Review: Marilyn Manson + Apocalyptica + Deathstars, Sydney

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Marilyn Manson + Apocalyptica + Deathstars
The Enmore Theatre
25 February 2015
Review by Matt Bolton
Photos by Christian McGuinness

After some real hot days in Sydney and uncomfortable nights a cool change has come in time for tonight, perhaps because of the arrival of ‘The God of Fuck.’ The rain was most welcoming as were the hundreds of MANSON fans lined up around the corner past the hotel. Everyone shared big smiles on their faces. It was on for the young and old. In front of me there was even a portrait of an ‘Australian’ family, queued up, waiting patiently to be let into the main entrance.

The troops were soon let in and it was only a matter of time before the festivities began. DEATHSTARS were the perfect band to start the night. The theatre was soon in darkness and the crowd screamed in excitement as the stage lit up to show three gloomy figures take the stage, taking the stage names of Nightmare, Skinny and Vice. They were soon joined by front man Whiplasher who came running out dressed in a black jacket.

Opening the set with ‘Night Electric Night’, the band had the crowd going from the get-go. Vice belting away on the kit to the pummelling groove provided by Skinny on the bass. The thick, hard hitting riffs and the industrial tone from Nightmare’s guitar were infectious. The band were tight, giving us a taste of their latest offering, ‘The Perfect Cult’ with my personal favourite from the album being, ‘The Devil’s Toys’ and ‘Genocide’ taken off debut album ‘Synthetic Generation’.

Vice’s upbeat drum pattern meant it was time for the crowd favourite ‘Blitzkreig’ off ‘Termination Bliss’ and the groovy bassline from Skinny Disco and infectious riff courtesy of Nightmare Industries made this number a highlight for me. Whiplasher knew how to work the crowd asking for silence, saying, “You speak when you’re spoken to” and humorously, “you open your legs when you’re spoken too.” They ended what seemed a too short set with another song from ‘Night Electric Night’ being ‘Blood Stains Blondes.’ DEATHSTARS were faultless tonight and are definitely worth checking out at Soundwave.

Next on the bill were APOCALYPTICA, hailing from Finland. I didn’t know what to expect and I was blown away after experiencing what can only be described as a wall of sound. My head felt like it was about to explode it was so good. For the hour that APOCALYPTICA were on the stage they had the attention of the crowd from beginning to end. With the sounds of the late JEFF BUCKLEY played through the P.A. with his mesmerizing rendition of LEONARD COHEN’s ‘Hallelujah’ four figures took the stage and the crowd erupted.

APOCALYPTICA don’t waste anytime introducing us to their amazing skills behind the cello. Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen and Perttu Kivilaakso are accompanied by Mikko Sirén who is a master behind the kit as we are soon to discover. Joined by Franky Perez on vocals tonight, I was impressed at the strength of Frankys’ voice when latest single, ‘Cold life’ from the upcoming ‘Shadowmaker’ album was shared with us. Franky is a powerhouse of a front man. If that wasn’t enough Franky proved he could master, ‘I’m Not Jesus’, made famous by Corey Taylor of SLIPKNOT off the phenomenal ‘World’s Collide’ album.

What first introduced me to APOCALYPTICA was hearing METALLICA being played by nothing but the Cello. Tonight a chilling performance of ‘Nothing Else Matters’ was played and I’m sure it sent chills down the spines of everyone in the audience. The crowd were chanting the chorus; those that had lighters were waving them in unison. Another highlight for me was when Franky came out to perform the title track off the upcoming album, being ‘Shadowmaker’. I prefer this song to the single that was played earlier, perhaps due to the fact that the single was a single for a reason due to its running time. This song went for 8 minutes, however it was so good it was over before you knew it. Kudos to Franky on the vocals, this man is amazing. Towards the end of the song the Finnish thrash out and the sounds on the cello sound like a guitar solo. It was so surreal.

“Are you ready for Metal?” the crowd is asked and APOCALYPTICA thrash and groove away to SEPULTURA’s ‘Inquisition Symphony’ providing windmills and some heavy hand banging. Franky rejoins the band for a great delivery of ‘I Don’t Care’ also taken off ‘World’s Collide.’ Outside before the gig I could hear the band rehearsing and you would swear it was Adam Gontier of THREE DAYS GRACE on the stage. After being called “Crazy Monkeys” APOCALYPTICA leave us with ‘Hall of the Mountain’ and get all patriotic blasting into ‘Advance Australia Fair’ with the crowd attempting to sing the words. We knew all the words when Franky was singing APOCALYPTICA songs but when it comes to Advanced Australia Fair….

Apart from original members both Marilyn and Twiggy, Tyler Bates helped form the band recruiting Gil Sharon of STOLEN BABIES with Paul Wiley joining him for live guitar, into what they are today. With the return of MANSON and his ground-breaking new album ‘The Pale Emperor’ I would say that 2015 is MARILYN MANSON’s year. This being the fourth time I’ve witnessed the man, last time being here supported by COAL CHAMBER and WEDNESDAY 13, I’d have to say this is the best the band has sounded in years.

Kicking off the set with ‘Deep Six’ off ‘The Pale Emperor’ the crowd were ecstatic. That hard hitting guitar riff was the perfect way to get things rolling. The energy on stage provided not only by the front man but the band, Twiggy jumping around and both Tyler and Paul moving around franticly to Gil who grooved away like a beast behind the kit. MANSON then asked if we’re one of the ‘Disposable Teens’ and the crowd erupts. It was great to hear songs off ‘Mechanical Animals’ tonight, along with ‘Rock Is Dead’ and ‘The Dope Show’. MANSON introduced the latter by explaining that if you sucked his cock you would most definitely come up as positive for drugs.

The bluesy tone provided by Tyler on the latest album goes down well especially on stage tonight with ‘Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge’ and ‘Cupid Carries A gun’. “Pound me the witch drums. Pound me the witch drums,” is sung. I smile every time I hear the song on Tyler’s TV Series, ‘Salem’ and hearing it tonight was surreal. The stage props were cool with MANSON’s knife mic used while singing ‘Killing Strangers’, made famous from the recent Keanu Reeves flick, ‘John Wick’ and the use of custom made ‘666’ guitars used on stage.

Old MANSON fans would have been happy to hear MANSON’s infamous cover of EURYTHMICS, ‘Sweet Dreams’ (Are Made of This) and MANSON’s famous screams sounded top notch tonight. It was like I was reliving the 90’s. Throwing in the cover of a DEPECHE MODE classic, ‘Personal Jesus’ was another highlight and ‘This is the New Shit,’ off ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’.

Ending the night with what still to this day sounds as good as when I first heard it was ‘The Beautiful People’. The crowd went wild with MANSON rummaging around the stage; running and rolling around, band members stomping. After a brief encore the band returned with ‘Irresponsible Hate Anthem’ also off ‘Antichrist Superstar.’ MARILYN MANSON has been rejuvenated with a tight new band. The ‘Antichrist Superstar’ is born again. Hellalujah!

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