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Live Reviews : Marilyn Manson, Deathstars, Apocalyptica @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney 25/02/2015

By on February 26, 2015

Images & Words: Martin Michea

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Tonight I witnessed the Sidewave package that looked like the most interesting one beforehand. Deathstars are essentially a Rammstein light and they are always solid live. Apocalyptica used to be one of my absolute favourite bands when I was in my late teenage years, and while I don’t listen to them as frequently anymore I was really excited about seeing them perform again, as it had been way too long. And then there was Marilyn Manson, a living legend that I had never seen live before tonight. I had of course heard all the horror stories about the last time Manson was out here. But also the stories about him having cleaned up his act since then. So I was cautiously hopeful about his performance this time around.

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Deathstars kicked off things at the Enmore Theatre this evening. The last time I saw them was a bit different to tonight; they were the sole support for Rammstein in Copenhagen, performing in front of about 12 000 people. I am not a massive fan of the band, however, you know what you’ll get when it comes to Deathstars and that is something that I can really appreciate. The Swedes are by no means boring, they always bring a solid live performance to the table and songs like “Death Dies Hard” and “Blitzkrieg” are amazing in your face hits. Whiplasher is a great frontman and has a unique voice that goes a long way. Overall, the performance on stage was rock solid. However, the same can’t be said for the audience. It is quite strange, Deathstars and Marilyn Manson seems like a match made in heaven. They play similar music and they share pretty much the same image. I realise that Deathstars are quite unknown in this part of the world, but the crowd was almost zombie-like during the entire set, and it was a bit disappointing to see.

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Next up was the personal highlight of the evening: The Finnish heavy/classical metal band Apocalyptica. Nowadays also accompanied by permanent vocalist Franky Perez. With a new album just around the corner, the band played some fresh tracks from Shadowmaker tonight. Personally, I would have preferred a couple older songs instead, but that’s just me being sentimental. It worked out really well, the audience seemed to appreciate the songs and Franky sounded absolutely amazing live. He even handled older songs like “I’m Not Jesus” (replacing Corey Taylor is something few vocalists could do) and “I Don’t Care” extremely well.

I knew that Apocalyptica would be fantastic, and they didn’t disappoint. The energy on stage is phenomenal throughout the entire set and they all look so damn happy up there. During the Metallica ballad cover “Nothing Else Matters” I found myself thinking about if Apocalyptica would’ve worked out better together with some other Soundwave band? The audience was once again not very active during the songs and I would almost expect a better response from a Lamb of God crowd or something similar. It is a tricky one because Apocalyptica’s sound is so diverse, mixing classical pieces like “Quutamo” with Sepultura covers (“Inquisition Symphony”). It would be interesting to see them in a different setting and I am very excited to see what kind of crowd that will be watching them on Soundwave in a couple of days.

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After what felt like an eternity, it was time for Manson to hit the stage. I was admittedly a bit worried just a couple minutes before. I saw the stage crew carrying around a lot of towels, there were additional air conditioning around Marilyn’s microphone. I was thinking that maybe he can’t cope with the touring life anymore?

As it turned out, he still can, even though the set gave me mixed feelings. On one hand Marilyn Manson is a fantastic performer and artist. It didn’t sound bad either (for the most part). However, between songs it was quite difficult to decipher what he was saying, it mostly sounded like rambling and it all just felt a bit off. Not a huge issue, but it halted the energy in the room for a moment.

That being said, Marilyn Manson has reached this level of fame (partly) because of the kind of person he is, and as far as I’m concerned, as long as his fans like his performances, he can be as weird as he wants. It is all about the music after all and the set was for the most part awesome. I didn’t know many Marilyn Manson songs before tonight and I don’t normally listen to the band, but I was still quite pleasantly surprised. The stage show (lighting, confetti and stage props) were all top drawer stuff. Combined with Manson’s crazy stage antics, it proved to be a better set than I could have hoped for. The audience was also (of course) a lot better during the headliner set, and the Pale Emperor really deserved that response because he put on a great show. Especially for the front row, I don’t think I have seen anyone else interact as much with the audience before. I will be watching Marilyn Manson again on Sunday, I doubt that it will be as good as it was tonight, but the entertainment value will still be great I’m sure!

 

About

Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.