The Pale Emperor, also known as Marilyn Manson, brought The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour to the Chevy Bricktown Events Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 28, 2015. This tour is in direct support of Marilyn Manson’s latest album, The Pale Emperor, which was released through Marilyn Manson’s own Hell, etc. label on January 15th of this year in the U.S. and is the ninth studio album from the industrial rock band. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, and spawned the singles “Deep Six,” “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” and “Cupid Carries a Gun.” Knee High Fox is the dedicated opening band for Marilyn Manson on this tour.
Though the weather was slightly chilly for the Tuesday evening of April 28th, that did not prevent legions of Marilyn Manson fans from wrapping a line around the Chevy Bricktown Events Center before the doors opened promptly at 7pm. If this was anyone's first Marilyn Manson show this evening, it could easily have been mistaken for a line to get into The Rocky Horror Picture Show as they walked up to the venue since fans were dressed from everything from french maid styled outfits to all things goth. This actually represents what Marilyn Manson's music and culture promotes...a place where everyone can be equal and share in the experience without being judged or labeled.
The interior of the Chevy Bricktown Events Center was an ideal choice for this tour stop in Oklahoma City offering an extensive floor GA section that was priced starting at $40 a ticket, with multiple bars as well as a VIP balcony area for anyone 21+ years old. Upon walking into the venue after the doors opened, it was tranquilly dark, with the majestic and eerie figures for Marilyn Manson's set under covers on the stage. Chatter could be heard among the crowd discussing what theatrics or words The Pale Emperor himself will say to them during the show. To many, Marilyn Manson is the emperor indeed and his words and thoughts carry great weight around the world, not just through his music, but his personal interaction with the audience as he is known to do during shows.
After fans gathered to their final spots on the floor and up top at the edges of the VIP balcony, the lights fell even darker and went out as Knee High Fox took to the stage promptly at 8pm. This L.A. based group, fronted by vocalist Christine (Chrissy) Connolly and consisting of Carlos Garcia (rhythm guitar), Simon Nagel (bass guitar) and Tuesdai Murgia (drums/percussion), brought the perfect energy to the crowd for Marilyn Manson as they performed a riveting and energetic 30 minute set that was reminiscent of the musical stylings of Flyleaf during the Lacey Strum era. One of the best songs of the short setlist included the melodic, Black Widow, from the band's debut album that was produced with Howard Benson. Shortly before finishing out their set, Chrissy invited everyone in the audience to meet the band shortly after their set at the merchandise booth area.
After necessary restroom breaks and multiple trips to the bars, fans parked themselves at their final spots on the floor and in the VIP balcony areas for the headliner they've been waiting patiently and eagerly to see. Marilyn Manson came on stage shortly after 9pm with large amounts of smoke permeating from the stage as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem playing in the backdrop as darkness and momentary flashing lights illuminated the shadowy figures taking the stage. With his back to the crowd, Marilyn Manson opened up the 15 song setlist of the evening with "Deep Six." Moments after the lights got brighter during the song, Marilyn Manson's familiar makeup and facial features became more visible to fans as the Pale Emperor himself stood before them wearing black gloves and a dark, cloak like jacket. Paul Wiley (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Twiggy Ramirez (bass guitar) and Gil Sharone (drums/percussion) also had the familiar facial makeup and features Marilyn Manson's band has been known to appear with during their live shows. The entire stage and venue had an appearance of being in a large chapel or church with painted glass type stage pieces with Marilyn Manson's face on it along with the cascading lighting effects penetrating the entire room at every level. The lighting seemed to match Marilyn Manson's movements perfectly at times and was notably one of the high points of the evening as fans could be overheard talking about it.
The onslaught of rock continued as Marilyn Manson brought classic tracks to the crowd such as "Disposable Teens," "mOBSCENE," "Sweet Dreams," and "Tourniquet." During "Rock is Dead," large amounts of confetti filled the events center and glistened on the shoulders and heads of every fan in the room. Some of the notable new tracks performed live at this show were from the new album, The Pale Emperor, "Deep Six," "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge" and "Killing Strangers." During "Killing Strangers," Marilyn Manson's knife like microphone, with it's large blade, was a perfect prop accompaniment to the song itself. As the lights dimmed between songs once again, Marilyn Manson reappeared at a podium with a cross on it as to deliver a sermon in a church. Indeed the Pale Emperor gave some words to the audience in a preaching manner and then started singing "Personal Jesus." Stating that he wanted to "step it up a notch," Marilyn Manson then played "This Is The New Shit." After a brief break, Marilyn Manson came on stage with the band to perform the last song of the evening, "Coma White."
After performing for approximately 90 minutes, there was no doubt that Marilyn Manson's vocals and the band's performance was very much at it's peak during this tour. For fans that missed this show, fear not, since it will run through mid summer of this year, and include festival appearances such as Carolina Rebellion in Concord, North Carolina and Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio before going overseas for the festivals in Europe and Asia. Marilyn Manson will also co-headline another tour with Smashing Pumpkins in the latter half of the summer on the End Times Tour. Get tickets now while you can, go to one of the upcoming shows and see why rock is indeed not dead.
REVIEW WRITTEN BY: SHABBY HASAN
SEE THE FULL PICTURE GALLERY FROM THE APRIL 28, 2015 SHOW HERE: