Marilyn Manson/Slipknot 8/17/16

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This show was originally supposed to be on June 15th but it was rescheduled to August 17th due to Corey Taylor recovering from surgery on his broken neck. Due to the rescheduling I went from going with potentially 4 or 5 other people to going by myself. Not the first time I’ve went to a concert by myself and I’m sure it will not be the last. Sure it is way cooler to go with people that you know and share an awesome moment together but when the band hits the stage I’m on another planet regardless of who if anyone is around me. Of Mice & Men opened the show but I was really going to see Marilyn Manson and Slipknot, even though I had just seen the 2 bands on the same bill at Aftershock back in October. I ended up arriving about 10 minutes prior to Marilyn Manson going on.

Due to multiple reasons I had not only a rare solo concert outing but also a rare sober concert outing. No beer, no green stuff. It was fitting that the moon was full on this particular night. The lawn was sparsely populated and the entire 3rd Level Seating Section just below was virtually empty. Even so, because the show was not general admission no specific seat ticket = no seat.

Marilyn Manson came out with a furious version of “Angel With The Scabbed Wings.” I love that song. Marilyn Manson’s stage was relatively stripped down with essentially just a fixed backdrop and a lit up stained glass window sort of thing on both sides of the stage. This was the first time I have ever seen Marilyn Manson with 2 guitarists. It sounded great but still not as great as when John5 was guitarist (I am still bummed he left the band but am happy that I still get to watch him when I see Rob Zombie live). This set had its moments but it was not one of those fierce sets that I have been lucky enough to witness a few times. There was a comical moment where some of the ladies in the crowd threw bras on the stage to Twiggy, which he proudly hung from his mic stand.

About halfway through their set I did notice something that would change the course of my evening. There is a wide walkway that separates the lawn and the 300 section. To enter the 300 section you must present your ticket stub to the security guard manning the stairway. What I witnessed was a drunk guy going halfway between the nearest 2 guards and jumping over the rail to get into the section. He got away with it and I thought it was genius so after thinking it over for a minute and rationalizing it by telling myself the worst that could happen is getting kicked out and robbed of seeing a few bands I have seen many times before I stole his move. The upside outweighed the downside. So right after the band started playing “Sweet Dreams” I made my way down to the walkway and after a quick look around to make sure no security was near (you can see them coming a mile away in their bright red t-shirts) I was up and over in a flash and went down to the front of the section and grabbed a seat. It probably helped that I was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans (a trick I learned from unsuccessfully trying to sneak into Soma wearing a bright white t-shirt). “Hey a guy just jumped over! He has brown hair and was wearing a black shirt and jeans.” Gee thanks guy you just described nearly everyone here…I digress. Marilyn Manson is always awesome but it was a little weird seeing them open for someone. I’ve seen them on festivals where they were not the headliner but this was different. Different but still awesome. Marilyn did his stilt-walking during “Sweet Dreams,” they played “Coma White” which I have only seen them play one other time and they played a ferocious version of “Antichrist Superstar.”

When Slipknot came out they quickly made me realize why Marilyn Manson was the opener. Slipknot is so goddamn loud and full of frenetic energy that you cannot help but go as nuts as the NINE dudes on stage. After “Be Prepared for Hell” played through the speakers the band hit the stage for an absolutely intense version of “The Negative One.” Hell of an entrance and they never let up the relentlessness of their attack the entire time. Corey Taylor is a great salesman. He is always telling the crowd how much they are appreciated. You cannot help but like a guy that keeps telling you how much he likes you. “Eyeless” was fantastic, “Killpop” lost some of its mysterious power and “Psychosocial” was played way faster than on the album. “Left Behind” was also another personal favorite. This band has come back in a HUGE way with the newest album and like they used to say in McDonald’s commercials “I’m lovin’ it.”

MARILYN MANSON SETLIST: “Angel With The Scabbed Wings,” “Disposable Teens,” “No Reflection,” “mOBSCENE,” “ Cupid Carries A Gun,” “Irresponsible Hate Anthem,” “The Dope Show,” “Sweet Dreams,” Antichrist Superstar,” “Coma White,” “The Beautiful People”

SLIPKNOT SETLIST: “The Negative One,” “ Disasterpiece,” “ Eyeless,” “Skeptic,” “Before I Forget,” “Killpop,” “Dead Memories,” “The Heretic Anthem,” “Psychosocial,” “Pulse of the Maggots,” “Left Behind,” “The Devil In I,” “Wait and Bleed,” “(sic),” “Surfacing,” “Duality,” “Spit It Out”

P.S…As evidenced by the video I saw, apparently  after he performed Marilyn Manson found a karaoke bar in downtown San Diego and sang “I’m 18” by Alice Cooper and “Holy Grail” by Jay Z. Lucky bastards in that bar. Watch Here

 

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Aftershock 10/24/15

Aftershock 2015

After such a good time two years ago at this event we could not help ourselves and holy crap what a lineup! Same crew as 2013 (me, Marvin, Ken and Bob) and the addition of Joe in from Portland, but unlike last time we actually knew that Marvin was coming. This time the venue was at a place called Gibson Ranch instead of Discovery Park and we were able to “camp.” The plan was for Marvin to drive out from Salt Lake City and meet up with Bob who would already be in the Bay Area due to attending the 49ers/Seahawks game for Thursday Night Football and then meet up with me, Ken and Joe who were flying in on Saturday morning. Since all of us were flying Marvin was in charge of bringing tents, sleeping bags, etc. After we all met at a Walmart on the way to load up on supplies (mostly alcohol) we were on our way. The first band any of us cared about was Suicidal Tendencies, scheduled to be on at 2 pm, since we had missed them earlier in the year at Epicenter. Since our flight landed at 10 we figured we had plenty of time to get settled but all the little things add up and we now found ourselves waiting in a long line of cars to get into the place and more specifically the campground. Very poor organization caused us to wait in our car (a rented super small shitbox of a Mazda) for what seemed like forever before we could get “escorted” to our campsite. By the time we got to the campsite and set up tents, etc. it was about 2. We quickly decided that we did not care all that much about Suicidal Tendencies after all. In our defense we could hear them perfectly from where we were. We were trying to save money by drinking at the camp spot but Helmet was up at 2:30 and attendance was non-negotiable. After some quick work of beers we went in and Helmet greeted us with all the songs you would want them to play (mostly from Meantime, Betty and Aftertaste). Next up was P.O.D. who continue to surprise me with each passing time I see them. Then we had to find our way to the “fourth” stage which Clutch was playing at for some damn reason. Clutch was touring for the excellent new album Psychic Warfare. I made a bet with Joe that they would not play anything from their first three albums and I was right. It did not matter because they have so many good songs to choose from otherwise. More beers and back to one of the main stages for Seether. I believe by this time most of us had gotten separated from each other and when there is a concentration of that many people in one place cell signals do not work. I believe at this point I was just with Bob and some gal came out of nowhere and would not leave us alone. We finally shook her and watched Breaking Benjamin which was pretty alright.

Our original plan was to get an eight of pot to bring but when that did not work out we settled for two decent sized joints. This meant we had to ration one for this day and one for the next day which meant we had to strategically time ignition. For me this was the moment: Marilyn Manson was coming on. I have seen him many times but he is always splendid and now he had another excellent album out – The Pale Emperor. This set is one I have only seen him play a few times and can only be described as fierce. Not a lot of talking, every song just ripped you a new one and then he was gone. This version of his band is the tightest I think I have seen since the departure of John 5. I was tripping out because I could not tell if Twiggy was on the stage or not. If not it sure as hell looked like him.

Next up was Slipknot. I REALLY like their new album .5 The Gray Chapter so I was really excited to see them as well. By this point I was a little drunk and stoned but holy fuck did these guys rock. After finding our way back to the campground me and Bob were greeted by our missing buddies for a nightcap. Marvin informed me the previous day that he forgot one of the sleeping bags so I shoved a pillow and blanket in my carry on (talent) and planned on just sleeping in the reclined seat of our rental car. This is easy when you are drunk. Joe ended up sleeping in the passenger seat because we were up forever talking and laughing our heads off since I do not get to see him very often anymore. Today was a good day.

Mayhem Festival 7/16/08

Mayhem Festival 08

Despite the many bands playing on this day to me it was really just a Slipknot show with Disturbed opening. This combined with the fact that I had to go it alone made for an easy decision to just show up at the end of the day.

Disturbed was on tour for their fourth album Indestructible that was released in June. I had not seen them since Ozzfest a couple years prior to this and come to think of it every time I saw Disturbed was at Ozzfest except for when they opened for Korn and this time. They were good but not as good as other times I had seen them.

During the interim before Slipknot I went to relieve myself and grab a beer and ran into Bob. I am not sure how we failed to coordinate going to the show together but Bob had his 11-year-old nephew in tow and I had a floor ticket so we parted ways.

A lot happened since I last saw Slipknot at Ozzfest 2001. For starters I was now super into them thanks to Vol.3 (The Subliminal Verses) so even though this would be my fourth time seeing Slipknot it was the first time I was actually excited to see them. This was about a month before Slipknot released All Hope Is Gone so the only new material we got to hear was “Psychosocial” since that was officially released a week before this show. I did not see any of the Vol. 3 tour dates so it was still quite a treat to hear those songs live. I got right up to the front and basically got pinned there for the duration of the set so I had a great view the entire time and could freak out without really being out of place. The photo I took of Joey Jordison’s drum set spinning in the air gives you an idea of how close I was. Bob later told me that his nephew was so scared of what was going on that they had to leave prematurely. I doubt that is a memory he will be forgetting anytime soon.

SETLIST: Surfacing, The Blister Exists, Get This, Before I Forget, Disasterpiece, Psychosocial, The Heretic Anthem, Prosthetics, Duality, People = Shit, (sic)

 

Ozzfest 6/25/01

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You can’t tell from the pictures but the Gorge literally had one gigantic black cloud hanging over it for most of the day. It was the strangest thing because everywhere else within sight around the Gorge was a perfectly clear and sunny day. All I really remember about Taproot was that the entire band was clad in all white outfits. Maybe I just wasn’t that excited about seeing them since I had already seen them twice in the prior year. I was however excited about The Union Underground because of the kick ass show they put on in Portland. I waited for them to go on stage before I sparked up a joint and directly after this the first ray of sunshine poked its head through the nasty clouds. It was a stoner moment worthy of the books. Marijuana aside, these guys were on the mark that day. “Revolution Man” was about as epic as they could’ve been. Next up on the second stage was Mudvayne. I still didn’t know that much of them but they were all painted up in costume and put on a pretty intense show. Moving on to the main stage was Crazy Town. I learned about them at a bus stop in Portland. On the bench was sitting a cassette single. All it said on the cover was “Who the fuck is Crazy Town?” I took it home and it turned out to be the songs “Toxic” and “Darkside.” I ended up buying the album based on this but they turned out to be the only songs I liked on the album, even though “Butterfly” turned out to be a commercial hit. They weren’t that great. They reminded me of a shittier version of Limp Bizkit. Disturbed followed and David Draiman was carried out on stage in a cage. It was novel but this is Ozzfest. They seemed to lose some of the explosiveness they had displayed a year prior on the second stage but nonetheless rocked. After they were done was the first time I got to see Linkin Park. I heard the song “One Step Closer” on KUFO late one night after I first moved to Portland and bought the album Hybrid Theory. They were a good mix of heavy and soft. I don’t remember anything about Papa Roach playing but know they were there. Slipknot was insanity. They graduated from the second to the first stage since I saw them at Ozzfest ’99. They were about a month away from releasing their second album Iowa but I’m pretty sure they played some of that album live. Then came the real reason I was here: Marilyn Manson. I had just seen them at the beginning of the year, on acid no less, but based on the past two times I had seen them and everything else I knew about them I knew they wouldn’t disappoint. And they didn’t. The guitarist John5 was painted up like the joker and besides tearing through their heaviest material they put a new spectacle to the test. During “Cruci-Fiction In Space” Marilyn kept getting hoisted higher and higher into the air until he was damn near the top of the rafters (see photo). The illusion was outstanding thanks to the cape he wore that disguised the actual hoist. This was the first and only time I ever saw them do that. Then to close the show was Black Sabbath. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would get to see them even once, but twice? It had been a few years since seeing them the first time but they didn’t miss a step. The set was short and concise but left everyone in the crowd feeling satisfied.

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KUFO Rockfest 7/15/00

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The Tattoo the Earth tour was a tour that featured several bands and prominent tattoo artists. It also took the place of the normal KUFO Rockfest for the year 2000. I was interested in Downset because my friends and I had got into their self-titled album years earlier. Their set was alright. I would’ve been into Sepultura but Max Cavalera had already left the band by this point. Mudvayne was there but not yet on my radar. Coal Chamber was scary to watch simply because the band members look scary. Slayer was Slayer. Even though I’m not a huge Sevendust fan they impressed me because the two guitar players were doing some insane things going back and forth feeding off each other. This was the second time I saw Slipknot but I was still not really a fan of their music. I remember one moment when Corey Taylor wanted everyone to crouch down and jump up right when the song hit it’s peak. That was pretty weird because I have never seen so many people do as they were told at a rock show. The truth is that I really could of gave a shit about the other bands-I was there to see STP again for the first time in 6 years. This show marked STP’s return to Portland for the first time since they had reunited. They had just released their comeback album, No. 4, the previous fall. I attended the show with Joe, Ross, and Lucinda. Joe and Ross had both driven in from out of town to stay with Lucinda and I and had a little quarrel later this night at our house. As far as STP’s performance, it was pretty flawless. Scott Weiland was upset with one of the DJ’s at KUFO because in an interview earlier that day he had been asked questions about his family. One highlight was putting Lucinda on my shoulders so she could see (she’s about 5 foot 2). She was the only one at this point towering over the crowd and therefore Scott Weiland was looking right at her for a good portion of time while he was singing. Another highlight was when they played “Crackerman.” The place just erupted. The final thing I remember was them pumping police siren sounds through the sound system when they left the stage, which was funny because they seemed to be mocking all of Weiland’s recent problems with the police.

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Ozzfest 7/18/99

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Main Stage: Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Primus, Godsmack, System of a Down

Second Stage: Fear Factory, Static-X, Slipknot, Puya, Drain STH, hed (pe), Apartment 26, Flashpoint

This was the first Ozzfest that had come in my proximity. Ozzfest had been going since 1996 and kind of filled the summer void that Lollapalooza had left. I was pretty excited about this show because every band on the main stage was a band I wanted to see even though I had already seen some of the bands before. A girl in one of my classes named Tawni turned me onto System of a Down. I was lucky enough to sit next to her in my math class and we had similar musical musings. My cousin Earl really liked them too and gave me their first album on CD for my 21st birthday. They were the first band on the main stage. Claude strikes again though. Bless his soul but the guy’s just not all there sometimes and this time he didn’t quite comprehend the importance of leaving at a specified time. Long story short we arrived just in time to see the last 3 songs of System of a Down’s set. By we I mean Earl and me only because we ran all the way down to the floor from the moment we arrived inside the Pearly Gates. I believe Ross was also with us? The next band up was Godsmack. They were on it. They played pretty much their whole first album. Primus was next and let me just say that Les Claypool is a badass. This is probably about the time in the show we started shifting from the first stage to the second stage all the way up on the hill. We saw Static X up there, who was on tour for their new album Wisconsin Death Trip! We also saw Slipknot. I wasn’t really into them at the time but did find it quite entertaining to see 9 guys dressed up in fucked up masks rocking their ass off and just flat out going crazy onstage. Back to the mainstage is Slayer. I love their fat ass guitar riffs but at the time just could not get with Tom Araya’s voice. Next up was Deftones. This was the third time I was lucky enough to see them and they were nothing short of amazing. Deftones are a hard act to follow but Rob Zombie somehow managed. It had only been three months since the last time I saw him but I think this performance was much better. Maybe it was just because I knew Korn wasn’t following him this time. The closing band was none other than Black Sabbath! I’m not talking about that shit with Dio, I’m talking about the real Black Sabbath with Ozzy. I was as excited about this as any other band of the day. Never in a million years did I think I would ever get the opportunity to see a band that was huge in the early 1970’s. I really got into Black Sabbath when I was about 16. It started with the album Paranoid and then I bought the whole catalog one album at a time. They did not disappoint me. Ozzy was still as crazy as he was made out to be, Tony Iommi was razor sharp on his riffs, and the rhythm section was holding down the groove. Little did I know that this would not be the last time I would see them.