29th November 2017
Marilyn Manson – “The Heaven upside down tour 2017” – Support: Dinos Chapman
A little late for Halloween, but fittingly on a dark, cold November night, MARILYN MANSON summoned his disciples into the Mitsubishi Electric Hall in Düsseldorf, and 6,500 people heeded the call.
But before the Reverend of the Church of Satan entered the stage, the concertgoers were in for a special treat: A DJ set by the older of two brothers known in the artistic world as JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN. The two brothers from London have been at the centre of a few controversial exhibitions, and they in several ways have raised the bar in terms of provocation even for a non-conformist movement such as the young British artists. DINOS now seems to have found a new playing field for causing controversy, by applying his talents to create what I would rather call soundscapes than music. If you are in the mood, head over to his Facebook comment section, and watch him getting into heated exchanges with people voicing disapproval over his performance (“As if you could do better fuck face xxx”) at https://www.facebook.com/DinosChapmanOfficial
Music & Performance
At 8pm, DINOS entered the stage without a single look at the crowd. Instead he bowed over his laptop, and after clicking a few buttons, atmospheric ambient sounds started to emanate from the speakers, which were soon accompanied by some sort of seemingly random beats. A few people in the crowd likened what they heard to whale sounds, before they headed out of the concert hall to get a beer. The created soundscapes grew a little more intense over the course of the 30 min., making it impossible to maintain a conversation inside the hall. On the other hand, DINOS ‘ambient electronic noise’ gracefully eclipsed the boos and whistles from the increasingly impatient crowd. If you as a kid liked to watch test pictures on the television, or listening to white noise on the radio, you should probably check out the 2013 release ‘Luftbobler’, which was – as the promotional material puts it with unusual frankness “inspired by insomnia, horror movies and boredom, and made in a DIY-fashion in the basement of his East London home”. Let that sink in for a moment.
Total: 3 / 10
Since its inception in 1989, MARILYN MANSON (or Brian Hugh Warner, as his passport says) and his band members have been masters of provocation. This starts with the name, combining two of the most widely known icons of American pop culture, a sex symbol and a serial killer. But also in every other possible way, the singer’s ability to cause controversy has been perfected over time. A few looks at the sometimes troubled band career and its related history of lawsuits confirms that. However, over the last two decades MARILYN MANSON has garnered a loyal followership of fans and been an inspiration to countless other musicians. You can find out more about the band via www.marilynmanson.com or https://www.facebook.com/MarilynManson
Music & Performance
During the stage break, a large black curtain was put up and shielded the stage from the curious gazes of the crowd. At 9pm the lights went dark, and the familiar sounds of ‘The end’ from THE DOORS started to emanate from the speakers. Then a first life sign from the singer in the form of the scream “Deutschläääänd!” emerged. This was immediately followed by the ‘Amen Fugue’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a piece of bombastic classical music, which kept the crowd cheering in anticipation for another 90 seconds. Then, with a deep growl, the black curtain fell, and the band started their opener ‘Revelation #12’ from this year’s album ‘Heaven Upside Down’. MARILYN MANSON, who injured himself in a spectacular on-stage accident beginning of October by fracturing his ankle, when a giant stage decoration of two pistols fell onto him, rolled onto the stage in an electric wheelchair in the form of a giant throne.
The new bass player Juan Alderete also made his impression and raised the escalation level by throwing his instrument into the back of the stage at the end of the first song. The crowd was on fire from the beginning. In the song break, two male nurses appeared, who helped MARILYN MANSON put on a prosthetic leg and a new dress, and carried him to the mic stand. This performance added to the sordid morbidity of the show, which perfectly underscored the evening’s atmosphere. The nurses played a vital part during the show, as the singer needed their assistance for costumes changes after each song. They also shuffled the singer onto a hospital bed, from which he performed the iconic cover song ‘Sweet Dreams (are made of this)’.
Extra compliments go out to the sound engineers, as they managed to carefully balance each instrument’s input level with MARILYN’s extraordinary flexible (aka screaming, howling, squealing and growling voice), while maintaining the necessary intensity of the live show. The nurses drove him around in a wheelchair to the song ‘We Know Where you Fucking Live’, during which MARILYN MANSON pointed something at the crowd that looked like a camcorder with a flashlight and a microphone. This seemed like less of a provocation compared to his appearance during this year’s “Ozzfest” in California, during which he pointed a toy assault rifle at the crowd on the same day another mass shooting occurred in Texas.
After this song, the lights went out after a little more than 70 minutes much to the amazement of the crowd, who had clearly hoped for more songs from the extensive band catalogue. Steady screaming and clapping brought the band back on stage for two more songs, and the evening culminated with MARILYN MANSON clad in a black Nazi uniform, performing ‘The Beautiful People’, and screaming his lungs out in the process. Summarizing, with 80 min. net playtime it has been a rather short but nevertheless intensive experience to witness not only the old hit songs, but also the energetic songs from the recent album ‘Heaven upside down’, which more than proved that MARILYN MANSON is still relevant.
01. Revelation #12
02. This Is the New Shit
03. Disposable Teens
06. Deep Six
07. The Dope Show (with snippet of "I Don't like the Drugs (But the Drugs like Me)”)
09. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
11. We Know Where You Fucking Live
12. Say10 (with snippet of "Saturnalia")
13. Cruci-Fiction in Space
14. The Beautiful People
Total: 9 / 10
Marilyn Manson Pictures by Reflections of Darkness, Dinos Chapman Pictures by Michael Gamon