If everyone had prayed for “hell not hallelujah” like Marilyn Manson proclaims in the new song “Cupid Carries a Gun,” maybe we all would have been at the Terminal 5 show Monday night. As it is, the overhyped “snowpocalypse” of 2015 that shut down New York City bumped the show to Thursday instead. Ironically, some flurries did pummel the city at the show’s conclusion, likely leaving those clambering for subways, taxis, or a train home thinking back to the way Manson likened snow to cocaine last night.
Although the postponement news hit the internet rather late on Monday, nobody missed the memo, as the line around Terminal 5 wrapped around several blocks. As the crowd filtered in and flooded the multiple floors of the venue, the show began in a timely manner with the truly gifted metal group Unlocking the Truth. These teenagers already possess so much talent at such a young age that they put plenty of modern rock and metal to shame with their passion and inventiveness.
With the simplest stage setup in years for Manson (consisting of a graphics screen that, for the majority of the night, displayed the refurbished MM logo), fog bled onto the tiny Terminal 5 stage as the lengthy strains of Mozart’s “Requiem” filtered through the space amidst some minor light tricks. All at once, the fog seemed to dissipate as Manson and crew (which includes long-time band mate Twiggy Ramirez as well as the Pale Emperor collaborator Tyler Bates) launched into the raucous opener “Deep Six.”
While prior Manson set lists from the fresh Hell Not Hallelujah tour had been dominated by songs from Manson’s moody new disc, it felt as though last night he wanted to make up for the postponement by digging as deep into his back catalogue as 1994. For the next two hours, fans would be treated to covers and singles spanning Manson’s entire career.
Manson was effervescent, engaging the crowd between every song, telling stories that were so fantastical or sexual that you were only half-sure that you couldn’t believe them. At one point, a crew member tied Manson’s shoe in the midst of one of his quips. There was a minor mishap as the first half of “mOBSCENE” from 2003’s the Golden Age of Grotesque fell apart and out of time only to be recovered. The first few songs also seemed to serve as a warm-up for Manson, who, by the time he launched into the sexy, slinky new track “Killing Strangers,” was in his element, his voice raw and still powerful.
Those who hoped for some shock value may have been disappointed. Manson ripped no pages out of a false bible, stood on no pedestals, wore no fancy costumes. Glitter rained down on the crowd several times and smoke shot out fire-like in time with a few tunes. Panties piled on the stage and Manson lapped the attention right up. Just like with his new album, last night at Terminal 5 he stripped back several layers to reveal a performer that doesn’t need flourishes to still entertain the hell out of a crowd.
At one point during the show, Manson referred to a Kerrang journalist who would be reviewing the show, and the singer implored the crowd to cheer for a rating of 5 Ks. With the inclusion of such treats as his eerie covers of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and “Personal Jesus” as well as beloved classics like “the Dope Show,” “Disposable Teens,” “This Is the New Shit,” and “Irresponsible Hate Anthem,” Manson definitely deserves that rating.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
“Cupid Carries a Gun”
“Rock Is Dead”
“The Dope Show”
“Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”
“This Is the New Shit”
“The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles”
“The Beautiful People”
“Irresponsible Hate Anthem” (encore)