Protesters and problematic Central Florida weather systems be damned: when two of the largest names to come out of the 1990s alternative metal scene joined forces to deliver an entire evening’s worth of fan favorite anthems and impressive theatrics, there was little standing in their way.
Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins have unified for the aptly titled ‘The End Times Tour,’ which recently made it’s stop at Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida. Both artists who are currently rotating the headlining position each night have maintained a cult-like following throughout the years, so it wasn’t surprising that a packed house appeared to pay witness to the festivities.
A sizable crowd appeared in time to watch openers Cage, who certainly left an impression on the audience; we’re just not entirely sure it was a positive one. The crowd appeared largely uninterested when Cage – who were only represented by guitarist Dave Garcia and vocalist Sean Peck – ran through the power metal-influenced “F*** This Game” from their 2013 album ‘Kill the Architect.’ “I don’t give a f*** about you,” Peck repeated over the course of the verse while giving the crowd the middle finger.
It goes without saying that the transition between Cage and the shock rock talents of Marilyn Manson was a welcome one; so much so, that it wouldn’t be surprising if Cage was hired just to reinforce the heavy metal velocity of the other two bands on the bill.
The suspense when the stage swiftly filled with smoke to the themes of Mozart’s “Requiem” quickly sent the audience into an energetic frenzy. It has been twenty-one years since the release of his 1994 debut ‘The Manson Family Album,’ and Marilyn Manson has used that time to put together a memorable stage performance. The members of Manson’s band stepped past towering stained glass windows before tearing into “Deep Six” from the 2015 installment ‘The Pale Emperor.’
Marilyn Manson, who wore his now-signature teardrop face makeup, appeared and sounded as strong as he did back in 90s. Sure, that long, slick black main has been trimmed down to a more manageable length, but there was little standing in his way (literally) as he stood on stilts for his infamous cover of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” or when he took his place atop an alter for “Antichrist Superstar.”
An entirely different realm was presented for The Smashing Pumpkins’ set; gone were the menacing themes of Marilyn Manson’s backdrops, which had been replaced with an array of towering white banners. Each member of the band walked out onstage, thanking the crowd for their applause before moving into “Cherub Rock” from their sophomore 1993 album ‘Siamese Dream.’
Founding member and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is back behind the skins with The Smashing Pumpkins for this tour, and it was a welcome sight to have another original force stand alongside mainman Billy Corgan as they tore into a set filled with such hits as “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “Tonight Tonight.” Even though Corgan’s red mane is long gone, the frontman was in top form and hitting all the high notes to “1979,” and even a memorable acoustic take on Fleetwood Mac‘s “Landslide.”
The unification of Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins may not seem like a cohesive pairing, but it was one that gave ticket holders an unforgettable night of anthemic, high energy metal.
Marilyn Manson Setlist, Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL 7.25.15
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
Man That You Fear
The Smashing Pumpkins Setlist
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Drum + Fifre
One and All (We Are)
The Everlasting Gaze
The Crying Tree of Mercury
Thru the Eyes of Ruby
Stand Inside Your Love
The Smashing Pumpkins