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Concert Reviews:
Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson make Evil sound good at DTE tour openr

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia, @GraffonMusic on Twitter

Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town” played on the PA just before Rob Zombie took the stage Wednesday night, July 11, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- a fitting overture for the evening’s hard rock festivities.

The boys in question were Zombie and Marilyn Manson, self-proclaimed Twins of Evil hitting the road again with a The Second Coming Tour sequel to their first joint venture during 2012. That outing did not smart smoothly; In fact, it was at DTE where things came to a boil, with Manson threatening to “beat (Zombie’s) ass -- twice, three (expletive) times” and Zombie calling Manson “some punk-a** b****.” The two settled their differences and spent another three months on the road together.

There were no such issues at Wednesday’s Second Coming Tour opener. “We’ll have no more hijinks like we had last year,” Zombie promised; He even watched the first half-hour of Manson’s set, cheering his tour mate on from the side of the stage. Manson, meanwhile, joined Zombie during his portion of the show for the live debut of their duet cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” which the pair released earlier in the day.

And like the good shock rockers they are, the two figured out another way to raise eyebrows, accompanying the song with a discomfiting video tribute to Charles Manson and his “family,” which notoriously cited the song as one of the inspirations for its August 1969 murder spree in California.

Ultimately, however, it was as smooth a tour opener as Zombie, Manson and their fans could ask for. The sound mix and staging were dialed in, and both bands sounded mid-tour tight as they navigated their respective trigger-laced brands of heavy rock. Performing in daylight neutered some of Manson’s macabre mystery (we’re probably not supposed to see him towled down by crew members between songs), but that didn’t stop him from delivering a 13-song, 70-minute set filled Satanic salutes such as “Irresponsible Hate Anthem,” “Angel With the Scabbed Wings,” “Kill4Me,” “Say10” and, of course, “Antichrist Superstar,” performed, as usual, atop a tall, Nurembergian podium.

Manson, who changed jackets several times, did scale down his theatrics a bit this time eschewing major props as he prowled around the stage, peaking with a one-two punch of “The Dope Show” and Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”

Zombie, in contrast, closed the night with an over-the-top 65-minute visual carnival, using a dozen video boards to show vintage movie and burlesque footage and homages to dead horror film heroes and deploying large-scale space robot and Satan puppets during “Well, Everybody’s...in a UFO” and White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ‘65.” He waded into the pavilion during another White Zombie favorite, “More Human Than Human,” and during Grosse Pointe-born guitarist John 5’s extended solo Zombie traversed the concourse between the pavilion and lawn to whip the DTE crowd into a frenzy.

Zombie -- who threw an ad for his upcoming horror film “3 From Hell” into the encore break -- had plenty to say, too, milking screams from the crowd and lamenting the fact that Canadian rapper Drake has more Top 10 Billboard hits “than all the (expletive) rock bands put together. Good for him, but it’s up to us to save the...situation.” Zombie and Manson certainly did that on Wednesday -- if only for one night.

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