Metro Detroit got a taste of two monsters last night at DTE Energy Music Theatre — phenomenal artists each giving one hell of a performance. Unfortunately, it was the rock star diva drama that has been all the industry gossip today.
After finishing his set for the evening (and keep in mind, this is a co-headlining tour), Marilyn Manson began belligerently shouting about Rob Zombie and how he was going to kick his ass backstage. Not entirely sure what he was angry about, what he was mumble-yelling into the microphone or what the hell the problem was in the first place, the crowd simply cheered along, assuming this was all part of the show.
By the time Rob Zombie took the stage — one of the most dynamic entrances of any musical artist — the audience, foaming at the mouth for some zombie rock at this point, had pretty much entirely forgotten the fact that Manson had been shouting ridiculousness only minutes earlier (plus the fact that, in all of his diva-ness, he came back out and threw a plastic deli platter into the audience as a sign of some sort of defiance). Zombie most certainly hadn't forgotten, and he explained the fiasco briefly, shouting "Fuck you, Marilyn Manson" several times throughout his set and — in what appeared to be a totally impromptu change to the set list — dedicated a rendition of "School's Out" to Alice Cooper, whom he described to the crowd as "the only fucking real shock rocker" in an obvious attempt to call out Manson.
Unsure whether this was all a publicity stunt or not — though, to be honest, neither musician has ever had to stoop below the shtick that their acts normally are to attract media attention — the crowd was pretty much stunned, but nevertheless enjoying the hell out of the spectacle that was unfolding right in front of them.
Blazing through his catalog of hits, Zombie captivated the crowd in the same way he always does while playing Detroit Rock City. The man obviously has a love for the Motor City, often citing past performances or memories from his trips to town. He put on one hell of a show, as he does night in and night out, and showed an impressive amount of energy and enjoyment for a man of 47 years. In fact, his new stage show (developed and built exclusively for this, the Twins of Evil tour) is his biggest and best yet — with multiple monsters, machines and costume changes. It was basically a clinic in how to be a living dead rockstar.
To be fair, Manson's set was solid — definitely enjoyable — although he didn't have the dynamic presence or impact on the crowd that Zombie did. His voice was fantastic at times, then obviously lacking at others. Doing his best to bring the hits and keep the crowd in the palm of his hand — until his utter meltdown, that is — Manson put on the performance that everyone expected from him, and little else. His antics, ever-evolving wardrobe and pure evil presence conjured Manson circa 2000, but alas, he ended up paling in comparison (pun intended) to Zombie and his over-the-top act.
Today brought about a few rumors, some stories and anecdotes from those in attendance — and then, lo and behold, Zombie made a post addressing the fiasco on his official Facebook:
As stupid as this all is, I feel I must clear things up a little better. First off, I want to thank all the fans who came out in the freezing cold in Detroit last night. It was a total blast as always.
Unfortunately things turned ugly backstage. Why? I don't know, but for some reason our touring partner decided to end his set by blaming me for something that I had nothing to do with and screaming he was going to "kick Rob Zombie's ass as soon as he got off stage".
Go figure. I was backstage hanging, watching the show thinking "hey this is gonna be a great night", when suddenly he starts screaming threats. So strange. I don't get it. Christ, I've known some of his crew for 20 fucking years and some of his crew used work for me. It's all good. No one would fuck with someone's show. It is ridiculous.
Well, of course I felt the need to respond to the " kick my ass remark". Who wouldn't? Although I wish I had kept it backstage and kept the fans out of it. It is all 4rd grade fight after school nonsense of which I have never dealt with on tour before. Co-headlining tours always go smooth because everything is cut 50/50 and I mean everything. No one fucks with anyone's show. It is even fucking Steven.
I've done it co-headlining tours many times before and have had no troubles. Not with Pantera, Slayer, Alice Cooper, Korn, Megadeth or anyone ever. So I didn't expect any troubles on this. It seemed like a great idea at the time.
But shit happens. Anyway, sorry to the fans who had to dealt with the embarrassing stupidity of it all. We are all there for the same reasons to give you the best show ever… that's it.
As awkward as it is to address the issue on Facebook, this actually isn't even the first time this tour that one of the two took a shot at the other via social media. Manson threw a barb at Zombie via his official Twitter the previous day, referencing the fact that both John 5 and Ginger Fish (of Zombie's current lineup) are former Manson band members:
Sorry to Chicago for not getting to play "Beautiful People." You can sing it in between Zombie songs, his band has already played it.
Well, there you have it. What began as a spectacular evening of monster rock turned into an exercise in rockstar diva mentality, and then ended with a fantastic live performance despite all of the nonsense. As the saying goes, "you win some, you lose some." Well, fortunately, fans were treated to two amazing performances plus a gossip-worthy debacle involving two of the industry's heavy hitters. This will definitely be one for the books, folks.