Marilyn Manson stumbled into Toronto last night (Sept. 17) and put on a paint-by-numbers performance at the Air Canada Centre that matched the venue’s mediocre attendance levels. Touring in support of The High End of Low, easily Manson’s weakest album to date, the 40-year-old Antichrist Superstar was noticeably drunk and beer-bellied, a far cry from the savage wraith capable of whipping up stadiums full of adoring fans less than a decade ago. What happened? Blame alcoholism, an ill-fated (and never completed) venture into filmmaking, and perhaps residual emotional damage from his split his ex-wife Dita Von Teese (no doubt the subject of his recent song ‘Wow’).

Even the appearance of long-estranged creative partner Twiggy Ramirez, now playing guitar instead of bass, couldn’t save a performance doomed by Manson’s apathetic attitude and general incoherence. (Asking a member of the crowd for a dollar bill just smacked of idiocy, especially coming from a man as obviously intelligent as Manson. It’s called a loonie, Marilyn. They’v been around awhile.)

Much like his last area appearance, playing with Slayer at the Molson Amphitheatre two summers ago, Manson seemed surrounded by hired guns, not a band, and therefore the ACC’s massive stage seemed to dwarf him. (It didn’t help that the venue was half-empty… or half-full if you want to be optimistic.)

A single encore of ‘The Beautiful People’, while greeted warmly by the crowd, seemed half-hearted, and one had to wonder how many times Manson has asked his audiences “how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?,” delivered as it was with so little enthusiasm.

Can Marilyn Manson redeem himself? Hell, if his one-time mentor Trent Reznor can kick heroin, Manson can beat the drink. But his psychological issues may run even deeper than Reznor’s. Here’s hoping the Antichrist Superstar pulls himself out of the depths of hell to which he so obviously sunk.


  1. Nicely put. A fall in Manson’s career was inevitable I suppose, a shame for such an intelligent person.

    One of my fav quotes by him is: “Don’t bother trying to save the brain forest.” (Doppleherz). I loved how portentious that film was, it was great!

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