Marcus Villiers
Marcus Villiers

Marilyn Manson - City National Grove Anaheim - February 20, 2013

Marilyn Manson 
City National Grove of Anaheim 
February 20, 2012 

Many people have been claiming that Marilyn Manson has lost his edge, he's a 90s relic and about as relevant to this current generation as flip phones and Hot Topic stores. Judging by his performance at the Grove last night, there were times early on where we almost sided with the haters. Despite the fact that he was there to support his latest album Born Villain, the vocals on songs like the album's lead track "Hey Cruel World" were noticeably lackluster. To be honest, it seemed like these were songs that he was least interesting in playing. Not only were the vocals mediocre, but Manson's stage presence was not as strong as it was for songs like "King Kill 33." That was not the only problem of the night, the bass was a little too high and the Grove did not bother to put up the cameras so that even the short people could see what was going on stage. Most of what I saw was his head and a few costumes.

For each song Manson was singing, he had a costume that was appropriate for the song. After launching into "The Love Song" from 2000's Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) he came out in a red priest outfit. It is always nice to see him try to upstage himself. Aside from the two songs that had crap vocals, all the other songs sounded amazing and one could tell that he was putting more effort into actually singing. In fact Manson had played a large variety of songs, new, old, famous, and fan favorites.

I was very surprised to see him pull out a guitar and start playing for his new track "Slo-Mo-Tion." It broke up the performance in just the right spot. He went from him being crazy all over the stage to a reserved rockstar for the songs that had more feeling. When he had come out to perform "King Kill 33," he had a podium, much like many of the history pictures we see of great men giving a speech, he of course ripped up a bible in typical Manson fashion. It seemed more like a commentary on how we still pay attention to someone who has all of the mics on them and they can say whatever they want and we listen.

Probably the greatest surprise of the night was when he started to play fan favorite "Coma White." He came out on stage after a brief costume change, wearing all white with fake snow falling around him. The emotion behind his voice made it one of the highlights of the night.

Like everything there are ups and downs but overall, Manson gave a stellar performance. Apparently the people who are talking trash that he has sold out sucks now have no idea what they are talking about.

The Crowd: People in their early 20's to people in their early 40's. There was not the "freaks" that everyone thinks but mainly a lot of metal heads and some Goth folk. Oh can't forget about the ass hole protestors yelling at the lesbian couple saying they are going to hell.

Personal Bias: I have been trying to see Manson for ten years. It was a fan girl dream come true and I even managed to get a shirt because someone literally handed me the five dollars I needed for it.

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