5th April 2013 at 23:09

2012.12.05 - Rob Zombie / Marilyn Manson @ Stockholm10/10


RobZombieMarilynManson_StartingpictureCity, сountry: Stockholm, Sweden
Location: Hovet
Date: 2012.12.05

Author: Stefanie Singh (FacebookTwitter, BlogSpot)

Rating: 10/10

"Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie are doing it, finally, and tour together!": This announcement in July 2012 made an impact in the Rock and Metal scene, and even Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson couldn't stop to enthuse about each other...

Rob Zombie: "Finally! Why did the most obvious tour take so long to happen? Who knows? Who cares? It's happening now [...] If good taste is the chief enemy of great art, then we should be able to fill the Louvre with this fucking tour. Be prepared for something wicked this way a-coming."

RobZombieMarilynManson_Textpicture1_MMMarilyn Manson: "I have sympathy for the Whore of Babylon that gave birth to these twins of evil, and this abomination of a tour [...] There is no babysitter, and there is no repairing her womb. If Rob Zombie doesn't fuck you up, than I surely will. [...] Hide all drugs and firearms... I'm coming to town."

No sooner the "The Twins Of Evil" tour had begun at the end of September 2012 in North America, all the enthusiasm for each other was gone: Marilyn Manson complained that his co-headliner Rob Zombie had cut into his set time, and so he promised him a good beating in return. In reply to that, Rob Zombie not only dedicated his cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" to "the only real shock rocker there ever was, Alice Cooper, not some punk-ass bitch" but also explained himself on his facebook profile: "As stupid as this all is, I feel I must clear things up a little better. [...] Unfortunately things turned ugly backstage. Why? I don't know, but for some reason our touring partner decided to end his set by blaming me for something that I had nothing to do with and screaming he was going to "kick Rob Zombie's ass as soon as he got off stage". [...] It is all 4rd grade fight after school nonsense of which I have never dealt with on tour before. [...] Anyway, sorry to the fans who had to deal with the embarrassing stupidity of it all. We are all there for the same reasons, to give you the best show ever... That's it."


A serious fight or some kind of publicity stunt to promote their ongoing tour which isn't as sold out as one might have expected beforehand? In any case, one could only hope for the ticket holders that this tour would be completed. And, indeed: After the North American leg of the tour, they managed to come to Europe, and within this framework, they are going to invade Sweden's capital Stockholm tonight. So far, the opinions in the media are unanimous: Marilyn Manson has had his days while Rob Zombie delivers a brilliant performance. But neither Manson nor Zombie are going to win the title of the ultimate evil tonight since the winner seems to be a meteorological phenomenon called "snökaos" [in English: "snow chaos"]. If you - like my humble self - just arrived from Finland where currently heavy snow storms are raging, you can only smirk about the hullabaloo concerning the gently falling snow in Stockholm. Ok, it's a bit more snow than usual, but: Come on, we are here in Scandinavia! One would think that Sweden should be familiar with handling snow, even if it is a bit more...


However: Today's concert evening in the "Hovet" arena will be opened by Marilyn Manson. First you hear the title track "Suspiria" from the homonymous horror movie by Dario Argento as an intro before the curtain falls down to the floor and the show starts with "Hey, Cruel World...", the opener of the current album "Born Villain". As already mentioned, the reviews regarding the performance of Marilyn Manson are more than annihilating, and independent of those, I myself was more than sceptical about what to expect tonight since I had seen the honorary member of Anton Szandor LaVey's "Church Of Satan" already live in the year 2003 - and it was one of the most dreadful concerts I have ever experienced. But tonight, almost 10 years later, some things are different: Ok, Marilyn Manson isn't a spring chicken anymore, he has gained a bit of weight and his voice is sometimes so raspy that you wouldn't recognise it right away as his voice. But the shock rocker does his best, and for that, you have to give him credit for. And even though I am basically of the opinion that the setlist on the corresponding tour for an album should be dominated by the songs of the associated album: In case of the "Antichrist Superstar", it's probably better that "Born Villain" is represented by three songs only ("Hey, Cruel World...", "No Reflection" and "Slo-Mo-Tion") and that the rest of the setlist is consisting of well-known hits such as "Disposable Teens", "The Love Song", "mOBSCENE", "Rock Is Dead", "King Kill 33º", "Antichrist Superstar", "The Beautiful People" and the cover versions of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" and Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)".

The songs of the last two, more than weak opuses "Eat Me, Drink Me" (2007) and "The High End Of Low" (2009) are even completely omitted. A wise decision. Another plus is the fact that Mister Manson doesn't act as arrogant and condescending as it was the case nearly 10 years ago in Dresden / Germany. Here in Stockholm, he even visited a karaoke event at "Pub Anchor" the night before and sang Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" and Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender", unusually modest and close to the audience. The highlights of tonight's performance are called "The Dope Show" - where the word "DRUGS" lights up repeatedly in the background - and "Coma White" where snow is falling from the ceiling. But it's such little snow and falls so gently that no-one would dare to talk about a "snökaos" within the "Hovet" arena...


Then comes Rob Zombie - and he really raises the roof of the "Hovet" arena: From various screens on which sequences of his horror movies are shown to gigantic creatures like robots and aliens who are moving on stage, nothing is left out. In comparison to that, Marilyn Manson's confetti rain appears like a children's birthday party. So that's why Rob Zombie is famous not only as a musician and filmmaker but also as a perfectionist. Really everything is perfect, down to the smallest detail, and perfectionism is also demanded from the bandmembers. While Marilyn Manson's bass player Twiggy Ramirez - who left the band in 2002 and returned in 2008 - appears rather unimpressive, John 5 (earlier also active in the band of Marilyn Manson) turns out to be a reliable attention whore in Rob Zombie's crew. With drummer Ginger Fish, there is even a second former bandmember of Marilyn Manson in the current line-up of Rob Zombie so one might joke that the husband of actress Sheri Moon Zombie lets his bandmembers first practice with Marilyn Manson before they are good enough and allowed to join his band. In return, John 5 as well as Ginger Fish get generous solo parts while being on stage for the former White Zombie frontman. Also the introductions of the director of horror movies such as "House Of 1000 Corpses" are entertaining: "Stockholm! When we rolled in here tonight, we knew the show is sold out. But a lot of these empty seats, man..." Whoever told Rob Zombie that tonight's show was sold out: At least for this one person, the "snökaos" might have come in the nick of time 'cause "Hovet" with its capacity of 9800 was definitely not sold out as a look at the ticket sales just before the whole event started revealed.


After the performance of "The Lords Of Salem", Rob Zombie is still not fully happy with the audience: "I know some people were stuck in the snow... But really: Very, very quiet!" In order to warm up the audience a little bit more, he starts to cover Metallica's "Enter Sandman" with the words: "Hey, why not?!?" It seems to work - and as soon as he has achieved this goal, he just stops the cover. Next to songs of his former project White Zombie ("More Human Than Human" and "Thunder Kiss '65") and Alice Cooper's "School's Out", there isn't any time for covers anyway. From "Superbeast", "Living Dead Girl" and "Meet The Creeper" (from Zombie's best selling album to date, "Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales Of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International"), to "Scum Of The Earth" and "Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)" (from "The Sinister Urge") to songs from the current opus "Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls And The Systematic Dehumanization Of Cool" ("Jesus Frankenstein", "Sick Bubblegum" and "Mars Needs Women"), the setlist is full with compositions by the master of horror. And this master becomes a little happier when he discovers a few beards in the audience: "I like that there are lots of beards here... That's nice! Everybody looks like a fucking Viking. I feel good about it." After the sensational encore "Dragula", he covers himself with the flag of Sweden and leaves the stage with the words: "Thanks for coming all, man! I know... What a fucked up day!"

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Without any doubt, the "snökaos" was omnipresent tonight. But a "fucked up day"?!? Oh no! At least the evening was brilliant, with a Marilyn Manson show which was far better than expected and a performance of Rob Zombie which was perfect, down to the smallest detail. And the evening is not over yet, thanks to the "Twins Of Evil: Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson After Show Party" at "Slakthuset"...

Photos by Stefanie Singh

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