houston, Houston US 


November 4, 1998



I remember this was a crazy night. First, 12 Rounds was the opening band and they killed it! I had only heard the album they put out on Nothing Records ('My Big Hero') at this point, and it was pretty cool. But I was not expecting the ferocity of the songs from their first album 'Jitter Juice'. Needless to say, I was very impressed with their performance and sought out all of their material after the show. Atticus Ross has gone on to work with Trent Reznor scoring soundtracks and also performing with him in How To Destroy Angels.

Now for the Manson spectacle that night. I remember some asshole fans in the audience acting like complete shitheads. They were obviously not on board with the changes that Manson had made between 'Antichrist Superstar' and 'Mechanical Animals'. A bunch of homophobes and jocko mongoloids were in attendance. They were getting crazy during the amped up songs, as we all were. It seemed like it was going to be one hell of a show. But Manson changed his costume into the breast outfit, and the creeps began their antics. They were throwing beer and cat calling, and the downward spiral began. They became more and more obnoxious as the show went on, and finally they began cheering (VERY loudly) when the sound was cutting out during 'Last Day on Earth'. I remember Manson was singing softly, with the fake snow falling, and a bunch of dickheads started jeering at him ... "Fuck this faggot shit!"//"BOO!"//"This is a pussy song!"//"Play some Antichrist!" Fucking assholes. Manson got pissed and stormed off the stage. I thought there was going to be a riot. Like I said before, it was a crazy night. Read the article from the Houston Chronicle after the setlist below.

1. Inauguration of the Mechanical Christ (intro)
2. The Reflecting God
3. Great Big White World
4. Cake and Sodomy
5. Posthuman
6. Mechanical Animals
7. I Want to Disappear
8. The Speed of Pain
9. Rock Is Dead
10. The Dope Show
11. Lunchbox
12. User Friendly
13. I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)
14. The Last Day on Earth
15. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
[NOTE: the band started playing "Sweet Dreams", but Manson had already left the stage. The band looked confused for a second, then just quit playing and walked off too.]

by Joey Guerra for The Houston Chronicle [1998]

Marilyn Manson waged a fierce battle Wednesday night at Aerial Theater, but it wasn't against nervous parents dismayed with his shock-rock antics or the religious groups that staged a counter-concert across the street at Jones Plaza.

The now-redheaded rocker's war was with his own fans, whose excited antics sabotaged the set and sound system.

After an hour of sound and light mishaps, the behind-baring star threw down his microphone and stormed off the stage during the opening strains of Sweet Dreams, a song off the 1995 album, Smells Like Children. Band members looked a bit miffed for a few moments, but they made their exits once they realized their sideshow ringleader wasn't returning and left the sold-out crowd noticeably in shock.

"It was legitimate technical problems out of the control of the band, and they were pretty bummed," Manson's manager Tony Ciulla said Thursday from a tour stop in Dallas. "Some fan threw a beer, and it hit the mixing board. It seeps down into the circuits, and that's why (the sound) was cutting out intermittently. We can't do anything about that."

Ciulla said other aspects of the show were affected by fans throwing beer onstage, as well. Silver backdrops came halfway down and were pulled back up during The Dope Show, the first single from Manson's Mechanical Animals; and an enormous sign flashing the word `drugs' in capital letters was half lit during most of I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me). Two songs, Sweet Dreams and Beautiful People, were left out of the set.

"Manson was upset that he couldn't do those songs," Ciulla said. "He said they knew something was up with the sound. It was probably more disappointing for the band than the fans who thought the show was cut a little short."

The show's early ending angered fans, who chanted "Hell no, we won't go!" and shouted other expletives as they slowly filed out of the theater. The protests continued for a while, but it was clear Manson wasn't returning.

Problems beyond the usual community protests have plagued Manson's 17-city tour throughout its run. A Halloween show in St. Paul, Minn., was cut short when Manson took a fall from the stage before his first encore. Sound problems also caused an abrupt exit in Kansas City, Kan., on Oct. 26.

For the hour or so Manson was in the building, he changed outfits three times, doing his best to create a sort of glam-rock hybrid of Iggy Pop, Prince and an early '90s Madonna. He pranced around like an X-rated court jester in a blue bodysuit accented with sparkly silver patches and Manson's own bare behind; stood ominously upstage in a black trenchcoat and fedora; and shimmied like a Las Vegas showgirl in a glittering red number, complete with feathered sleeves. Scantily clad backup singers echoed the sequins-and-sleaze theme.

Manson's girlfriend, actress Rose McGowan (The Doom Generation, Scream), was in attendance and sat with the sound crew in the middle of the theater during the abbreviated show. She danced languidly along with the music, but seemed a bit dismayed at fans' constant requests for autographs.

Onstage, Manson hiked himself up on a pair of stilts for a dramatic rendition of Mechanical Animals as fans aggressively slammed into each other in large mosh pits on the floor. He charged through the industrial-rock drone of Rock is Dead, The Reflecting God and Cake and Sodomy with equally fierce abandon.

It's hard not to be impressed by Manson's intensity, even as he crowds his show with so many attention-getting antics. Still, spitting water on security guards and tucking a microphone into questionable areas of one's body is more tired than titillating.

Manson's persona as a performer is full of incongruities and contradictions, some disturbing, some nonsensical. His pro-drug stance angers parents and government officials. His adoption of Marilyn Manson as a stage name (Brian Warner is his real name), however, seems based in teen-rebel simplicity. He claims to have combined the names of the most positive (Marilyn Monroe) and negative (Charles Manson) figures in pop culture. Nevermind the fact that Monroe had real problems of her own.

The biggest problem Wednesday night, though, was careless fans. An Aerial Theater spokesperson said the venue is not offering refunds for the abbreviated show. Manson fans will just have to wait for the next round of touring to catch the complete set of freak-show attractions. Maybe then drinks will be held firmly in hand instead of flying up in the air.
added by Gabe Bragg

Concert added by Gabe Bragg
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