With his return to the studio and the stage in the past year, Marilyn Manson has reaffirmed everything you ever thought about him – good or bad. But there’s so much more to him than an absence of hips and an excess of foundation. In a double hit of memories this week and next, Wind Back Wednesday explores the theatre and the mind of MM.
To start, a concert in 2007 when he was bringing together the despised and unloved in a way that was not repeated until the recent meetings of Peter Dutton’s coup plotters.
Hordern Pavilion, October 6
Cliches are so passé. We, that is Marilyn Manson and the Herald, will have no truck with them.
Oh yes, we know how easy it would be to categorise and mock Marilyn Manson - man, band and quite possibly beast - and his audience as dark agents of the soul out and about when the only winged creatures of the night to be found at the Hordern Pavilion are not vampiric bats but bogong moths. But we won't.
We know how easy it would be to look up on stage at the hipless, kohl-mining, self-declared God Of Fuck, a man who encouraged us with no apparent irony to declare that "we hate love/we love hate" (the devil!) and say you're nothing but a song-less, Alice Cooper meets Trent Reznor imitator recycling shock rock, cheap theatrics and industrial metal. But we won't.
After all, look beyond the brutal programmed beats, the shards of cold guitars and the hoarse calls to action for all of us "disposable teens" and we see a man who won't be constrained by society's petty rules and conventions. An individual who cocks a powdered snoot at rules, as we saw first hand.
Why, if it says he's meant to be on stage at 9pm, by golly, by jingo, he will go on stage at 9.30pm. Take that you fascists!
We know how easy it would be to look around the room and its vast sea of black on black on black clothing, with splashes of red and daubs of white (mostly on the heavily made up faces) and say " oh alienated youth, oh rebels without a cause but access to mummy's cosmetics". But we … Hey, hold on a minute, that boy over there, walking past another clutch of women in bodices and bustiers, under his black jacket, isn't that a Manly jersey?
It is. I kid you not.
Clearly this night, this moth-ridden atmosphere pf sub-metal grind and electro rhythms is where all of society's outcasts can gather and feel as one. Which is nice, don't you think? Sweet.