Sulky Marilyn Manson provides a masterclass in apathy

Download 2009 review

published: Mon 22nd Jun 2009

Marilyn Manson

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June 2009
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£135 weekend, £65 any day, camping is an extra £25
last updated: Thu 11th Jun 2009

It's not easy watching someone who really doesn't want to be there. Sure, there's a kind of morbid fascination attached to seeing a performer make a tit of themselves on stage. But, like staring at a particularly nasty car crash, there's an air of horror about the whole thing- which is perhaps appropriate for Marilyn Manson tonight, considering his long-held role as king ghoul.

Marilyn Manson
Like a cheeky school boy doing a half-arsed job of his class presentation, it's clear from the off that Manson is barely on autopilot, scraping through an increasingly depressing set with a minimum of conviction. Opening with new songs is usually an unwise choice, and 'Four Rusted Horses' and 'Pretty as a Swastika' from the latest album do little to redress this. Yet even when the big guns are pulled out with 'Disposable Teens', uber-cover 'Sweet Dreams' and encore 'The Beautiful People', Manson struggles to inject enough vitriol. Things never fully change gear as they should, and the performance flounders on.

While the music lacks bite, the atmosphere is even worse. Manson's whole time on stage tonight feels distant, even careless. In between practically every song he's attended to by a small army of stylists. It's a performance that's akin to watching a petulant, spoiled child dragging their feet, the worst of rock star pompousness with none of the energy or chutzpah to excuse it. Throughout, the gulf between Manson and the Download horde is gaping.

Marilyn Manson
With the return of Twiggy Ramirez, the set could have been as ferocious and thrilling as festival stints of old. But the God of Fuck and his demented disciples are nowhere to be seen on tonight's stage; instead we have just plain Brian and his mates trying on their sisters' make up. And feeling slightly embarrassed about the whole thing, OK??!

The nearest the crowd gets to banter is a predictable drugs reference and some nonsensical rambling about coats. Marilyn Manson has been a welcome staple at Download since it first kicked off, but, judging by tonight's effort, maybe that's the problem.
review by: Nick Hagan

photos by: Luke Seagrave

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June 2009
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£135 weekend, £65 any day, camping is an extra £25
last updated: Thu 11th Jun 2009

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