Nick Morgan and crew
REVIEWS - HEAD TO
IGGY POP AND THE STOOGES Colmar,
France, 13 August 2005
MARILYN MANSON Colmar,
France, 14 August 2005
Serge (for once)
news: the great American counter culture has just
sent us two of its most cherished sons. One is said
to have godfathered punk rock, garage rock and heavy
metal (ah? I had thought it was the MC5) and to
have been David Bowie / Mick Jagger / Lou Reed /
Brian Eno / Mott The Hoople / the Osmonds’
lover (your call), whereas some say the other one
has copied Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne, usually
throws a couple puppies / golden retrievers / kittens
/ ducks / geese / Broras (your call again) into
the crowd and tells the audience he won’t
play until they are dead (I hope it will be the
Broras tonight). It’s also rumoured that last
time, he threw a puppy into the crowd and that several
people were injured fighting to get body parts as
souvenirs. What’s sure, is that both have
used more or less the same USP’s quite successfully:
getting half-naked on stage (okay, naked), androgyny,
provocation, exhibitionism, skulls and bones, playing
loud and rough and all that jazz. Enough reasons
for me not to even think of attending the shows,
even if they were to take place at the Wine Fair
of Colmar. Yet, I bought some tickets.
Well, I should rather say “my children made
me buy some tickets”, as I didn’t want
to let them go there alone in the first place. Now,
I already saw Iggy
on stage in the seventies, and I must say the fact
that he’s said not to have changed one iota
is a balm to a middle aged man like me. As for Manson,
well, I was really curious about him and just between
us, the fact that most of my friends and relatives
couldn’t believe I’d go there just made
me decide to go there. Yes, I’m the antichrist
of the district ;-).
Good, but I still had a problem: how to dress. Nick,
who’s very experienced, told me I should wear
a hood, at least for Manson. Yep, good for anonymity!
I have also considered a maltmaniacs.com T-shirt,
the ‘maniacs’ part being quite rock
and roll, I think. And I also had my old, dusty
Mexican boots and perfecto jacket in my basement,
waiting for a new life … But my daughter said
I’d be the laughing stock of the place and
she was probably right. So, all things considered,
I decided to adopt an 'oops-I-had-though-it-was-a-jazz-concert'
outfit that, I had hoped, would have also made most
people think I was a journalist or a sociologist...
It didn’t work too well, I’m afraid.
Some ‘foreigners’ were looking at me
like if I was the mayor of Colmar and that didn’t
please me too much, as the actual mayor is a total
jerk. Anyway, time to tell you what happened during
these two nights now.
The protagonists -
Pop, aka James Osterberg. Born
1947 in Muskegon, Michigan, USA. One of David
Manson, aka Brian Warner. Born
1969 in Canton, Ohio, USA. One of David Bowie’s
I know what you think: Bowie's dentist is good.
But that's not the point tonight, let's rather focus
on the shows, minute by minute. And first, the audiences
(just like Nick, my Master-in-Reviewing does):
Pop’s audience: ranges from 15 to
60 years old guys and girls. No fanatics, although
I spot a few ‘The Stooges’ T-shirts.
A few Lacoste polo shirts and ponytails. Could be
the audience of a jazz concert (good for me). The
guy in front of me is Frank Zappa’s double.
Manson’s audience: mostly teenagers.
Very young girls made up like stolen cars (probably
future hairdressers or cashiers at the supermarket).
Bunches of ‘gothics’. The guy in front
of me wears an ‘everything louder than everything
The shows -
Guess who plays harder?
- Mr Pop arrives on stage at 21:30 sharp, exactly
as planned, gesticulating, and intones ‘Loose’.
The 8,000 people in the hall stand up immediately.
Mr Pop is wearing just a blue jean. His voice
(probably his main asset) is in perfect shape.
Asheton, from the original Stooges, is on Guitar.
Born 1948, joined the Stooges in 1967. Looks
like any grandpa you could meet at the garden
center on a Saturday morning. Wears kind of
a fishing jacket. Brother Scott ‘Rockation’
Asheton is on drums. Wears a baseball cap and
Ray-Bans. Mike Watt, born 1957, is on bass.
Was too young to be a member of the original
Stooges, obviously. Wears a ‘mind the
gap’ T-shirt, which might prove he transited
through Heathrow before landing at Colmar Airport
(which the dumb mayor of Colmar wants to close
down, officially because of terrorist threats,
unofficially because he wants to convert the
place into a commercial zone). The sound is
very bold, very rough, very loud. After just
two minutes, Mr Pop jumps into the crowd for
the first time. His security crew will need
a good two minutes to get him back on stage.
+ 5 min – They play ‘1969’.
Mr Pop climbs up the huge Marshall amplifiers
and simulates sex (or was it front crawl?) The
crowd cheers. Mr Pop shouts: “I want
you, Colmar!” Does he want to become
the new mayor? Come, come, Iggy!
+ 9 min – It’s ‘I
wanna be your dog’. Blasted, I’d
have preferred ‘I wanna be your mayor”.
Anyway, the sound is huge. Mr Pop jumps into
the crowd again. You can guess what the security
thinks: “Tsss-tsss”. He’s
back on the stage after a good two minutes again,
and starts to simulate sex again, right on the
floor. Old techniques but probably quite efficient.
+ 13 min – The band plays ‘TV
eye’ with its famous guitar riff. Mr Pop
sings “She got a TV eye on me, she
got a TV eye, she got a TV eye on me, oh see
that cat down on her back, see that cat down
on her back, she got a TV eye on me, she got
a TV eye, she got a TV eye on me, oh see that
cat, yeah I love her so, see that cat yeah I
love her so, she got a TV eye on me, she got
a TV eye, she got a TV eye on me, oh right on,
right on, right on, see that cat, yeah I love
her, so see that cat, yeah I love her, so she
got a TV eye on me, she got a TV eye, she got
a TV eye on me…” He’s
kneeling on the floor.
+ 16 min – Mr Pop wants the light
on, because he wants to see everybody. Yeah,
I’m sure he can see me now, even if I’m
far from the stage. Hello, Iggy, I’m here!
And to prove he saw me, he starts to do my favourite
Stooges song, ‘Dirt’ and then falls
on the floor. Very Morrisonian but ouch! Is
he injured? Ah, no, he’s okay. What a
relief! Mr Pop says “I love you!”
I love you too, Iggy!
+ 25 min – Mr Pop sings ‘Not
right’ and says he wants some people on
stage. So two or three dozens people climb on
stage and start to dance / gesticulate / wave
at their friends. The security goes crazy. A
girl gives Iggy a French kiss, whilst her boyfriend
watches the scene. He doesn’t look very
happy and shouts something to her. She kisses
Iggy again. Some other people start to cuddle
him. He asks for more people on stage, so more
people go up there.
+ 31 min – Mr Pop does ‘No
fun’ and gives the mike to anybody who
wants to shout a few words. He makes short duets
with some guys. The crowd cheers more and more.
All people on stage start to kiss and paw the
iguana. The latter asks for more people. There
are now 50 people, more or less and it’s
like in ‘Hair’ (remember?) Mr Pop
seems to think it’s fun! He shouts “We
love you, motherfucking Colmar!”
+ 37 min – They do ‘1970’.
“Feed my love all night till I blow
away, all night till I blow away, I feel alright,
I feel alright baby oh baby, burn my heart,
baby oh baby, burn my heart, fall apart baby,
fall apart baby oh baby, burn my heart all night
till I blow away, all night till I blow away,
I feel alright, I feel alright.”
It’s only now that Steve McKay comes on
the stage. He plays the tenor sax. Was already
with the Stooges on their second alum, ‘Funhouse’
(1970). He starts to blow his sax like a madman,
and the band now sounds like the Sun Ra Arkestra:
it’s a sonic maelstrom, a jubilatory chaos.
Free rock and roll, anybody? Mr Pop goes up
and down the octaves, sounding almost like a
girl from time to time. And then he eructs;
he belches, he moans, he roars… It’s
not a concert anymore; it’s kind of a
+ 42 min – They do a song I never
heard before. It’s funkier than all the
old Stooges songs – well, less funky that
James Brown, that is. Mr Pop dances in his typical
anti-rhythmic way. The crowd screams. He shouts
“Fucking thank ya! And now we’re
+ 47 min – They start a new song
again. Mr Pop tells us it’s in “the
dead rat style”. It’s a nice
song, Iggy vocalizes the melody – his
voice is intact. He says “I’m
coming up”, jumps into the crowd
again and starts walking toward the end of the
hall. It’s Ali in Kinshasa. It seems that
the security crew is fed up!
+ 53 min – Mr Pop is back on
stage again and they do ‘Funhouse’.
His fly is now open but he isn’t showing
his medals. Some girls seem to be disappointed,
but they can still see that Mr Pop doesn’t
wear any underpants (never mess with a legend!)
+ 58 min – They do ‘Little
doll’. “Little doll I can't
forget, smoking on a cigarette. In my life a
real queen, prettiest thing I ever seen. Uh-huh.”
Mr Pop is a bloody good showman but he won’t
get the Nobel Prize for literature, that’s
for sure. The show is now a global delirium.
+ 63 min – They do ‘I wanna
be your dog’ again, but a shorter version.
Probably the last song. The crowd is hysterical
but the lights are switched off. Yes it’s
over. The crowd asks for an encore.
+ 71 min – The spotlights are
on again, they are back and they do a short
song I don’t know (something about f*cking,
apparently). The music stops, it’s the
end. The band leaves the stage but Mr Pop’s
still there, waving at the audience. And then
he jumps for the last time into the crowd. He’s
back after one minute or two, makes a few clownish
moves, puts on airs and leaves the stage.
+ 76 min - The audience is stunned
and extatic and we all need a good five minutes
to recover before we leave the hall.
- 21:30 - The lights are switched off. The band
is a bit late (they should have started at 21:00).
The crowd - 10,000 people - shouts ‘Manson!
Manson! Manson! Manson!’ Many do a
special hand sign, raising the first finger and
the pinkie. Yawn; is ‘somebody’ a
cuckold? There’s a huge black curtain masking
the stage and a strange music with violins and
cellos starts to pulsate. Quite nice, I must say.
The music gets then discordant, almost Kurtweill-esque.
The curtain goes up, there’s a lot of smoke
(yep, almost like in a kiln) and here he is. Mr
Manson is coming to the front of the stage, carrying
a lantern. He screams something I didn’t
get – something about ghosts (I’ve
been told the song is ‘Family trip’).
His voice is very Bowie-esque, and seems to be
in very good shape. He’s wearing a black
redingote, translucent black tulle pants and black
jack-boots: he’s looking like Gary Oldman
in The Fifth Element. The bassist and the guitarist
look like crossbreeds of Duran Duran and the Winters
(Johnny and Edgar). The drummer hides behind his
cymbals, while the organ player (he plays kind
of a $19.99 Bontempi, hanged on a gibbet –
the organ, not the guy) looks like Sting in ‘Dune’.
+ 7 min – They do another song:
‘The love song’, according to my neighbour.
Lots of ‘F*ck you’ in there.
+ 11 min – Mr Manson shows his
legs, like a B-movie actress. He starts to sing
the Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ a
capella. Nice voice, I must say. Very Bowie-esque
again. Then he says he wants to f*ck us again
and does ‘Irresponsible hate anthem’
(I’ve been told): “I am so all-American,
I'll sell you suicide. I am totalitarian, I've
got abortions in my eyes. I hate the hater, I'd
rape the raper. I am the animal who will not be
himself, fuck it…” Ah, litterature!
+ 15 min – They do ‘Disposable
teens’ (I’ve been told).
Time + 18 min – Mr Manson
now wears a SS officer cap and tells us we’re
“god dam motherfucking motherfuckers”.
Ah… They do ‘mOBSCENE’ (I got
it because it was written in giant letters on
a screen). I must say this one isn’t too
bad, it’s kind of a classic rock anthem.
The crowd starts to feel there’s not much
passion on stage, though… (and no animals
whatsoever!) Mr Manson takes his redingote off,
and he’s now wearing just a black leather
undervest. No, no, not a corset.
+ 21 min – Mr Manson is now on stilts,
with long crutches in his hands. He looks like a
four-legged spider and does ‘Tourniquet’
(I’ve been told). Again, he sounds quite Bowie-esque
but all that lacks quite some oomph ;-). The guitarist
and bassist behave like if they were the Spinal
Tap. They are quite ridiculous, I’m afraid,
and frankly, they don’t play too good. They
really lack power and the audience seems to feel
+ 25 min – They do 'Personal Jesus'.
Better than Depeche Mode but much, much worse
than Johnny Cash. Mr Manson tries to move like
Rita Hayworth in Gilda and I start to feel sorry
for him. There are some hisses at the end of the
+ 28 min – Mr Manson sends some
kisses to the crowd and starts to sing an awful
song, which sounds like some two-cents downtempoed
punk rock. I didn’t bother to try to get
the name of the song, sorry. More hisses from
+ 32 min – Another boring song. Mr
Manson wears a new fluttering black jacket but he’s
soon to take it off. Mix of polite applause and
hisses. No animals on stage.
+ 35 min – They do a lifeless ‘Tainted
love’ (Soft Cells’ hit). Hisses.
+ 38 min – ‘The fight song’.
Crappy drumming, flabby guitars.
+ 42 min – Mr Manson wears kind
of a cocked hat, he looks like a Spanish policeman
or like Napoleon. They do a song. The crowd seems
to like this one better, good for the band (but
do they really care?)
+ 45 min – Another song (‘The
dope show’). Mr Manson wears a new striped
jacket but takes it off after 30 seconds.
+ 48 min – Ah, this is better (honest).
Something of Jean Genie. It’s called ‘The
golden age of grotesque’. “We
sing la la, la la, la la lah. We sing la la, la
la, lah. La la, la la, la la, lah. We sing la
la, la la, la la lah”. Don’t
get me wrong, Marilyn Manson’s lyrics are
smarter than Iggy Pop’s. I mean, sort of
‘deeper’, whatever that means.
+ 52 min – The bass player now
uses a white double bass. Mr Manson wears an Al
Capone hat. (after Rita Hayworth, now it’s
Marlene Dietrich) and is carrying a soprano sax.
Hey-hey, that’s interesting! But he doesn’t
blow it until the end of the new song: two meagre
notes (he sounds like a seagull). Polite applause,
a few hisses.
+ 56 min - It’s ‘Sweet Dreams’
time. The crowd warms up a bit again, and sings
with Mr Manson. “Sweet dreams are made
of this. Who am I to disagree? Travel the world
and the seven seas. Everybody's looking for something…”
He asks us to clap our hands, just like any average
rock and roll singer. Some accede to his request
and it’s really getting a little warmer,
but still no chicken / rat / cow / chick / Brora
on stage. Bah…
+ 60 min – It’s the last
song – I guess it’s called ‘Beautiful
people’. On the giant screen, portraits
of a few world leaders follow one another (I could
spot Ghandi, Nixon, Stalin, the Che, Hitler, Mao,
GW Bush and maybe Charles Manson – not that
the latter was a world leader, thank god). Mr
Manson wears his SS cap again but he’s soon
to throw it away. It’s a short song (all
songs were short, that is) and as soon as it’s
over, the band leaves the stage. It seams that
the gig has come to and end. Some people ask for
an encore – politely, I’d say.
+ 72 min - They come back for the encore.
Just one song, sung from kind of a dais with a
strange sign on it (half swastika, half road sign).
Mr Manson eructs, gesticulates like a disarticulated
jumping jack, sends some kisses to the audience…
The spotlights are switched off. It’s over
+ 75 min - Quick, quick, let's get out
of here and avoid the gothics!
picture of Iggy Pop and Marilyn Manson meeting
after a show - not the Colmar ones. Doesn't it
say it all? (found on I-94
In short... -
both shows featured two superstars and some heavy
rock and roll, they just couldn't have been more
different. Iggy and his band played almost only
old Stooges songs from the 1969-1973 era, while
Marilyn Manson did sort of a best-of (I've been
told). Iggy didn't do any of his more recent hits
(The passenger, Lust for Life, Bored, Nightclubbing,
Louie Louie, China Girl and tutti quanti). Both
shows were certainly highly prepared and carefully
apportioned but the Stooges managed to communicate
with their audience (to say the least) while Manson
was just doing his show: not a single word, not
even a 'thank you (for your business)'. Iggy flabbergasted
even the youngsters who had never heard about the
Stooges before, while Manson sounded tired and bored,
imitating himself. Granted, nobody really wanted
him to sacrifice any dog / goldfish / elephant /
mouse / Brora (except for the latter) and I've been
there just out of curiosity anyway. But still!...
sure I had even no expectations whatsoever but I
still managed to get sort of disappointed - which
beats all! (and yes, I know I'm boldly 'out of the
target', and I don't like this kind of music at
all.) Yet, I found Brian Warner sort of moving.
I'm not far from thinking he doesn't like what he's
doing anymore, and I'd bet he'll do something else
in the coming years. Another kind of music - again,
he's got a great voice and he's not bad at writing
lyrics, and probably not only outrageous ones -
or any other kind of art, like for instance painting
(see the picture, titled 'When I get old' - he's
good, isn't he?). As for Iggy Pop, he rules and
he's in top shape. I can't see why or when he'd
stop doing what he does: just some good, generous
and soulful (and loud) rock and roll. Iggy, anytime
for a short time: Dirt.mp3 (The Stooges, 1970) and
mOBSCENE.mp3 (Marilyn Manson, 2003)
a message from my daughter Diane: "Dad
talks about politics too much. Besides, when Marilyn
Manson mimicked a jumping jack at the end, it was
on purpose. And daddy didn't tell you about the
nice cotillions and paper streamers, nor about the
great light show. Tainted Love wasn't bad, and the
crowd hasn't been that indifferent to the show."
Good, now you have two POV's.
the index of all reviews:
Nick's Concert Reviews
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