By Mike Ritchie
In the minds of most metal heads of the early to mid-nineties this would’ve been a dream tour to see amongst the ranks of Guns n Roses and Metallica though timeline wise Manson was still a spooky kid and GNR was wreaking havoc worldwide, particularly Montreal. Some might even say Axel was the antichrist of his day. However in the world of fantasy concert booking a double bill of GNR supporting Illusion and Manson in his Antichrist prime would’ve sold out the world, once they figured out who would headline. The Axel vs. Marilyn ego-fest would’ve been legendary.
However the GNR of today, though still touring arenas and stadiums is not exactly what we remember them to be. Though the original appetite is long gone, the voice is still there and to some that’s what matters and though middle age may have calmed Manson down a bit from his addiction to controversy, he’s still making music the world wants to hear.
Since without tampering with the space time continuum and the flux capacitor the two would never be able to come together and share the same stage, Cincinnati’s Gregg Coulter gave us a look at what it could’ve been like seeing the 1987-1993 GNR decadence and a career spanning Manson show in 2014. Coulter, the mastermind behind both tributes auditioned and coached each member as he portrays his own double identity of Slash and John 5 or Zim Zum depending on show. Bryan Scott portrays Izzy Stradlin to his alter ego Manson. Steve is Duff McKagan and Twiggy Ramirez, GNR’s Axel is Doug Guod aka Ginger Fish and the lovely lady in black on the Holy Wood stage is Lacey Gacey on keyboards. Illusion was formed in 2008 while the more recent 2013 spawned Holy Wood got headliner treatment.
Use Your Illusion: The Sights and Sounds of Guns-n-Roses played Appetite-Use Your Illusion II era GNR. Though nothing was played from Lies they’ll probably do it on request, you just need a little patience. The Spaghetti Incident was also not represented but it would be a bit odd if a tribute band covered a cover, covered by the band they’re covering. Also, though officially under the GNR name there was no democracy.
Playing the first show in several months, with no rehearsal, preferring a straight up, get up, plug in and jam approach they went through 10 GNR gems. Did it sound perfect? No, but neither did the original. A few wrong notes hit and a few missed here and there but nothing to warrant riotous action. In the words of Axel, “people might think we’re the sloppiest band in the world, but I really don’t give a f-.” Did they go on before midnight? Shockingly yes! Were they under the influence? Not noticeably but decadence can always be hidden with experience. Guod spent the hour doing his best serpentine slither including a wardrobe change and definitely had the presence and charisma of W. Axel.
“It’s So Easy” opened the evening’s appetite for pseudo Axel. “Out to Get Me” was taken to heart as was the lovely street wise story of “My Michele.” They busted out the first of the nights illusions rockin with Dylan “Knockin' on Heaven’s Door.” For all the Cool Hand Luke fans, they explained “what we got here is failure to communicate.” What’s so civil about war anyway? From civil wars to wars concerning the family, the Godfather came out courtesy of Greg “Slash” Coulter’s guitar.
The song that started as a ‘circus riff’ filling venues everywhere blasting them into the worldwide spotlight came next. Where do we go now sweet child? Do you know where the f- you are? You’re in the jungle baby, in Covington, KY at The Loft above Tickets www.facebook.com/theloftcov, approximately a few stone throws away from the river. Wake up, time to die, just don’t go out like a “Rocket Queen.” Last but not least they took us down to where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
They took a breather to go get dolled / gothed up for the night’s second half.
Holy Wood - The Marilyn Manson Experience started appropriately with the birth of the antichrist and the “Irresponsible Hate Anthem.” Immediately making a long career jump to Born Villain’s “Pistol Whipped” then went back a few years to The High End of Low ushering in some “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon.” They took a time warp trip back to the mid-nineties and remembered what “Sweet Dreams” are made of. Omega made her first appearance in furry fashion on the “Dope Show” followed by the superstars “Tourniquet.” You say you want evolution, you say you want a revolution man, well I say that your full of sh-, because we were all once “Disposable Teens.”
According to Manson, he’s the “Angel with the Scabbed Wings,” spreading his disease, wants to powder his nose… for the “Mob Scene,” it’s better than a sex scene, it’s obscene, obscene. They’ve got a crush on a pretty pistol. Do you love your guns, god, government? This is evolution, the monkey, the man and the gun. It was time to break out the ‘preacher’s podium’ and the riot hats. So, prick your finger it is done, the moon has now eclipsed the sun, the angel has spread its wings, the time has come for bitter things. Repent! That’s what the “Antichrist Superstar” is talking about!
He’s tired of paying for your f’n sins! According to Gene Simmons “Rock is Dead”, but we along with Tommy Victor, beg to differ. Rock has fought many battles against many foes, but as long as we got our “Lunchbox” we’re armed real well. Charles Manson may have been the original and Marilyn may have taken his stage surname from him but the younger Manson is the modern day god of f- and his SOA character has cut and sliced a few pieces of “Cake & Sodomy.” He’ll never run for president; that we know of. Besides Sam Neil already beat him to it and what an omen that turned into. Ever since the mid-nineties and his association with Anton LeVay, he’s put a spell on us.
As the end comes near it’s not the last day on earth but The High End of Low returns one more time with “Four Rusted Horses” as we are “The Nobodies”, wanna be somebodies. “Manson” asked for everyone to come to the front for this one as it’s an ass kicker. How does it feel to be one of the “Beautiful People?”
All performers put in over 3 hours of stage time with Gacey putting in over 2 with Holy Wood.
Contact Transamerican Entertainment at 513-891-7025 for more info.
Images by Mike Ritchie
Read more from the pit articles and reviews by Mike Ritchie on his web site www.coveringthescene.com