage while handicapped was, to put it kindly and simply, bad. I am actually at a loss for words on how disappointed I was. The audio mix was dreadful, it was like listening to mud, if mud was audible. There were some moments where you could just start to hear Manson and his voice is actually fantastic, shame it was drowned out for the vast majority of the evening.

He also kept signalling to his band to stop playing before songs were finished for some unexplainable reason. Our patience was further tested by the long pauses between songs which Marilyn took to have helpers come on stage and change his outfit. It’s part of his absurd persona but on that occasion it was disruptive. I’m sure the audience wouldn’t mind him wearing a single outfit throughout if it meant for a cohesive set.

The crowd were unresponsive to the rocker’s attempts at interaction, so much so that I physically cringed when both of his encores were received in total silence.

Honestly, this has to be the worst gig I’ve been to. Amazonica was hilariously atrocious and Manson just failed to put on a decent show. It may seem harsh to be so critical of a man who is injured and was probably on a lot of painkillers but, if I were in his place, I’d cancel the tour. A canceled show is better than a terrible show.

In Manson’s defence, this was definitely him at his absolute worst. I’d be willing to give him a chance and see him again when he’s fit to perform. But, for now, I cannot say this sorry excuse for a gig was good in any shape or form. Sorry Marilyn.

Rating: 2/10

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