10/22/95 - Newport Music Hall, Columbus OH.
I've always liked this place, and it graces us with better weather too, a
pleasant Indian-summer day at last. Celebrate by breaking out my tights and striped stockings in place of
the jeans and heavy socks, and take Baby Twig the Cabbage Patch doll along as well. Carrie, Devon, Jason and Erika are all here again and by now we greet like old pals. Everyone hangs
out behind the club for awhile and there's photo-taking galore, including some great shots of Twiggy with Mr. Warner Sr. (the Rev's jovial Dad - what a sweet fella) and with Baby Twig, who he seems to like ("I used to have one of these," he mentions, poking buttons on Twiglet's guitar). While I'm off getting a lemonade Baby Twig is also introduced to Hanzel und Gretyl, and I'm told Vas (their megacool redheaded singer) was crazy about him - a Vas doll ought to be the next project, ja? =) --- I keep
forgetting to mention friendly photog Zepp, but he's been around for nights
now w/Carrie & Devon's pack; an easily-spotted figure with his constant grin and bright-red goatee.
He's getting some great shots down front during H&G and MM's sets, which he
sez he'll share - whatta sweetie.
--Finally mooch around up front and get into line; fun continues. Man,
it's SUCH a relief to have warmer weather, we can all relax and goof around. Jason is a stitch
standing on a trash can cheerfully displaying Carrie's big "Kill God, Kill Your Mom & Dad, Kill
Yourself, Kill the Chicken" sign to traffic. Erika is concentratedly
drawing up more signs - they do seem to enjoy those - including one with her
slogan, "Fuck You Manson"...ANYway, get into the Newport early with our handy pre-show tickets (Erika
didn't have one and panicks when she can't get one at the door - sorry, the
guy sez, we're running too late already - so we leave her briefly behind)
and even get some of the food this time. I'm too tense to eat - this has to
be better than last night. We're right on the nice, big, black box, a mere
long-legged stride from the stage. Heh. This looks real good, yes indeed.
I love the Newport. The barrier's wide enough for security to fit into,
but constructed with a step up on the inside, so the bouncers can get
leverage up above the crowd-- swimmers and surfers get shoved back into the audience, not hauled over our heads.
I pick up some of the basics coyote told me pretty easily. I don't get hit
at all, just pressed, and begin to relax. More H&G fun (by now I've
lipread enough of their lyrics that I can sing along a bit), more endurance
test with Clutch. Gad, they're such a total drag. Whose idea was it to put
them on this tour? They couldn't be more mismatched. Two little blondes
next to me on the rail, in their very best outfits - long shiny opera
gloves and all - rag them mercilessly through the entire set, yelling abuse
and calling for the Mansons. They just don't quit, the Clutch guys are
seething, and it's funny as hell - I'm giggling as hard as I was crying
last night. Good sign. EVB, coyote, and Carrie put on an enormous show of
boredom, reading Satan's Bakesale fliers, displaying flash cards (that read
'fuck Clutch') to the band, etc--EVB even finds time to do her nails...
But we get through them, as ever, and watch the setup. The mike goes up to
eight feet. "Is he really that tall?" gasps little blonde #1. I wonder
if she'd believe me if I said he was? But we don't get the stilts - he
always wants to surprise you, doesn't he? Lurks up to the towering mike
stand, eyeballs it and knocks it down with an offhand swipe. Stagehands
scramble... It's another wickedly fine set, tight and brilliant and sharp
as a handful of new blades. Coyote later points out that some bands are
better when they get some rest but the Mansons are better when they work
nonstop, and I think she's right. God-fuckin'-DAMN they're great. They're
like a bottled cyclone onstage, a breathstealing spin of concentrated power,
chaos contained and directed like a cobalt ray with one unified intent. They
literally work as one creature. It's awesome, unbelievable. They were the
best band I'd ever seen last spring and they could destroy that band now.
This is not kidding, this does not care, this is the strongest thing there is.
The New American Hoodoo.
"Antichrist Superstar" tonight instead of "Smells Like Children" . Can't
make out any lyrics to this but the Rev plays it out delectably. The cube's only
three feet in front of us and I lean on the barrier and
watch him breathe; his air intake's so shallow his chest hardly moves,
almost no shift of light on the pale wet skin. It's so quiet down here after last night that I'm almost
trancing by comparison, blissing on little details like these. He's been so beautiful these three nights I
wonder if it's him or me that's changed. I didn't used to think him especially pretty but now he's just
gorgeous, all long elegant lines and curious wide-open eyes that are almost innocent, even when he's
spitting in your face. His body's perfect. This is why I get so mad when they break my concentration, I
can't be interrupted, I'm getting detail. His arms and hands, the pull of muscle in his neck, and the strain
in his throat. I can't figure it, it's not sexual - I know it sounds like it is, but it's not - I just can't
help staring at him and studying him and wanting to study him some more. It's almost like I felt that day in
front of "The River of Light" (painting by Albert Bierstadt) except this work of art keeps changing and presenting more angles and aspects of itself. Is that too goofy? I can't say it any other way.
He steps onto the black cube we're at - you knew he would - and crouches
down, holding out the mike. Everyone gets to sing and a lot of 'em get to
touch. I could touch his arm when the mike swings my way - I'm not sure why I don't try --
Erika, who's been displaying her signs and screaming
every chance she gets, tried to grab his crotch, and the mike hand came back
like a battle-mace and the look in the eye was your last warning, and she
had the sense to back off. --I was afraid that the little
blondes would be as shrill during the Mansons' set as they were during
Clutch, but there hasn't been a squeak from 'em, they're mesmerized and
staring like snakewatching bunnies. Love it a lot.
--More Rev and Twiggy goings-on - this seems to be the game this time around
- creeping at him, causing him to cringe back against his amp in mock
horror; then the Rev points out someone at the edge of the stage as if
suggesting a swift kick would do him some good; then they mirror each other
for a second, hammering away with heads down. Daisy's rockin' out on his
side and actually gets off one of those wonderful stage-lighting grins - now
you know it's a good night.
(Have I forgotten to mention that the rabbit's been a chicken in disguise
every night now? and "Kill the chickens!" has gotten into "Dogma" as well? People who aren't into the
chicken joke must really be beginning to wonder...)
Same encore as before, and we're out, happy and electrified. This'll be a good night to hang out by thee bus,
right? Wrong - local cops/security are being total jerks, and send everyone away. Darn DARN.
Disappointed, we sit in the grass by the car and debate what to do. EVB proposes that, since we know
there's a signing in Pittsburgh tomorrow - but not where- , we get back to the hotel, get some sleep, get up and out early, and scout out the location of the event before going to the club. This is good and we do it.
(Ought to mention that's it's been a good trip for scared/curious waitresses
and servers, who keep creeping up to ask how we like our food so they can get a good look at us.
We do make a picturesque troop.)
...to main gig review page.
Or go to the next night.