All words: Lauren Bulbin — All photos: Google image search
“I want to go because my soul is dark.” This is what a friend said to me a short time ago while discussing attending the Marilyn Manson show. I imagine that was the way many Manson fans felt when they saw his name pop up on the Fillmore Silver Spring schedule. Yet, as I was applying my black eyeliner, preparing to leave my house to see the legendary Marilyn Manson in the flesh, I was struck with many questions, the most important of which were: What would the self-proclaimed Antichrist Superstar be like live? And what would his fans be like?
I arrived at the Fillmore early, around 3:00 p.m., planning to stand in line and snag a front row spot. I was the twentieth person in line and intended to fight for a spot on the barricade. The goal was to be in the action as much as possible. I knew this was going to be the kind of show where dark lord loving rock and roll fiends ditch their 9 to 5′s for their nose rings and chain covered baggy pants. The crowd did not disappoint. While in line Manson’s band members came to greet fans, and I met more than a few people who shared my love of hardcore metal and classic rock and roll. Just about everyone was wearing black or some variation of it. I was surrounded by a sea of people who knew tainted love was not a Pussycat Dolls song (yeah, they covered that and didn’t do as good a job as Marilyn Manson did covering it).
The opener was The Pretty Reckless, whose lead singer is none other than the Upper East Side social climber Taylor Momsen. Most well known for playing Jenny on the television show Gossip Girl, she was far from the little blonde doll from Brooklyn she once played on TV. She is now all grown up and sings music that is a mix of Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Evanescence. The Pretty Reckless are very clearly influenced by the Sex Pistols in style and music. Don’t let Momsen’s actress gone musician facade fool you. She has the raspy girl rock voice of a hardcore angel. She lives up to her comparisons to Courtney Love, Stevie Nicks and Debbie Harry. The Pretty Reckless’s bass player also was amazing. There were moments when I wondered if his hands were going to bleed from shredding so hard. Frankly, I could have listened to them play all night long, and watched Taylor’s stripper dance moves. But I was on a mission to see the antichrist himself.
In the moments before Marilyn Manson took the stage, the crowd was far from calm. It was clear a mosh pit was ensuing, and his fans were quickly working their way to the wrong side of hammered. As the staff of the Fillmore set up Manson’s stage, I felt the anticipation rise. When Manson vampishly made his way to center stage, the vibration of the electric guitars took over. The crystals of the Fillmore chandeliers shook, and the crowd went nuts, screaming and throwing up rock signs, ravenous for more from Manson, showing what can only be defined as worship for him. In all his glory, Manson looked as if he was raising the dead, reaching for the crowd, belting Hey, Cruel World. The set list included Disposable Teens, Mobscene, No Reflection, Slo-mo-tion, Rock is Dead, a cover of Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode, Tourniquet, Irresponsible Hate Theme, Antichrist Superstar and The Beautiful People.
I am a sucker for great bass, and I don’t mean 808 drums. I mean dark, heavy bass guitar solos that shake the world around you, mixed with drums that wake up the neighborhood and electric guitar riffs that break your eardrums. Manson’s band outdid themselves, playing every reverb and nuance to his music exactly as you imagined it would be played. When he performed The Beautiful People, it was by far the most amazing and
unforgettable moment of the night. No matter what you think or feel about Manson, he’s the person I want writing my soundtrack to the Apocalypse. Last night at the Fillmore was all a Marilyn Manson fan could have asked for.
The show was chillingly good, worth standing in line for five hours and being squashed up against a barricade for four more. Marilyn Manson came to the Fillmore and shook all that is good and holy in Maryland to its very core.