MANHATTAN, NY—Calling themselves the “Twins Of Evil” was a bit misleading with quite the polar opposite sets from Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. Each brought the grim and horror of the upcoming Halloween season in their own ways, with Manson’s set being a bit more understated than his tour mate’s. Luckily for the packed house, no bad blood seemed to be shared as it had a few days prior between the two headliners. After DJ Starscream warmed up the crowd, Manson was first up for the night.
Starting off with a track off this past year’s release, Born Villain, Manson rolled into hit parade of his catalog. It was almost predictable what was to come next from Manson during his set, and he seemed a bit like a wind-up toy going through each of his vignettes. However, this was a solid set that pleased everyone on the floor and those above in the mezzanines.
Bringing out his arsenal of characters from an androgynous alien to the original anti-Christ superstar, he also had a militant command over fans with the somewhat campy beat of “mOBSCENE.” Bright lights displayed random controversial words and spelled out in big letters was “DRUGS” for “Dope Show.” When the tempo slowed for songs like “Coma White,” Manson was usually shrouded in fog with lights dimmed.
While “Personal Jesus” may have been the highlight of the night for me, Manson truly made the set perfect with “Sweet Dreams” and ending on “The Beautiful People.” To confuse and delight, there was not just one, but two explosions of confetti from the stage, which made Hammerstein Ballroom feel like you were inside a giant snow globe that was hit by a blizzard.
Manson’s set was dark, intense, and to the point with little chatter, which made me a little disappointed he wasn’t on stage for a longer period of time. Right after he left, the cheers for an encore began, but instead of another song, fans were left picking confetti out of their hair and with a long wait for Rob Zombie while his elaborate stage was set up.
Watching all the props and screens assembled on stage, off to the side was a tease of what was to come. Rob Zombie turned out a set that was a full, explosive concert that had an ongoing movie playing out in the background. As someone new to the Zombie live show, the evening lived up to all the hype I had been hearing about this particular tour, and was even more excited with the clips of Halloween movie classics included in the visuals.
As his tour mate did, Zombie kept with tracks that would please fans like “Living Dead Girl” early on in the set and “Mars Needs Women,” which made the floor vibrate from the stomps of those it supported. A giant robot and devil graced the stage, some racy visuals were projected on the screen and in the spirit of what Manson and Zombie continue to do, Zombie did a short cover of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.”
Only having played a few songs longer than Manson, Zombie did make time to promote his upcoming movie for next year, The Lords Of Salem. With an interesting trailer that got the nod of approval from those around me, Zombie came back with the one last song everyone knew, “Dragula.” This tour is filed under one of the most visually appetizing shows I’ve seen, at least for this year. While the twins only played for not even a combined total of three hours, you were thoroughly entertained and most likely assured that whatever song you needed to hear that night was played.