By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida–July 2, 2016–Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, and Of Mice & Men–Review of Marilyn Manson and Of Mice & Men
What could be a more fun and exciting evening than seeing Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and Of Mice & Men all together at one time? Yes, the Florida Credit Union Mid-Florida Amphitheatre was the place to be on Saturday night in Tampa Bay Florida. Last year Marilyn Manson came to town with the Smashing Pumpkins but this year would be something special, he promised—and delivered.
First of all, there was a lot of anxiety about this line-up coming to town. Traffic was being diverted and security was heightened in light of the recent Orlando massacre. Now the new M.O. is to park far away, walk a mile, empty your pockets, have your bags checked at security, and get swiped with a metal detector. One must allow a lot of extra time going to venues nowadays so please remember this next time you attend a concert.
There were plenty of people dressed in black concert logo t-shirts, patrons with face paint, hats, ripped fishnet stockings, and exposed skin galore. It was hot and muggy on Saturday night—but at least no rain. That was a Godsend.
Now, I saw Marilyn Manson in the mid-1990s when he was touring with Nine Inch Nails and the Jack Rose Circus. We were all a lot younger back then and the concert was in a smaller venue in Tampa, as I recall. I have always loved Marilyn Manson’s music, style, and even his political outspokenness. He used to be a regular on Bill Maher’s show through the years and it was always a pleasure to hear what he had to say. Yes, I own “Anti-Christ Superstar” and a couple of other Manson CDs. This tour was promoting his recent album The Pale Emperor.
First up for the evening was Of Mice & Men, a post-core or metalcore band that came out on fire. From the get-go they brought out electric energy and the crowd, although small at the time since it was early, was digging their sound. Of Mice & Men was the perfect choice as support, as the band entertained with the foggy stage, growling leaps and squats from lead singer Austin Carlile, hair flying, head banging, thumping bass lines, and wicked power chord guitar riffs. Lots of fun!
Next up, was Marilyn Manson. There was a large black curtain covering the front of the stage and I could see cylinders of gas, which made me wonder if there would be just smoke or indeed some pyro effects. The tension was building as we photographers waited in the pit and the arena was filled to the top by this time. There was a large standing crowd gathered in the pit near the stage, many were fanning themselves because of the heat. It was absolutely sweltering.
Finally, the silhouette image appeared behind the curtain, finally dropping to reveal a very smoky stage. Marilyn Manson was dressed in black pants, boots, and a fitted black jacket. He had white face paint with streaks of color across his eyes and beneath his neck and chin. His black hair was shaved except for a mop at the top. He looked absolutely ghostly, commanding, and almost Hitler-like as he marched out, growled, and squatted with the microphone. He perched himself on top of the speakers and gave it his all! The other band members wore make-up and played music with the typical “rock star” poses—the show was absolutely exhilarating!
At the end of the first song Marilyn Manson grabbed a couple of bags of something and walked to the front of the stage. I was a distance away and wondered what he was up to. Liquid blood? Water? Well, he threw two bags of red powder up in the air, and it landed on the crowd (mostly on my photographer pal William, who I told “you just were Christened by Marilyn Manson”). He wore it proudly the rest of the evening, not wiping it from his hair and clothes.
Now, we photographers were only allowed to hang in the photo pit for one song—but I could tell this was quite a show. One of my pals stuck around and watched saying that Marilyn Manson was in great form and this year’s show totally topped last summer’s tour with Smashing Pumpkins. Marilyn Manson threw paper currency into the crowd which featured his picture, the numbers “666”, and really looked like real money (well, maybe not).
I couldn’t leave without buying a Marilyn Manson t-shirt which I’m wearing as I type this article. It is black, of course, and really soft material. I opted for the t-shirt with his face and not the satanic demon on the cover, which might get me some stares at the grocery store.
Check out the photo highlights below:
Of Mice & Men
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