The Landmark Theatre,Richmond, VA, 11/11/98

First things first: THE most beautiful venue in which I have ever had the pleasure of seeing a MM show. Obviously built in (and carefully restored since) the Golden Age of movie palaces, the Landmark is wall-to-wall Alhambra style, every inch of interior surface covered with intricate Arabesque gilding and floral patterns. The ceiling is an oval dome lit by a ring of skylights in lavender and blue-green glass set in star-pattern lattices. Even the tile floor outside the ladies' restroom is decorated with Egyptian-style winged disks and cobras. Gorgeous place.

Reserved seating is weird. Just doesn't feel right to show up for an 8:00 show at 6:30.. But we still got to stand in line for a while, chat with local Spooks and enjoy the live radio station broadcast going on outside. (Anyone know if they actually broadcast any of the show?)

Anyway, got inside, found our seats (...), checked out the new merchandise, and got through 12 Rounds' set. They're not bad; I can see why they were suggested for this tour. Bassy, spooky, sinister sound that reminds me of Curve (if anyone remembers them), and a female vocalist with a strong, deadpan voice and a good working yowl for effect. Nothing amazing, but not a bore either. I'll have no trouble standing through their set the rest of this stretch.

Main event, short version: ---begins with an electronic voice repeating: "This isn't me, I'm not mechanical..." and as it does Manson's shadow appears on the white curtain, wearing a big shoulder/headdress (Omega shape? only occurred to me later that might be the intention), arms outstretched, in a sharp, alien-looking silhouette. Pretty effect nicely pulled off.

--Band has taken huge strides fashion-wise. If you could peel your eyes off center stage (ha, not bloody likely!) you could enjoy the sight of Twig in a long, shiny, silvery-lavender dress, or Pogo in a spiked Mohawk, or John5 with his blue hair, sequins and feather boa. I don't even dare start on Manson; the man has attained a degree of beauty that the unaided eye can barely grasp. Let's just call it all BIG-time fun to look at. =)

--NObody likes a seated audience.... Before "Lunchbox" Manson suddenly yelled, "How many of you there in the back think that you could rock more if you were in the front?", ordered the house lights up, and delivered a scathing rant at the motherfuckin' cocksuckers who were JUST SITTING THERE in the front rows, demanding that they be replaced or he would not sing another note (and we should all spit on the security guards, too =). So there he stood while bunches of us bolted from our stupid damn seats and crowded toward the stage. "Oh, look," he drawled once the floor was more to his liking, "NOW we're at a concert." And bang, lights out, off they went. (Security began trying to clear the aisle, but if you kept your head down you got to stay put for at least the next four songs. =)

--I'd been advised that "Speed of Pain" is the set's primary tearjerker, but for me it was "Great Big White World", a beautiful performance with such banks of white smoke that Manson seemed to be trying to reach the earth through clouds. Other great visuals: Manson a/k/a Marilyn Marlowe, in his film-noir black leather fedora and trenchcoat; simulated anal sex with the bikini dancers (bet Bob C. Bobb loved that =); the return of the stilts; Manson on the podium for ACS, ripping off his red shirt and dress jacket in one yank to finish the song in just black pants and big red boots (the televangelist/politician suit looks way different with short red hair...); that BIG, flashing "DRUGS" sign, which is so tacky it's funny and so both it's almost sad; and of course, the Rev's conversation with God, delivered at such an anguished pitch that you almost believed it. ( "I said 'God, I tried to say no to drugs, but they wouldn't listen!' ").

Twiggy and Ginger showed up at the aftershow; Twig was his typical sweet self, leading everyone in cheers of "Peter Frampton!" Manson's dad was there as well...he's an odd duck...telling anyone who'd listen that he'd had his first multiple orgasm ever during the night's show. (coyote sez "what can we say, it must be genetic..."=)

...go back to main review page.
...go back to Manson page.
...go on to the next night.