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Friday, November 6, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 54

Cats Meows

Make Way for the Waterboy and a Belly Flop

About the Cougar

Freakish Marilyn Manson finally succumbs to freaky Aerial Theater

Concert Review

By Chris Stelmak
Daily Cougar Staff 

Marilyn Manson put on one messed-up show Wednesday night at the Aerial Theater at Bayou Place. Most of it, however, was not due to his bizarre act.

The concert seemed plagued with malfunctions as the sound system faded in and out throughout the show. When the band played "The Speed of Pain," the sound was undoubtedly more off than on, but that -- surprisingly -- didn't slow it down.

The sound system was not the only freak occurance of the night. The backdrops for one of the songs would not come down from one part of the stage, making the scene quite awkward. And during the funky "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)," the huge lighting display that spanned the stage and spelled out "drugs" was missing the "R" and the "U."

The band withstood a lot, but it was too much at the beginning of the encore with Manson's cover of "Sweet Dreams." The eerie samples and guitar playing were shadowed in dark blue lights when Manson crept out to sing. After finding out the microphone was messed up again, he threw it down and left, and the rest of the band followed. Fans waited around in disbelief, but security eventually cleared everyone out.

Despite the uneasiness of the night, it wasn't difficult to see why opening band 12 Rounds got its spot. The band's slow-paced songs that feature unusual rhythms are hard to put into any category. The audience appreciated more the faster songs, which covered a wide musical range and used strange, well-mixed samples.

The focal point of the band, which needs more than its two members for a live show, is Claudia Sarne. Her hazy vocals go from smooth and sexy to sounding a bit nasal, like Cartman from South Park, making the show all the more random. While the band wasn't appreciated, it did a good job of taking its more laid-back background music to the large stage.

Manson's band started off the show behind huge, white backlit curtains that silhouetted Manson before breaking into a drum-heavy version of "The Reflecting God."

Manson was decked out in his usual glam-rock duds: a light-blue sequined body suit cut open to reveal his thong. Manson seemed to change clothes more often than Madonna does at her shows, switching outfits after every couple of songs.

The band played most of the better songs on its latest album. The stage was cast in dull white lights for the band's "Great Big White World" and "The Dope Show," demanding attention from the audience.

For "Rock is Dead," Manson converted the stage into something similar to a Vegas show with feathers on his costume and backup singers who looked like go-go dancers.

"Mechanical Animals" was the highlight of the show. Manson came out with stilts on his arms and legs as well as a helmet, looking similar to something out of Dark Crystal. He awkwardly moved around the stage, pointing at the audience and the ceiling with his extended arms while his whiny voice pierced the music.

Manson did not let his old fans down either. The band played a good mix of old songs like "Lunchbox," "Cake and Sodomy" and several cuts off Antichrist Superstar.

The entire show was not as offensive as past shows. Manson only went into a couple of little chats with the audience this time. Of course, Manson's thongs and his using the microphone chord as butt floss could all be taken as a bit offensive. Wiping his rear end with towels and throwing them to audience members did not help, either.

Even with all the things that went wrong with the show, and the omission of "Sweet Dreams" and "The Beautiful People," Manson put on an entertaining performance that was anything but dull.

Reach Stelmak at

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