Twins Of Evil Tour 2012
Featuring Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson
Manchester MEN Arena; 27th November 2012
robzombie.com | marilynmanson.com
“The three principle types of Recall are Cued Recall, Free Recall and Serial Recall. Serial Recall involves a subject being asked to recite events in the order they occurred…” —Source Code
…I am a Serial Rekaller, and here’s how I remember it:
I am two months late. I saw Rob Zombie [to which I will define hereafter as the headline act] and Marilyn Manson Twins of Evil tour on November 27, 2012. But with X-mas getting in the way and a bout of writers block/laziness, I finally get around to writing this, the gonzo-review and experiental account of the days, months, years leading up to this…
Fear. That’s how it began. I could take you on the journey of discovery I went through in my late teens from being introduced to Nirvana by a television chucked through a children’s home window (that I lived next to) to which I found out was thrown out by a guy who was obsessed with Kurt Cobain, thrown out on the fifth anniversary of his death, approximately 5th April 1999. From Nirvana, via Dave Grohl, Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss (and off via Brant Bjork, Hermano, Orange Goblin, Sabbath, Nick Oliveri to the Dwarves) and through the mighty Pantera – you see where I’m going with that train of thought…to land on White Zombie.
But even though I love those bands still, for some reason White Zombie/Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson was off-putting. Put simply for two reasons: I considered the album covers. I expected Death Metal brooding dark metal. And secondly an insufferable ‘Goth’ ex-acquaintance of the missus’s, whose faux-depressive state and attitude only compounded the dissuasive nature of anything related to Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson because ‘she’ liked them. I have nothing against sad depressive Goths, as they can’t muster the strength or hex for me to worry about – to whit you could add Emo. But that is an entirely other judgmental issue of my own. Death Metal has its place too. But you can keep your Cradle and your Filth.
And all this in and before 2004, before YouTube, when CDs still existed and mixtapes [Music on tape? Never.] was the only way to ‘share’ music. But then YouTube opened my eyes and with ever so slight babysteps I took into the voyage of discovery of the delights of Rob Zombie…
But what’s my point, you scream until your lungs bleed: Ever since I bought up as much Rob Zombie as I could, I aurally absorbed his music with joy. The heady mix of B-Movie lore, thrown in with ‘The Munsters’ and heavy metal was bliss. ThunderKiss 65 video featured a luchador [more on that later], quotes from Russ Meyer movies and driving bass which won me over. In retrospect too, the artwork on the CD covers of Rob Zombie’s solo work was to reason for the trepidation. I later find out it was masterfully done by Basil Gogos, the artist behind many of the infamous Famous Monsters of Filmland colour painted covers – another new fan found in me. Tie in with that Rob Zombie’s ventures elsewhere in film which was aided by his proficiency in directing his own videos…
COSMIC MONSTERS INC.
I had originally planned to meet my old Uni friend in Manchester for a get together. What eventually transpired was that his missus was a Zombie/Manson fan also so we ended up arranging to meet for the gig. So we arranged the hotel in Manchester and the date was set. The humourous anecdote to come out of this from the facebook interactions was that my mate needed to brush up on his ROD [his words] Zombie, so I forcefed YouTube videos, and was concerned about what to wear. I suggested the best thing to do was to “wear black…” You could say he was is more Mod/Indie for this type of gig, but hell, it’ll be fun.
Halloween crept up before the gig. It was my one opportunity to get the costume ready. I prepared for this gig ever since I stood in line at the Arena for tickets. I refused to go into the gig wearing the usual ‘uniform’ of rock wear. I refer back to the Goth – they wear a ‘uniform’ relative to their interests/lifestyle, like a soldier wears armour in war. So a t-shirt and jeans was not for me. Stage One: I purchased a skeleton suit and mask inspired by the characters in his music videos. Great for Halloween night and photos. I considered wearing a Hawaiian shirt as well, you know, skeleton on holiday…?! My missus found her perfect dress: A Red Skeleton tunic dress from Kreepsville 666, perfect for the gig, perfect for us.
But then I went into Manchester one day.
MEET THE CREEPER
One of my highly recommended and all time favourite shops in Manchester is ‘Rockers England‘ [Oldham Street] — a Kustom Kulture/Rockabilly boutique where I get the bulk of own brand [Fangs for the free stuff!], Coopstuff, Kreepsville merchandise Hawaiian shirts, Creeper Shoes, Rockabilly shirts and pants…easy for California folk, not for a native Englander. Oldham Street is the Covent Garden of Manchester, which includes all Geeks favourite store Forbidden Planet and the indoor haven of Afflecks Palace. How’s that for a Geek vacation guide?
But that one day I walked into ‘Rockers England,’ Kath, the proprietor, was cracking open recent delivery boxes. The first item out of the box was a Luchador mask. My reaction of awe and dumfoundedness was followed shortly by snatching it out of her hand stating “I don’t care how much – I need this.”
Stage Two: I have a Luchador mask, I become my alter ego: ‘El Vengador Del Futuro’; El Diablo Maníaco!!
LIVING DEAD GIRL
Next was makeup. I’m not a fan of guyliner. Or anything else usually the preserved of the feminine of the species. But as you see above, to make the mask work, I needed to smear a shadow across my eyes. The missus also purchased Special FX wax to produce realistic looking Zombie/Frankenstein scars…more on that later.
The day arrived, and I had booked enough time off work to cope. We left home and headed into Manchester to meet with our friends. I also hoped to catch messrs Zombie and crew or Manson in and around Manchester, being in the right place at the right time. That didn’t transpire. But what did was a Grim Northern Hotel. You’d think in this day and age most hotels are clean, modern and have running water. I’ll say this; most of the motels you read about in the Rolling Stones autobiographies happened to me. I’m not complaining, as it added to the experience as a whole. But when I say grim. I mean grim. I had to ask for half a toilet roll. But anyway Stage Three; we got going with the makeup:
MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN
And then the gig. I had been waiting the best part of a year for this [and you’ve waited the best part of the article for this]. Although it was a joint tour, it was the first time I got to see Rob Zombie [and by default Manson] live. You can understand this dear reader, if for example, it was your first visit to the San Diego Comic-Con or something of similar ilk. I had purchased floor standing tickets for this experience.
SCUM OF THE EARTH
I feel it necessary to [review] Marilyn Manson’s set. Aside from being rather bloated and screamy, he went through the motions of hits, strewn with a few costume changes and a stage set limited to half the stage. It was enjoyable if you know the songs, with random fans screaming left right and centre, whilst we stood in the middle of the crowd, twenty feet from the stage. Manson threw what looked like a vial of cocaine into the audience, which later appeared on Instagram hastag linked to to the gig. Given the alleged reaction/fight between Manson and Zombie in Denver, this set seemingly seemed muted in comparison, with Manson appearing on time and leaving on time. I think it was something to do with his Born Villain album out, but that’s the extent of that review.
Marilyn Manson’s band comprised of members I vaguely remember – Twiggy? Rob Zombie’s band comprised of two of Manson’s escapees – John 5 and GingerFish, and better for it and Piggy D finished the line up, and they all enjoy it with relish. The opening support act was not the advertised ‘J Devil’ – Jonathan Davis from Korn, or his replacement DJ Starscream [Slipknot], but Daniel P. Carter, who did an admirable job of spinning some iPod tunes via a turntable…
RETURN OF THE PHANTOM STRANGER
Now to the highly anticipated Zombie set. The band broke out some of the classics. Now remember, I’ve not seen these live so having songs whilst being pounded from all angles was worth it: Superbeast, Living Dead Girl, ThunderKiss, as well as from his last album: Mars Needs Women, [great accompanying videos and a real crowd pleaser] and Jesus Frankenstein which is the minimum songs I could remember due to the following:
Me, my missus, my mate and his missus were in the crowd and I inadvertedly became part of the edge of a circle mosh pit. And before I said to myself “I’m too old for this shit” drunken pissheads tried to involve me in the mosh – because I was wearing my mask. Admittedly, you couldn’t see my eyes, and yes it gave me a sense of anonimity – I fought back against the flying elbows and legs. Some cokehead tried to steal my mask. He felt the wrath of my boot/knee/elbow when he was bouncing around the mosh pit, backwards to the stage! My missus got questioned regularly as the whether she had been hurt, and trying to explain whilst shouting into someones ear “It’s FX makeup, not REAL blood” became futile, but funny nonetheless. My point here though is that, when the tour was in America, Americans unsurprisingly made the effort. We felt like the only people in the entire Arena to have made such an effort and somewhat got stared at like we were the odd-ones-out! This was one of the only disappointing factors about Manchester [but not the tour as a whole] But what the hell, I have my anecdotes, because I WAS THE GUY in the mask. Everyone else just had to stare at me and my dark lifeless eyes…
At one point, Rob Zombie screamed to the crowd about the previous London gig, to which the crowd, to his shock BOOED. And rightly so. He retorted stating his surprise at Manchester booing “their countrymen” but to no avail. We booed louder. London is not the centre of the Universe of the UK, it’s a big dirty city. The asshole of the UK. Enough said.
The Zombie stage set itself had a giant Robot spewing fire. Epic, A giant Devil wandering around during John 5’s solo. Epic. A Robot Tank and a six armed skeleton mic stand…Don’t get me wrong I loved it, but if you want a tagline review [you see on DVD covers] for the gig, I’d say this: “Rob Zombie delivers the metal in girders, but it should have been a sole tour…”
THE LORDS OF SALEM
Halfway into the set, the band left the stage. Then the video wall lit up with the trailer for his new movie ‘The Lords of Salem’, which was great for the fans who had not seen it, and there was the odd whoop from the crowd, but ultimately the preview then made the tour feel like a promtional tool for the movie alone, an attempt to fill time between its eventual release and his next new album. It’s an expensive way to do it, but on the flipside, perhaps giving fans what they want to see.
FEEL SO NUMB
After the gig finished and throughout the next day, the climax of the event left a huge void, which made it seem surreal, like I had dreamt it, perhaps the best way to see such an experience, as to be honest it made me want more…but only, I repeat, as a solo tour.
In the proceeding aftermath of the ongoing tour, the increasing method of social network promotion began but this was to my displeasure… London, promoted, Glasgow promoted, Birmingham promoted. Manchester – the birthplace of most music – not so much. WHY?
FINAL NOTE: If you were at that gig in Manchester and you are reading this: YES, I WAS THE GUY IN THE MASK. But for your enjoyment, here’s a photo of me the day after near Deansgate having Christopher Walken kiss my ass.
FIND MANIC: facebook.com/rekallism & #REKALLISM
Credit: Artist Emek for the manic-bastardised typewriter artwork, and to Instagram for having a standardised format size for all photos!