Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson Verizon Theatre Wednesday, October 31
The "Twins of Evil" tour was the perfect Halloween gift from the Great Pumpkin, who also made an appearance during Rob Zombie's performance. In fact, several infamous people were wandering through the crowd at the Verizon Theatre: Scarecrow and the Witch from the Wizard of Oz, more than a dozen Satans, Freddy Krueger, zombie leprechauns, a nest of Playboy Bunnies trying to get the crowd drunk and Jesus with bats and skulls hanging from his crown of thorns.
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Marilyn Manson opened the show, screaming and howling through several songs as if Zombie's werewolf drummer were nipping at his heels to hurry up and get the hell off the stage so the master of horror could get this Halloween party started.
Manson didn't seem to care that the house wasn't full during his set. His contempt for everyone and everything played through each of his songs, from upside-down American flags and Hitler-style costumes to his over-the-top rock ego and obsession with wiping his ass. When Manson finally left his new material behind and played more familiar stuff, the fans became a little more lively, until he wasted a gram of a mysterious white powdery substance during his "Dope Show" performance by pouring it on the stage instead of sharing it. Several overzealous fans jumped the railing and charged the stage like zombies from Shaun of the Dead, only to be averted by the red shirts.
Manson growled through a few covers, including Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" and the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," but he sounded like a few sprinkles of dust found their way up his nose, because congestion made his words indecipherable.
Then Zombie took the stage and rocked the fucking house. Flames. Robots. Flames. Skeletons. Flames. Nude women. Flames. A giant Devil. Flames. The Great Pumpkin. Flames. Gumby and Pokey. It was as if the crowd had somehow entered a delightfully evil version of Tim Burton's Halloween Town. The Munsters were there, as well as Frankenstein, Jack Nicholson, the Devil's Rejects and Paul Fuckin' Stanley.
When Zombie stepped out of that giant flaming robot at the beginning of the show and John 5 ignited his guitar, the crowd went wild, singing all of his lyrics and pumping their fists in the air. "Jesus Frankenstein" set the mood for the Halloween evening, and "Mars Needs Women" and "Pussy Liquor" had the coke addicts convulsing on the floor and the rest of the fans screaming for more.
"Thunder Kiss '65," "More Human Than Human" and "Living Dead Girl" were crowd pleasers, and the skeletal robots, glowing pumpkins and skeletons wrapped around mics just added to the vibe. Zombie proved himself to be the Metal Frank Zappa with his animated clips from Go Nagai anime and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and kept up his intense energy. At one point, John 5 took center stage and blazed through a grueling guitar solo while Zombie rushed through the crowd, slapping hands with fans and looking my daughter in the eye ("Dad, he looked at me.").
Zombie was not only celebrating Halloween with fans but also his wedding anniversary. When his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, dressed as a nerd, came out on stage to help him get the crowd chanting for "Sick Bubble Gum," the fans roared their approval. For an encore, we were shown a trailer for Zombie's upcoming supernatural thriller, The Lords of Salem, and then horror maestro took center stage and closed this most memorable Halloween with "Dragula."
The "Twins of Evil" tour is headed to Europe next, but Manson may need to take some pointers from Zombie on Fan Etiquette 101, if the self-proclaimed Dope Christ Superstar wants to reach Zombie's status.