Monday night's show at the Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square marked a homecoming of sorts for Marilyn Manson who last played Voodoo in 2003 and a much overdue return to New Orleans for the Smashing Pumpkins who last played NOLA in 2007 at Voodoo. Billed as a co-headlining show, Manson has been the opener, getting 30 minutes less of stage time on the End of Times Tour. In some ways, the tour title really does embody the respective places both Manson and Corgan have come to in their long and illustrious careers. Both are touring on new albums, Manson's released this year and Pumpkins released last year.
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson returned to the city where he recorded one his most controversial albums with Trent Reznor, Antichrist Superstar. The set was a well balanced attack on his nine studio albums, with the exceptions of Eat Me, Drink Me and The High End of Low not getting any love. Rounding out the set was two of his more popular covers "Sweet Dreams" and "Personal Jesus" both of which were accompanied by props we've seen before, but that's part of the "show" Manson put on. After Manson's set, there was a bit of an exodus, which allowed for some breathing room.
Taking down Manson's props and putting together Corgan's backdrop of long fabric sheets went about as smooth as one could hope, minimizing the wait between the acts. It's hard to believe, but The Smashing Pumpkins formed in 1988 and through all the ups and downs a band can face, the founding member William Patrick Corgan has managed to keep his sense of humor and love for music. "I've been accused of having a really bad attitude," he declared, "which is really unfair, because I have a really, really bad f---- attitude." His stage banter was minimal at best, concentrating on the music at hand. He ripped through five songs before acknowledging the audience. I don't even think he would have at that point, but the crowd's lackluster response to "Drum and Fire" clearly struck a nerve of sorts. He did lament on the whole selfie thing. There seemed to be a disconnect from audience and performer, that he never really stated, but you could sense it throughout the set. It may just be the nature of doing a show in an amphitheater. The set for the most part was a blistering onslaught of tunes focused on six of the bands ten albums. Most notably the set focused on the albums that touring and founding drummer Jimmy Chamberlin were on. They were joined by guitarist Jeff Schroeder and bassist Jack Bates. The quietest moments of the evening came when Corgan picked up his acoustic guitar and played a somber version of "Disarm" followed by his cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." "1979" followed and another exodus ensued after.
"Run2Me," "Thru the Eyes of Ruby," "Stand Inside Your Love" and "United States" rounded out the set. "United Stated" was highlighted by Corgan's take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" and was the last song played as the band opted out of playing an encore. On previous dates, they have come back and played either "Today" or "Geek USA." The speculation was that curfew was the issue for the lack of encore but it may have been the lackluster crowd. Either way it was a bit disappointing, but for my eighth show I really can't complain too much other than the fact they didn't play anything off Gish. While the future isn't certain for either Manson or Corgan, one thing is for sure they will still put on entertaining shows and attempt to reimaging music along the way.