Last Wednesday, Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins brought their End Times Tour to DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston. Although on paper the pairing may seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, in actuality they complement one another rather well and clearly, after rekindling their old friendship, Brian Warner and Billy Corgan are relishing the chance to showcase their old work while proving that they still have a strong place in today’s rock scene.
Both bands are coming up on the twentieth anniversary of their iconic works, Antichrist Superstar and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, but neither have ever had much interest in nostalgia. Still, it was a rare and fun treat to see both Warner and Corgan truly enjoying themselves with huge smiles while feeding off the energy of the crowd. Both are known for their strong personalities and speaking their mind but Wednesday’s set found them mostly letting the music do the talking for them. The setlists for both bands also managed to walk the line between classic material and new hits.
Marilyn Manson kicked things off with a aggressive set that was heavy on stage show theatrics but also found Manson truly engaged with what he was doing. The band kicked things off with “Deep Six”, the first single from the band’s ninth studio album, January’s The Pale Emperor.
Manson went on to run through a number of his favorite live show staples from sporting stilts for his fantastic cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” before taking to the pulpit for a cover of “Personal Jesus”, which prompted him to exclaim, “I was born to preach the gospel. I sure do love my job!”and also found him praising the crowd for their energy. He also took to a demagogue podium where he lit the bible on fire before launching into “Antichrist Superstar”.
Set highlights included the bluesy new track “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”, which he dedicated to Corgan, who was watching side stage, and the return to the setlist of “Lunchbox”. However, it was the end of the set that stood out as he dropped the theatrics and returned to the stage alone dressed in all white for the emotional “Coma White” that found him exiting the stage quietly which was in sharp contrast to the rest of the heavy metal set.
The Smashing Pumpkins kept the bare bones theme alive as they hit the stage with a stage featuring white fabric strips and a engaging light show. Last time the band came through town they stuck to playing their last album Oceania in its entirety so this time they came to please the fans as they pulled out one hit after another.
The band kicked things off with a punch of “Cherub Rock”, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, “Tonight, Tonight” and “Ava Adore”. Original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is back with the band and it is a great thing as he really kept the set together as their catalog was presented in new and exciting ways and his interplay with Corgan really took things to another level.
As for Corgan, the fact that he was exhibiting such joy at being onstage and performing the songs really translated into the crowd and is truly the most surprising thing about the entire tour.
Set highlights included Corgan showing off his vocal skills during “Run2Me” and the heavy hitting “Zero” as well as a acoustic set with Corgan taking to the stage alone for “Disarm” and then pulling out their cover of “Landslide”. He spent some time teasing the crowd before “Disarm” playing the start of the chords before stopping and asking if they knew this one since they clearly didn’t know the lyrics for the song before “Mayonaise”, which is off the same album.
However, it was “1979” that got the biggest crowd reaction and really seemed to jolt the place from front to back. The band closed things out with a heavy take on “United States”, which showcased how well they are all working as a whole right now.
In the end, the evening ended up being just a straightforward, fun rock show that made everyone involved smile.
Marilyn Manson Setlist:
Third Day of a Seven Day Binge
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Angel With the Scabbed Wings
The Dope Show
Rock Is Dead
The Beautiful People
The Smashing Pumpkins Setlist:
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Drum + Fife
One and All (We Are)
The Everlasting Gaze
The Crying Tree of Mercury
Thru the Eyes of Ruby
Stand Inside Your Love