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Marilyn Manson looked more glum than usual at the Concord Pavilion

in SF Concert Reviews by

The Christian activists were out in full force last night at the Concord Pavilion. Chants of “Repent, Sinners!”, “Jesus Christ will save all you devil worshipers!” echoed as audience members made their way into the arena. The outrage was over the arrival of the most famous antichrist superstar of them all, Marilyn Manson. Labeled “The End Times” tour, the double bill with the Smashing Pumpkins seems a little odd at first — since Manson and Corgan used to share a strong dislike for one another — but in the end made sense since both bands played such a big part in defining the culture and sounds of the 80s and 90s.

For those of you that don’t know Manson, he’s an American icon, a heavy metal superstar who’s sold more than 50 million albums to date and was riding the peak of his success in the mid-90s. What he looks like today is a pale middle-aged man that looks like he shops too often at the local Hot Topic. That being said, he is still very relevant (his latest release “The Pale Emperor” debuted at #8 on the Billboard charts) and he’s also no dummy. When you hear him interviewed his vitriol often revolves around the topic of America’s obsession with celebrity pop culture and violence (he was born Brian Warner but changed it to combine Marilyn Monroe and serial killer Charles Manson), and he always delivers his interviews in a very articulate and well-spoken way; almost like a philosopher from the darkside.

Last night, he didn’t prove to be quite the rockstar he normally is. Maybe it was due to the fact that the show was outdoors and that it was still daylight out, which may have frightened the night creature. Anyway, the performance suffered from it. Things picked up late into the set when the band played its cover of the Eurythmics’ hit “Sweet Dreams,” when he pulled out the now classic black stilts and jumbo crutches. Those theatrics along with the smoke machines, clouds of confetti and burning bible seemed to build the crowd into a frenzy.

But it wasn’t until Manson asked the crowd “How many people want to hear a really, really old song?” that you got the hint that Manson’s lack of enthusiasm may in part be due to the fact that he may have performed the same old song and dance for one too many times. Either that or he didn’t like having to go up on stage before Corgan.

Set list:

“Deep Six”
“Disposable Teens”
“No Reflection”
“Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
“Angel With the Scabbed Wings”
“The Love Song”
“Rock Is Dead”
“The Dope Show”
“Antichrist Superstar”
“The Beautiful People”

With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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