Thursday, November 1, 2012
Photos: Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie headlined creepiest Halloween bash in DFW
Despite flagrant costumes, the Twins of Evil spent the evening showcasing great musicianship.
Freakers Ball featuring Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie (October 31)
GRAND PRAIRIE Exploding balls of fire, giant robots, knives, and skeletons transformed Verizon Theatre into the biggest and creepiest Halloween bash in town, with a little help from Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. The twisted “Twins of Evil” co-headlining tour brought together these two sinister rockers for a go-big-or-go-home show that could terrify any trick-or-treater. The obvious pairing of these two masters of horror had never been executed until now.
With the recent headlines of discord between the two singers – Manson accused Zombie of cutting his set short two weeks ago – we kept our ears open for any profanity or threats directed at one another, but the only violent lines we heard were in their songs. Korn’s Jonathan Davis, under the DJ name J Devil, was the opening act until about a month ago when he quit for medical reasons. Slipknot’s Sid Wilson (DJ Starscream) has since filled in for Davis; he opened the Grand Prairie show.
Marilyn Manson didn’t hold back during his 60-minute set, with a different outfit and backdrop for every song. A morose cemetery scene christened by his signature use of the Cross of Lorraine materialized in songs like “Disposable Teens” and “Hey, Cruel World.” Shock value is key for Manson: In between roaring screams and outfit changes, he tore through anything in his way and manipulated props for pleasure. Early on, he picked up his beer by stabbing the can with a giant knife secured to his mic and continued to spew it from his mouth, over the crowd. A red head-to-toe Bishop ensemble and a feathery black top showcased his gothic glam style, transforming the set into an alternative version of a Lady Gaga show.
With little crowd interaction (no surprise here), Manson made his way through mega-hits like “The Dope Show” and “The Beautiful People” with good vocals and a creeping, evil tone. Despite his nonstop antics and showboat wardrobe, Manson brought depth and artistry to his live performance without missing a word. He growled the lines of his famous cover, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” underneath a looming interrogation lamp and a black cloth covering his face. It felt more like an eerie music video set than a packed venue. His flippant, defiant attitude is what has gotten him this far, and it’s what continues to fuel his almost 20-year career.
Rob Zombie, an entirely different beast fueled by violence and gore, stuck to his cinematographic style during his 75-minute headlining spot. Massive screens flooded the giant stage with classic horror film clips and scenes from his own Hollywood hits, House of 1,000 Corpses and Halloween. The famous horror film director has shown he hasn’t forgotten that his roots lie in hard rock by continuing to put out records in between movie releases, and the same goes for his live performance. Zombie’s dreadlocked head was right where it should be on Wednesday night – banging away to songs that scale his lengthy career, including tracks like “Thunder Kiss ‘65” from his days with White Zombie.
Fiery torches pulsed through his early rendition of “Living Dead Girl” with clips of his favorite starlet and wife Sheri Moon flashing by. Throughout the night, Zombie’s band held their own with gut-punching riffs and droning drum solos that could put you in a devilish trance. A 10-foot tall robot, devil, and an evil pumpkin man periodically marched behind the band while Zombie came out on his own giant robot for “Mars Needs Women.” Yes, he had a set full of doom and gloom that was built to impress, but it didn't overshadow the music.
The sinister front man excitedly talked about the holiday and dressed up in two costumes: a dark, hooded robe; and a Texas Rangers jersey inscribed with “Zombie.” What looked like Moon (though he never introduced her) came out in a nerd costume to overwhelming shrieks from the crowd. In predictable and shameless fashion, Zombie plugged his newest film, Lords of Salem, before his raging encore of “Dragula.” The crazed audience couldn’t get enough of him.
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