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Marilyn Manson: Osaka Castle Hall
The God Of Fuck shouts a lot to little effect...
Of course, in all horror there is beauty, and between the driving thuds of shapeless noise that underpin much of the set are some of the most energising glam stomps in recent pop memory. Brooding, angry, dark but undeniably listenable, 'The Beautiful People' and 'Disposable Teens' tonight justify their place as anthems for disaffected youth, while 'Rock Is Dead' gives us an insight into why kids across the planet want to emulate him. Dangerous, yes, but thrillingly so: lights flash and guitars crash, as Manson marches around in black platform boots. Who wouldn't want to look down from the dizzy height of Brian On Stilts - even if you did have to wear a corset?
Sometimes the magic wears off - for all the dizzy highs of 'Dope Show'-type glamorama, there are plunging lows celebrating Manson's love of the noisy dirge, and - crucially, crushingly - these lows outnumber the generational flag songs. You can thrust your cod-piece all you like, but in the cold light of Osaka you can't hide the limiting fact that without the context of reactionary America it's hard to imagine Manson attracting quite so much attention.
Away from the controlled imagery of MTV cinematography and too distant from the crowd to exploit his kooky contact lenses, Manson's subversive powers are somewhat diminished. Is there kryptonite onstage? One thing's for certain - the Antichrist most certainly isn't. He's not even out collecting souls. He's sitting at the back, eating popcorn and requesting something he knows.
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