Marilyn Manson @ Stage AE 6/23 Pittsburgh, PA
When I was 10 my older cousin, Mitch, was absolutely the coolest kid I knew. At the ripe old age of 13 he had mad rebellious swagger and I wanted to be just like him. His favorite band became my favorite band, and that band was Marilyn Manson.
I have to confess, I didn’t actually listen to Manson’s music. We lived in a fairly remote small town with no record stores and it was still the dark ages of dial-up internet that rendered the family’s land line telephone useless for hours to download one song. The only time I ever saw or heard Manson’s music was staying up super late and catching a video on MTV, but that didn’t matter. My parents hated him, so I knew he was cool.
Flash forward 15 years later. I got to fufill the childhood dream of both myself and Paris Jackson and see Manson in concert. I have to admit, it was… awesome-ish. Age has not done the god of my confused, pre-pubescent fantasies any favors. With garish stage antics like out of place pyrotechnics and more costume changes than Brittany Spears, I wondered what Manson was trying to do.
But, ah, then he played “Beautiful People”! And literally every other song we could name or knew any of the words to! And the crowd went wild! I have to admit that Manson knows his audience extremely well. We were not there to listen to any of his new music (admittedly, I put it on in the car on the drive to Stage AE and my carmates and I unanimously decided we could not tolerate a second more after just one song). Hell, half of the audience was probably not aware Manson still puts out records. We were there to rebel against our middle school parents and scream along to the anthems of our misspent youth, and Manson had our backs.
The goal of any show is to entertain, and while it did seem at times more like a cartoon of rebellion than the shocking display of vulgarity the church ladies of our childhood led us to believe Manson was good for, I was certainly entertained.