Marilyn Manson (02.09.2015)

manson_hell_hallelujah_75This time out, Mr. Manson has grabbed the music, left the theatrics behind, and managed to entertain his fevering crowd.

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The Pageant, St. Louis

Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson graced the stage this February, bringing his “Hell Not Hallelujah” Tour to St. Louis. On the heels of the release of his latest studio album, The Pale Emperor, this tour is a departure for Manson. Gone is the pulpit with the ripping of bibles. No more crosses made of television sets. And as for the anti-Christian rants, they’re long gone too.

So, with nothing left to shock with, what makes this new tour worth seeing? Manson himself. Manson is one of the few real rock stars left, and he still carries himself as such. Stripped down to simple backdrops, but it came across better than it ever has. Pulling from most of his past catalog, tracks like “Disposable Teens”, “Rock Is Dead”, and the uber hit “Sweet Dreams” (originally by the Eurythmics), Manson has never been in such good voice.

So what of the new material that gives it raving reviews? With Tyler Bates on guitar, and of course Twiggy Ramirez on bass, new tracks like “Deep Six” and “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” rocked live, establishing The Reverend as an actual vocalist for the first time in his career. His delivery was still raw, but melody and key no longer elude him, making way for simply screams. The new-tailored version of Manson’s vocal is clear, on-key, yet still demonic.

Though the set was mysteriously short, the song selection was right on point. “Personal Jesus” and “This is the New Shit” rounded out the show. This time out, Mr. Manson has grabbed the music, left the theatrics behind, and managed to entertain his fevering crowd. The new material, including “Killing Strangers,” easily held its own against the usual favorites.

Perhaps the coupling of the theatrics of the past, with the melodic, well-delivered material of the present would be a welcomed marriage. After all, a mellow Marilyn Manson holds little appeal. Yet, a melodic, dramatic show might just be a most logical step in the artist’s future. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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