Photos by Katrina Wong Shue
Despite it being a Sunday evening, REBEL filled up with fans who came from near and far to watch the spectacle they’ve all been waiting months to see.
At a show in New York in late September Manson broke his leg, causing him to reschedule the remaining dates of his Heaven Upside Down tour. During his New York show Manson made the ill-advised decision to scale his stage prop – two massive pistol props that acted as a backdrop at the rear of the stage. The prop collapsed over Manson, breaking his leg in multiple places. Watching the fall, it is clear Manson was lucky to recover so quickly from the incident and manage to reschedule his dates. During this evening in Toronto, Manson’s injury placed him in a wheelchair for the introduction of his show – a tall electronically controlled wheelchair-throne to be exact.
Appearing on stage in his large throne, Manson opened his set with Revelation #12 from his latest album and ninth LP, Heaven Upside Down, which was released in August. Throughout his set Manson was accompanied by two individuals dressed as surgeons in medical scrubs in surgical masks – perhaps juxtaposing his wheelchair-throne with a sense of Manson-like humour.
Being the only Canadian show on his tour, Manson addressed the Toronto audience and continued his act, continuing to address the crowd in his moderately nonsensical slurred speech throughout the show. While his speech addressing the audience may not have been clear, his vocal delivery remained simultaneously ominous and harmonious.
Attempting to seamlessly bridge the gap between tracks of his set, Manson disconcertingly changed his look between tracks into awe-striking costumes that reflected the continuity of the show. From his recent single, KILL4ME, to closing down his performance with The Beautiful People, the audience was consistently moved by the costume and stage design of his performance. A venue that would enable Manson to portray his true self to the entire audience could have enhanced the experience, as stage and venue restrictions limited the experience for some of those who were in the audience.
Despite the peripheral limitations of the venue for this show, the audience was ecstatic to have Manson in town to share both old and new tracks. Manson’s strong passion for his music was not only relevant to his performance, but also in his willingness and efforts to reschedule his tour after such an accident back in September.