Topeka Expocentre – October 4th, 2012……a show that has been in the making since the late 90′s. Two major acts that blew up 15+ years ago come together on a tour to scare the bejesus out of you and rock your world. Both rockers have been in the game a very long time and it’s good to report that after 2 decades (nearly 3) of heavy touring, sex, drugs and rock and roll…..Manson & Zombie can entertain the pants off of you and put on one hell of a great show!!! My wife and I cruised 70 miles on a Thursday night to go see this wonder take place. We both left with smiles on our faces and satisfied with both sets. Each artist performed incredibly well and their theatrics is something you MUST see before they call it quits.
We arrived right as Manson took stage and began performing a new hit, “Hey, Cruel World” and the crowd began shuffling violently back and forth. My wife and I struggled to get closer and closer to the gate, trying to get the best spot in the crowd as we could. However, the closer we got the more brutal the conditions became. It was a survival of crowd surfers and elbows as the crowd was a sea of pushes and pulls. That kind of crowd is highly annoying to be in and while I was trying feverishly to enjoy the show, I was constantly watching as people elbowed, banged and pushed everyone around them. The next three songs were a blur due to this: Disposable Teens, The Love Song & No Reflection. I do remember Manson coming out in a red religious robe for “The Love Song” and that was interesting and adored. Manson’s lighting and sound were impressive and his production values were definitely higher than when I saw him in May. Each song that was played, Manson had on a new wardrobe. It was fun to watch but highly unnecessary. Between Manson’s dress up though, the songs were loud and executed well. More fan favorites were played as My wife and I escaped the relentless crowd; mOBSCENE, The Dope Show & Slo-Mo-Tion played next and these were definitely some of the songs the fans loved to sing back towards the stage. Screaming every lyric as Manson danced around on stage.
The rest of Manson’s set was more towards the old school stuff, with the stage evolving for every era Manson played. After the cover “Personal Jesus” was played, the Anti Christ era was presented on the stage in full force and the song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” took over, the crowd screamed with excitement and sang along. When that song finished the lights all went out and surprisingly enough, Manson came back out and began to perform one of my personal favorite tracks “Come White”. The confetti flew non stop and it looked like snow fall as Manson sang the song beautifully, pulling the crowd fully into it. To top it all off, Manson and the gang finished strong with “Antichrist Superstar” and “The Beautiful People”! Manson fully brought it this time around and their performance was highly entertaining.
The crowd hurried and got more beer, emptied their bladders and bought more merch as Rob Zombie set up the stage for his show. This was one of the few times I actually sat there (At this time we were on the second level looking down from the right side of the stage) and watched as they put the stage together and prepped for the carnival of evil. A “Zombie Party” as Rob would put it. The screens were set, the flames were lit and the statue in the middle was set. It was definitely time to party. The intro to “Jesus Frankenstein” kicked in and the center statue monster was on fire, just before Rob Zombie’s verse came up, he slowly exited the torso of the statue that was on fire. Smoke and fog exit with him and he begins to sing and shout his lyrics with his massive arm extension he has equipped at the beginning of the show. I’ve seen this once before last summer and it’s still kick ass the second time around. “Jesus Frankenstein” is a great opener, not only does the song absolutely sound great live, it’s the best choice as it let’s the crowd know what they are in for and sets the tone of the show perfectly.
The next three songs that took place definitely kicked our asses into gear as the crowd and band got fully into it. “Superbeast”, “Meet The Creeper” and “Living Dead Girl” got the place rocking very hard and the visuals along with the random things walking out on stage was so much fun to watch. After these three hits, another classic came on as some White Zombie began to play! “More Human Than Human” kicked our asses and I’m sure you can agree with me as I mention this: This song just will never get old. Time after time, radio or live, it’s such a bad ass rockin tune. Rob Zombie still sings, dances and jumps around like it’s 1986, he does a great job being the ringleader of this evil circus of his. John 5′s guitar playing was spot on and one of his guitars lit up brilliantly, I was baffled and immediately wanted to hold that guitar. It was just captivating!
One song I’ve barely heard but seemed to be well received from the crowd, especially my wife, was “Mars Needs Women”. That is one hell of a catchy song. Definitely gets stuck in your head! The tempo sure as hell speeds up though with “Scum of the Earth” playing next! Then it’s sexy dance time as “Pussy Liquor” and “House of 1000 Corpses” plays. As we near the end of the set, the crowd goes nuts for “Thunderkiss 65″ and right as the song comes to an end, John 5 plays a guitar solo that lasts about 5 minutes long and is entertaining the entire time. Meanwhile, Rob Zombie circles the premise of the place with a flash light, getting the crowd to follow him and pump up everybody in the seats. When Rob returned to the stage they did the last verse of “65″ again and then that was it. They then covered the first verse and one chorus of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and finished with the hit that everyone knows the words to: “Dragula”.
Zombie’s theatrics were out of this world. Tons of mini fireworks, lights, flashes, zombies, serial murderers and monsters, tits, fast cars and robots. Hell this one time the giant two story tall devil thing lost an arm and the guy operating the entire thing almost tripped and ate shit. He would have landed on John 5 too but he caught himself and danced right off stage like nothing happened. The entire thing was a wonderful site to behold, new school fans and old school fans of all ages had the time of their lives that night. Rob and the gang put on a great show and that was the third time I’ve seen him and it was the best of all three shows. Every little detail, video, stage show, performance and dance was fun to watch. Not to mention the music goes along great with all of this craziness.
Marilyn Manson also put on the best show I’ve seen from him yet as well. Both him and Zombie impressed me and I such a great time! I highly suggest seeing them if the parade comes through to your town. It was a great show that stimulates your body and mind, through good audio and epic visuals, both acts made the show absolutely entertaining. An experience very few artists know how to pull off, and both do it with grace and masterfully nailed it song after song.