Slipknot, Marilyn Manson Austin360 Amphitheater Concert Review: sweaty heads banged on a simmering August night.
A muggy, August Texas night seemed about right for a Slipknot concert, and the packed crowd of maggots at Austin’s 360 Amphitheater were ready for some bludgeoning.
Things kicked off with serviceable metalcore from openers Of Mice and Men, which had enough chugging riffs to get the crowd moving, and to overlook the incredible amount of piped-in backing vocals that threatened to overwhelm the sound mix.
Marilyn Manson was up next, who after some recently bizarre and haphazard performances, gave a more energized and focused set, likely helped by the fact that it was the last show of the tour.
That being said, his truncated set list sadly neglected his excellent 2015 comeback The Pale Emperor, save for the sole inclusion Cupid Carries A Gun, and omitted their classic 1994 début Portrait of An American Family entirely. Given the long lulls between songs, one can’t help feel shortchanged in the diversity of material dept.
The late David Bowie got an homage with Manson’s mashup of Moonage Daydream and mObscene. Manson gave a shout out to the upcoming 20th anniversary (twenty years?!) of their 1997 release Antichrist Superstar (with bassist Twiggy Ramirez in tow) before launching into Irresponsible Hate Anthem, which got things moving nicely and a sea of middle-fingers flying.
Being an opener, Manson’s stage show was more stripped down that usual, but still allowed for his fascist lightning bolt podium (oddly appropriate in this ugly election cycle) for the Antichrist Superstar title track, and prosthetic stilts during their cover of The Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Things ended with a bang with The Beautiful People which still has the power to bring out your inner misanthrope.
I’ll admit I’m a latter-day convert to Slipknot: for years I was resistant to their nefarious charms. But the metal armada are going on close to twenty years now, seemingly more popular than ever. The reason? Their live shows. And I will argue that they give the best bang for your metal dollar from any of their contemporaries.
Featuring a multi-media stage set showing disturbing imagery, two twirling percussion stands, and their Grand Guignol masked visages, the band hit the ground running with The Negative One, from their 2014 release .5: The Gray Chapter, proving that neither Corey Taylor’s recent spinal surgery (which forced this date to be rescheduled: he rocked a neck-brace for the set) nor the oppressive Texas heat could diminish the power of the frontman’s pipes.
Taylor was a marvel throughout, soaring on head-banging anthems like Left Behind and Psychosocial, while letting out his inner balladeer on the sorrowful Dead Memories.
Guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson blasted out demonic riffage and pinched harmonics with aplomb on tracks like Disasterpiece and Killpop, and the band’s sonic and visual onslaught was downright overpowering in the best sense. Sensory Overload is too meek a term to describe the bombast and shock and awe of a Slipknot show, with its trippy carnival flair and super-sized sound aided by three combative percussionists.
Slipknot value their fans, who Taylor repeatedly thanked throughout the night, culminating in an encore of live staple Spit it Out, where the somber commanded audience members to hunker on their feet before leaping in the air at the song’s crescendo (Taylor joined in, saying he’d been saving up for it after resting from surgery).
Being the closing night of the tour, they even did an old-school stage bow, hugging it out before the lights went up.
We all partied like it was 1999. My neck hurts today. If that’s not a sign of a great metal show I don’t know what is.
Marilyn Manson Austin360 Setlist:
Angel With the Scabbed Wings
mOBSCENE (with Moonage Daydream-Bowie Cover)
Cupid Carries a Gun
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
The Dope Show
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
The Beautiful People
Slipknot Austin360 Setlist
The Negative One
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
Pulse of the Maggots
The Devil in I
Wait and Bleed
Spit It Out