Snow, sleet, freezing rain, hail and tour busses sliding off the road - someone didn't want the Marilyn Manson concert to go on Saturday night. But it did. Give round one to the devil.
The pretentious prince of industrial metal returned to Utah and ripped up another Book of Mormon.That's as controversial as the show at the Wolf Mountain arena got. The band - vocalist Marilyn Manson, bassist Twiggy Ramirez, keyboardist Madonna Wayne Gacy, drummer Ginger Fish and guitarist Zim Zum - whose stage antics usually include fluorescent sexual devices, on-stage nudity and simulated sex acts - put on a relatively tame gothic metal concert.
About 2,400 die-hard fans braved the elements to get a glimpse of the band that is the sworn enemy of the Christian Coalition (and anyone with good taste).
Like rubberneckers at an auto accident, the mild-mannered audience members stuck around to satisfy their morbid curiosity. But the joke was on them. Nothing very shocking occurred. Manson did, however, cut his chest with a broken bottle, grabbed his groin a few times and dared some sick fan - who was bull's-eyeing the singer with a laser rifle-scope - to shoot him.
"I'll even give you a better target," Manson snapped as he stood on a monitor speaker.
The stage, which was usually obscured by fog, featured a dragon, a pipe organ and a stained-glass painting of Michael the archangel.
The band played "The Reflecting God," "Angel with Scabbed Wings," "The Irresponsible Hate Anthem" and "Beautiful People" from its new concept album "Anti-Christ Superstar."
The Manson crew also spewed out some more industrial trash from its debut album, "Portrait of An American Family," including "Organ Grinder," "Get Your Gunn," and "Cake & Sodomy" - which was cheaply dedicated to the Mormon Church.
Speaking of religion, the second Book of Mormon ripping (the first took place at the Delta Center in 1994) happened during the title cut to "Anti-Christ Superstar." Manson, wearing a preacher's suit, stood at a black and red podium - the colors represent fascism - and tore a collective handful of pages from the sacred text. The incident was a ho-hum attempt at shock value - kind of like a B-movie rerun with bad acting. (Been there, done that. C'mon guys, time for a new gimmick. This one's getting old).
The band's biggest hit is also unoriginal. The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)," which appears on the Manson EP, "Smells Like Children," got the biggest cheers of the night.
Manson's two encores were also anticlimatic. The audience anticipated some of the controversial props that begat Manson's overblown reputation. Instead, the night ended with the pompous melodramatic drawl of "Man the You Fear."
Manson filled the night with lyrics of masturbation, sado-masochism, anger, perversion, suicide, hate and betrayal in very graphic terms. But when the smoke and mirrors settled, there was nothing left but a man with limited depth trying to make the Sahara out of a sandbox.
Opening band, L7 - one of the pioneers of the riot grrl movement - had a good cutting sound. But don't let the punk attitude fool you. The slick choreography and power chords were nothing but Judas Priest leftovers.