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3 stars


Newport Centre, Fri 8 Dec

There was a time in the 1990s when I would attend Newport Centre, for a gig, at least four times a year. Whether it was Pantera, Slayer or Machine Head, it was a great venue for live music. Still used for this purpose, but sadly not as often these days, it’s a pleasure to be back at one of Newport’s great venues.  One of the gigs I attended here back then was in fact Marilyn Manson, on his Antichrist Superstar tour – so I’m hoping that the memory of that great show doesn’t get tainted tonight as Manson returns to Newport as part of his World Upside Down tour.

A sold-out crowd is on hand to welcome the man that the late Hunter S Thompson affectionately christened “shit eyes”. A huge curtain drops and Manson and his band launch into Revelation #12 with the man himself sitting astride a rotating throne like a goth king. You know that when you see Marilyn Manson you can expect a good visual show, and tonight is no exception: the huge crossed guns prop which injured Manson in New York is present, but left well alone tonight.

DSC_0758Bathed in blood red light, the crowd go mental for This Is The New Shit followed by Disposable Teens. Two surgeons are on hand to help Manson put on his rather splendid bowler hat and after informing us that he has the liver of a Welshman (?) the band tear into mOBSCENE. Current hit Kill4Me follows, before their haunting rendition of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams is delivered from a hospital bed, vocalist clad in a hospital gown. SAY10, another newbie from Heaven Upside Down, paves the way for The Beautiful People to get the whole place bouncing.

Returning to the stage and to everybody’s surprise, the band finish the set with The Nobodies from 2000’s Holy Wood – a track they’ve not played in 10 years, and a rare treat indeed for Manson’s Welsh fans. Marilyn Manson rarely disappoints in the live arena, but I do think that over the years, some of that aggression has been lost, and a mere two selections from his first two albums is slightly disappointing. Nevertheless, the crowd leave the centre happy and disperse into a very cold Newport night.


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