By: Evan "The Real Concert King" Harrison
When: October 31, 2014 Where: The Roxy, Hollywood, CA
Controversial rock star Marilyn Manson may not be as shocking as he once was, but on Halloween night he shocked a sold out Roxy by bringing out his good friend Johnny Depp to perform on one of his most iconic songs.
The rock legend treated hardcore fans in Southern California to three intimate shows around the end of October, one at The Observatory in Santa Ana and two at The Roxy in Hollywood. Not surprisingly, tickets for the concerts sold out literally in seconds.
Manson has a history of arriving on stage...let's call it fashionably late. With no opening act, he took the stage about an hour and 45 minutes after doors opened and immediately tore into a brand new song titled Deep Six before pulling out classics Disposable Teens and, one of my personal favorites, mOBSCENE. The stage set up was modest, especially for a Marilyn Manson show. There were no props, special lights or symbols; just a simple black backdrop sporting a new "MM" logo in white. What the show lacked in production value, it more than made up for with intimacy. Manson was able to interact with fans even more than usual since there was no barricade and the fans were pressed up against the stage. He has always seemed to enjoy getting down on the stage and being face to face with his fans screaming along, and he did plenty of that.
Needless to say, the energy in the venue was fantastic. Maybe it was because tickets were so hard to come by, or perhaps it was simply from being at a Marilyn Manson show on Halloween, but the band definitely fed off of the energy the crowd was giving to them. Manson's performance even seemed to be of a higher caliber than I've seen in some videos from the past few years.
The setlist was a mostly eclectic mix of new material and fan favorites, from the TV series Salem's theme song Cupid Carries a Gun to his revered cover of the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams. I was very happy to see him continue playing one of my favorite MM songs, This Is the New Shit, which he just started playing again last year in San Diego after not having played it for 10 years.
After the band played Mister Superstar, a song that up until this year had not been performed since 1997, they exited the stage. Then, the defining moment of this concert that has been the buzz of the internet since it happened: Marilyn Manson appeared out of the darkness and grabbed the microphone, telling the crowd he had "Not one, but two treats." He then turned to his right and said, "We've got Mr. Johnny Depp. Dressed up as Johnny Depp." And the Academy Award nominated actor appeared out of the shadows with a guitar and waved at the crowd. My view was instantly obscured by an even larger sea of cell phones and cameras than usual, everyone wanting to take blurry, out of focus, dimly lit photographs of the unforgettable moment happening right in front of them. The reaction to Depp's appearance was rather fascinating. You would think the roof would have been blown off of the place from all of the excited and surprised screaming, but I think everyone was so shocked they were unable to figure out how to react. I certainly just stood there with my mouth agape for several moments. Manson then introduced Ninja from the South African group Die Antwoord. After a minute or two of goofing around with Johnny Depp, Manson shouted out "THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE" and the band immediately ripped into one of their most well known songs. Johnny Depp took the lead and played the instantly recognizable opening riffs. You might think a big movie star would look out of place and awkward on stage with a rock band, but he fit right in and looked extremely comfortable performing with one of his best friends. He even ventured to the center of the stage with a big smile on his face and interacted with Manson. I'm not entirely sure how much Ninja's presence added to the performance, as he messed up the lyrics and timing on more than one occassion, but he was definitely trying his hardest to pump up the crowd. He dove off the stage a few times and constantly ran back and forth onstage. I'm sure people who are bigger fans of Die Antwoord were much more excited to see him than I was. As a huge Johnny Depp fan, his presence was all I was really paying attention to, and it was a tremendous treat to get to see him play guitar on a song I grew up listening to. Manson seemed content letting Ninja and the fans sing a bulk of the lyrics, but at this point it was more about the spectacle than the song itself so it wasn't bothersome. After the conclusion of the song, Manson and Depp embraced, their love and respect for one another very evident.
All in all, that was a night I will never forget. Getting to experience a band and artist that have had a significant impact on me in such an intimate setting, as well as one of my favorite actors making a very rare appearance was more than worth the ticket price.
For more videos from this concert and countless others, head over to www.youtube.com/TheRealConcertKing.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics cover)
Cupid Carries a Gun
Rock Is Dead
The Dope Show
Third Day of a Seven Day Binge
Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode cover)
This Is the New Shit
The Beautiful People (with Johnny Depp and Ninja from Die Antwoord)