Marilyn Manson has long passed his shock rock peak of the late 1990s, when he was blamed for everything from the Columbine shootings to the collapse of civilization as we know it. Now he can simply concentrate on providing weaponised rock theatre for an audience of eyelinered teens and older acolytes. These days, the danger comes from his own stage set – on a previous tour date, a hefty prop depicting two guns fell off the backdrop and broke his right leg in two places.
Marilyn Manson, Academy, Glasgow ***
Manson has elected to run with this gothic pantomime incident and appeared with his leg strapped up on a motorized wheelchair throne – borrowing ideas from Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl - raging from his confinement like a cyberpunk Davros.
Manson was not to be curbed, however, and was helped stage front to conduct most of the set on crutches, from where a couple of deapan assistants in surgical scrubs could keep an eye on him. Later, he took a darkly comic turn on a gurney, echoing the hospital fetish imagery of original shock rocker Alice Cooper.
It was a novel way to keep the Marilyn Manson circus on the road, even if the cavalcade was inevitably interrupted while the ringmaster hobbled into position. With Manson restricted, the energy came from the band’s execution of his powerfully hooky blend of punk, metal, industrial, electro and glam rock, best captured on the gothic bubblegum of Mobscene, sleazy swagger of The Dope Show and post-punk maelstrom The Beautiful People.