Marilyn Manson supported by 3 Colours Red
Thursday 17 December 1998
This was the only date on Marilyn Manson’s 'Mechanical Animals' tour, and it was stunning. The tour had originally been planned as a six-date European tour in June-July 1998, but was postponed because drummer Ginger Fish was ill. The tour therefore happened after the release of the album ‘Mechanical Animals’ in September, running from October 1998 to January 1999.
The show felt like a stadium show squeezed into Brixton Academy, and emphasised the glam rock direction of the ‘Mechanical Animals’ album. The Manson Wiki has links to a number of interviews from around this time, when Marilyn Manson talked up his interest in glam rock, particularly David Bowie.
'Mechanical Animals' is by far my favourite Marilyn Manson album, and I feel that this new creative direction was cut short by external events. In 1999, the 'Beautiful Monsters' tour with Hole soon became the 'Rock Is Dead' tour, which featured a rather workmanlike performance at Metallica’s Big Day Out in Milton Keynes in July 1999. By that point, the Columbine High School massacre had happened, and the rest of the ‘Rock Is Dead’ tour was cancelled in light of media coverage linking the music of Marilyn Manson to the events at Columbine.
When Marilyn Manson re-emerged in late 2000 with the ‘Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)’ album, he had largely abandoned the glam rock sound and aesthetic. While Manson claims that ‘Holy Wood’, ‘Mechanical Animals’ and ‘Antichrist Superstar’ are a trilogy, I can’t help thinking that ‘Mechanical Animals’ stands out as something creatively different to the others, a progression of the band’s sound that was reversed with ‘Holy Wood’.
Marilyn Manson didn’t play Brixton Academy again until June 2003. You can find Marilyn Manson’ setlist for this show here, and indeed a fan-shot video of the whole performance here. My highlight of the night was the stilts. Still completely brilliant.
3 Colours Red seemed like an odd choice for a support band, but they supported Marilyn Manson on the whole European tour. This was leading up to the release of their second album, ‘Revolt’, in 1999, which saw them achieve Radio 1 airplay, a slot on the Radio 1 Evening Session, a UK Number 11 hit with ‘Beautiful Day’, and tour slots with Aerosmith and Silverchair. Sadly they split up less than a year after this show, after their performances at the Reading and Leeds festivals.
I missed 3 Colours Red as the queue was absolutely massive, so me and my mate opted for a pint in a local pub instead. Despite that, I thought Marilyn Manson were on fire at this show, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.