Marilyn Manson Concert Review – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE – January 30, 2015
Marilyn Manson took the stage in Pittsburgh at Stage AE with gusto. Riding high on the success of his new album ‘The Pale Emperor,’ fans were treated to a completely new side of Manson. The new album, with music written by popular movie composer Tyler Bates, showcases a new, bluesy, deep side of the artist. Deep grooves, as well as the evolution of Manson’s voice to a more mature, blues ridden vocals helped to propel the album- and the live show- to new levels. Bates is the musical director as well as lead guitarist for this run of the tour and his influence shows in the live shows. Gone are the days when Manson trotted out broken wine bottles and took the stage wearing stilts. That Manson, now 46 years old, has been replaced by an artist who eschews such tactics and instead, focuses on his vocal delivery and his direct connection with the crowd.
The show opened with the successful single from the new album entitled “Deep Six.” Instantly, the sold out crowd went wild. Not only is Manson seeing an increase in ticket sales, but he is also experiencing a renaissance of the fans, as they appear more rabid for the new material than ever. Couched on either side by banners of the Cross of Lorraine, which Manson has adopted as one of his favorite symbols, Manson took the stage with a swagger and depth of voice that we have not heard in years. The days of Manson taking the stage and delivering scratchy, questionable vocals are over. Manson came out at this show and sounded as if he had been undergoing serious work with a vocal coach. The result was astounding and kept the crowd going throughout the next few songs from previous albums. A highlight was the performance of “No Reflection” from his last album “Born Villain,” Manson stalked the stage like he owned it.
Material from the new album was next, with the song “Killing Strangers,” that explores violence in American culture with strong hooks and a memorable chorus: “And we got guns, we got guns Motherfuckers better, better better run, We got guns, we got guns, Motherfuckers better run.”
Instead of many wardrobe changes as we have seen in the past, Manson opted to perform the set in his black leather military garb, complete, as always, with black leather gloves as well as his signature microphone with a knife plunging out from the bottom. He played with accessories such as a lovely fur to add a little more panache and flash to the set. No Manson fan can resist him getting all dolled up for them.
He further delved into some older material, including a wonderful “Sweet Dreams,” a cover of the Eurythmics that he has made popular over the course of his career, had a refreshing new arrangement and brought the house down.
“Cupid Carries a Gun,” the theme song to the hit show ‘Salem’ followed thereafter and had all his fans screaming to “Pound Me the Witch Drums” and tossing endless fellow fans into the air as they enjoyed crowd diving. The set was a great mix of old and new material, and the mix was excellent, as it did not focus on any one era of Manson for too long. The crowd was treated to many of Manson’s hits, new material, as well as some haunting new arrangements of old material.
The most unexpected was the song “Coma White” from the ‘Mechanical Animals’ album. It is a song that rarely gets played, but also a haunting melody that obviously struck a chord with the majority of concertgoers. This was the encore song, and as the crowd was covered in confetti as Manson sang the ballad, there was an immediate positive response from the crowd to the ‘oldie but goodie’ treat. The show was a rousing success and fans left sweaty and satisfied. Hopefully on the next leg of the tour, Manson will make a stop in Cleveland!