Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson – 07/29/2015
PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
If you’re somebody looking to get all the bang out of your concert buck that you can, may I be the first to suggest checking out the End Times Tour with Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson currently trekking across the country when it hits your town. On a toasty July hump day, End Times came to PNC Bank Arts Center. And it was phenomenal.
Let’s just say this, to have Marilyn Manson start his set at 7:46 with the sun still up was very, very odd. That said, even with the joint still filling out the place was rockin’ pretty heavy. By the time we made it to our seats about a song or two in, Manson noticed a child in the crowd and questioned aloud the implications of that. It was hilarious. Who knew we had a comedian in this house?
For Sweet Dreams the dude came out on stilts. Fucking STILTS. I’ve never seen Marilyn Manson live before and after tonight I have to ask myself the question of why. The new record ‘The Pale Emperor’ is actually his best effort in years. The new stuff got some volume from the crowd, Third Day Of A Three Day Binge came early.
Personal Jesus brought the first of a couple podiums tonight. Lots of sarcastic God slander. “You can find God but your arms ain’t long enough to reach the fucker” or something to that effect.
Once it started to get a little darker, the cool stuff on the stage was able to stick out and actually be cool. The church-like stained glass, the smoke working the lights and all that. Great times. When Dope Show hit it was reefer madness in there. Coma White closed out their evening. Manson’s set was lively and the crowd was extremely into everything happening. Unlike later on this evening when those people got replaced with statues and mannequins.
In the parking lot before the show there’s usually a car playing music from the band we’re about to go in and see. Tends to happen from time to time. Anyway when the car beside us start blasting “Today” and I thought to myself “Holy shit, I’m gonna get to experience that live tonight” a tingle shot down my spine. So safe to say when William Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins hit the stage around 9:30, I was way more than ready. Cherub Rock is kicking things off followed by Bullet With Butterfly Wings and I turn to Pam and say: “Two songs in and this is already amazing!”. And it was.
That’s the thing about both these bands tonight. This isn’t just a run of the mill concert tour, this is a SHOW. A Theatrical event. Tonight, Tonight because, just in case you thought this was a game, Mr. Corgan is gonna get everyone interested early playing back to back to back hits.
I noticed while recording their were people in the rows around me dancing with their hands up going nuts so I panned back to get a good look at what the folks were doing up front in the pit. They were STILL. Not moving. And there wasn’t a sea of phone lights either, I doubt all of those folks are going into business for themselves. I’m not one to judge other folks concert behaviors. Just saying it would have looked cool on the video if some of those folks pretended to give a crap. Not surprised at all my TNA chant didn’t catch on.
Never fear because there wasn’t anything that was gonna stop this set from being anything but memorable. I know they have tons of hit songs, but it felt like I didn’t get a song to like, take a break and adjust my pants or whatnot. It was great. People singing, dancing, hugging. Some people feeling things when the song that brings to mind whatever memory they have with whoever the person. There were literal tears. Folks cried. Thought that was a pretty deep sight.
If I do say so myself, they ran through Zero really quick. And that’s definitely my favorite tune of theirs. Pam agreed. If you were there comment and tell me if I’m nuts. Again, much like Manson I have never ever seen the Smashing Pumpkins before and taking this all in is pretty incredible. And if you didn’t realize Jimmy Chamberlin is back with the band then the ‘JC’ on the drum kit should give it away.
Before jumping into Disarm, Corgan strummed a diddy and told us that this was “a little song I play so you can all check your phone.” and continued “That’s what the Alternative revolution was about. It was so all of you can check your phones.”( *sigh*) Makes me wonder what was this “alternative revolution” all about and did we end up winning? Anyway, lectures aside, folks need to not jump on stage during performances. This isn’t a punk show where it’s cool to jump on stage and dive back out. A girl came up during Disarm and was removed. Later during 1979 there was a dude who rushed the stage and was stopped by event staff before contact was made (The video I shot of this has been hijacked by the folks at Spin Mag without even a thought to type the words ‘More at Concert Confessions.’ Fuck you Spin. Fuck you.). The first girl who did it Billy (William) seemed to smile about it, but by the time we were getting to closing time he was frustrated. “I don’t know who those people are running up on stage but the next one who does is getting a guitar upside the head” was the quote.
Could we talk about Landslide for a second? This was a moment I needed. Hearing that fucking song everyday at work, the 14 different versions on the Fleetwood Mac Pandora station, not that any of them are bad, but I’m always at the aforementioned work when I hear them. This version is one I will have a memory of that’s doesn’t involve serving food to strangers who scoff at the notion of paying full price for any item in life. It was great. Sometimes you just need a life break.
1979 was probably the crowds height for energy, with rows and rows of party-like atmospheres happening everywhere. That’s of course everywhere besides those first 20-30 rows of people standing in front looking at the band like they’re a dog who has just been shown a card trick. After a few more, Billy stated that it was “time to go soon, I can’t be your selfie anymore” and the band was off at 10:57. The ‘Encore’ of Today, which appeared on the bands set list for the entirety of this tour, happened to be absent this evening.