Gig Review by Cathy Bell with Photography by Jason Broadhurst

The black curtain is raised in the O2 Apollo in readiness for the unveiling of Marilyn Manson. The crowd is chanting in anticipation as ‘This is the End’ by the Doors echoes out into the arena.

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As the curtain drops, we stare through the smoke to see just what the band has in store for us. 2017 has certainly been a tough year for Marilyn Manson; and leaves us wondering; how will he perform with a broken leg; and who will be replacing Twiggy Ramirez on bass guitar?

This unveiling in many ways was more than just the commencement of what was to be an epic performance, but was the reveal of the strength and determination of a band who, in Marilyn Manson’s own words as he addressed the crowd “I may be a bit broken, but you cannot fucking break me.”

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Revelation #12 thundered through the arena, with Manson on a black regal throne, which had been kitted out with wheels and a remote; fooling us into thinking he would be fairly immobile throughout the performance. But by half way through the first song, Manson was thrashing to the beat despite the obvious injury; already desperate to get up out of his chair and engage with the audience.

This is the New Shit, and Disposable Teens, and Mobscene reverberate though the venue, leaving us buzzing with nostalgia as they hammer over our heads.

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Not to be kept down, Manson plays up his role as hospital patient; with two men in doctors scrubs complete with face masks attend to him at every song change; costumes from across the eras flying on and off as he bears his muscles in defiance.

Manson’s scorched vocals coax us willingly back to present with ‘Kill4me’ which he ends with a light hearted warning “Not now; you’ll go to jail!” By this point, Manson’s boot is long forgotten as we are entranced by his performance generally; the varied tracks and the banter with the other members and the two guys in scrubs.

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We are in for a treat as Manson is helped onto a stretcher where he clutches his iconic lamp for Sweet Dreams, which rolls out with unwavering passion.

Manson seems unable to contain himself, balancing on his crutch to dance, and dabbling with Tyler Bates’ guitar. Throughout the set, he is reverberating with the enthusiasm that even with a crushed leg, and last minute band member switch could not dampen.

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Despite the injury, Manson gave a phenomenal performance; unable to release his passion through his usual electricity and enthusiasm as he storms across the stage- his usual energetic self, he more than made up for it with fantastic costume changes, spontaneous cheeky lyric changes, and some unexpected hits such as ‘Tourniquet’, ‘This is the New Shit’ and ‘The Dope Show’. Roll on Download 2018.

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