Feature Writing – Concert Review

Review on Marilyn Manson’s Concert: Rock Am Ring Marilyn Manson is a band looked up upon by millions of teens in desperation and discontent across the world, a band that empathizes; it seems, to their avid fans. Pulling off extravagant pyrotechnic performances with a gothic overall outdo in his concert ‘Rock am Ring’, the band consists of Brian Hugh Warner, the lead vocalist, largely known a ‘Marilyn Manson’ on stage performances, with ever changing background guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboardists.
Manson grew up with never ending ordeals in his life. As a kid, he witnessed the sadomasochism sexual fetishes of his grandfather, forming traumatizing images of disturbance and disgust as he grew up. In his elementary Christian school years, he was taunted and constantly brought to the epitome of shame and embarrassment by people he called friends; this episode formed his mindset of the antichrist. Having dwelled in the darkest corners amidst growing up, the memories of Mason’s past left him deranged and helpless with fear; something he never grew out of.
Set side by side American icons alike that of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson- ironically alike characters of life, it is a band that reveals the terrible and crude circumstances of life, and very much so, the pains of growing up and having grown up. Donned in heavy, gothic make up and apparel, Manson’s music genre consists mainly of heavy metal, shock rock, and industrial metal, containing subliminal messages of intoxication, hate, suicide and sexually explicit content like that of sadomasochism and all that alike.

Marilyn Manson’s performance took place on 1st June 2012, in Nurburgring; Germany. Along with thousands of other avid fans on scene anxiously waiting at the entrance of the concert, I felt no less nervous on the impending performance that drew closer with each passing second. Marilyn Manson’s appearance, I knew then, would be no less majestic like I have imagined prior to the concert. True enough, it only took mere seconds before the outburst of cheers and roars throughout the crowd with Manson’s appearance n stage. Throwing forward the signature ‘rock and roll’ hand sign- the mass of audience followed suit, in heated ‘worship’ and fervor. The live performance was like no other and the stage display was nothing less than immaculate. On the main vocals was Marilyn Manson himself, having Twiggy Ramirez on the guitar, Fred Sablan on the bass and Jason Sutter on the drums. The first song “Hey Cruel World” kicked off and I felt the immediate rush of excitement surge through my body.
Alike the usual heavy rock concerts, the crowd started head banging to the music as the guitarist introduced the song, moshing in hype of their enjoyment, forming the ‘ring of death’ , a trademark where people run towards each other in an apparent attack through the slamming of bodies, eventually running in a circle. Crowd surfing was the run-of-the-mill in every concert, and Manson’s concert was no exception.
The exhilaration of the atmosphere seeped right through me, and I couldn’t help but to throw my hands up, madly jumping to the beats. Delving in on the second song “Great Big White World” with his raspy voice, the song spoke of individualism opposing conformity in this chaotic age. As the crowd echoed after the lyrics of the song “But I’m not attached to your world and nothing heals and nothing grows”, I immediately felt the true connection from the crowd to his music.
The props on stage used by the band helped the focus of the theme of the concert and Manson’s artistic visions displayed in the concert pushed the hype to its climax, stretching the limits of onstage music performances having a few songs sung even better than his studio recording. This was a definite media-grabbing show as Manson brought out the best in his music, proving his fans right of their loyalty. Personally, growing up was a process like that of torment, the various events and experiences I had gradually landed me in a severe depression – something that I never managed to pull myself out of.
His lyrics in songs like ‘Coma White’ and ‘Tourniquet’ are two songs that outwardly describe the feelings I never found words to say. From “All the drugs in this world, won’t save her from herself” to “Take your hatred out on me, make your victim my head, you never ever believe in me, I am your tourniquet”, the former being lyrics in ‘Coma White’ and the latter from ‘Tourniquet’. Being one of the many fans of Marilyn Manson, I find correlation in his music to my life.
These lyrics depict much of my aloneness and frustration, how my parents never took pride in me- something every child needs from their parents. Growing up for me was like an everyday battle, each day only getting tougher and harsher. Though the explicit content portrayed in Manson’s music can be considered a blasphemy for many religious masses, I believe the lyrics in the music of Manson’s concert are a correlation to the many lives of the 21st century, a melodramatic century where the oxymoron of peace and chaos coexist.
Each singer and songwriter is only so in due to their emotions and feelings, their past experiences and their learning lessons in life. I believe that music in any form, are life’s most soulful expressions, one where dreams and life’s stories are penned and sung, where pain and happiness is held on to and let go of. Through this concert, I finally understood the true influence of music and its lyrics, how the lyrics of a song can be the correlation to life’s worst tragedies and most blessed moments.
Thus, in weightage of the pros and cons of music and its influence, I end with the consensus, that any genre of music can bring out the deepest unsaid words and emotions of a person, either helping, defining, or ruining a person, all depending on how the written lyrics speak to each individual and how each individual chooses to bring it forward. This review article is intended for the Metal Hammer magazine, as I feel that it would probably be a good addition into the columns of concert reviews and interviews. (Word Count: 1029)

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