The sun began to set on a humid Summer night at the Circuit of the Americas, but the masses of black-clad concert-goers had already amassed. The Austin360 Amphitheater has seen its share of ‘big’ acts, but it has never looked as packed and ready to burst at the seams as Slipknot and Marilyn Manson’s show on Saturday night. While this show was scheduled to have happened over a month ago, Corey Taylor literally broke his own neck head-banging and they had to reschedule the Austin show to be made up at the end of the tour.
The bill opened with Californian metalcore band Of Mice and Men, who blew through an impressive set including a new song called “Pain”, which was as massive as it was incredible. The set seemed even more impressive considering the lead singer Austin Carlile has a connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome that leads to extremely painful arthritic pain. Of Mice and Men were some welcome new blood to wet the appetites before the nostalgia of the main acts were poured on.
It’s unfair to expect Marilyn Manson to have the same energy and physique as his lithe Mechanical Animals form, but it’s hard not notice the pace of his vocal and physical deterioration. While Marilyn is no longer as threatening or provocative as he once was, you can still relish in the stellar selection of songs in his set. Opening with one of his first hits “Angel With Scabbed Wings,” raging through “Disposable Teens,” and doing a freakish stilt-walk during “Sweet Dreams”, the audience was hooked in.
Marilyn’s highlights included “mOBSCENE,” snorting a line before launching into “The Dope Show,” “Irresponsible Hate Anthem,” and a kickass newer song “Cupid Carries A Gun.” The end of the set included Manson baying from a fascist pulpit on “Antichrist Superstar,” a spectacular rendition of “Coma White,” and a finale of “The Beautiful People.” While the vitriol of Manson may not be as palpable as it used to be, he still is worth the price of your ticket.
The overwhelming majority of fans on Saturday night wore spiked goblin masks and decades-old Slipknot shirts, so when Slipknot finally came onstage it was as if the orcs of Moria were riled up and ready to go. Corey Taylor apologized for postponing the show but promised the crowd that he’d give them everything he had as it was their last show of the tour. With three percussionists and boundless crazed energy, the set started off strong with songs “The Negative One,” “Eyeless,” and mega-hit “Before I Forget.”
Taylor claimed, “Texas has always been big for us. It was one of the first states that we came too and it has been of our biggest supporters on our journey.” While the screen behind the band showed maggots, creepy little girls, and all forms of decay, onstage the band was running a marathon of antics, including incessant head-banging and beating up stuff with baseball bats.
Rounding out their set with some of their biggest hits like “Psychosocial,” “Pulse of Maggots,” and “Wait and Bleed,” Slipknot was high octane through and through. A three-song encore ended the tour and many a happy Texan metalhead’s night. Despite all acts being a form of metal, it was an eclectic night, featuring some of the best music from the last two decades and today.