Well, that was a performance and a half!
First, the venue: Now renamed to "Manchester Central", the former G-Mex is in fact the main building of the former Manchester Central Railway Station, with a vast arched roof carried on huge Victorian cast iron ribs, a beautiful and very solid building. The stage was at the former "country" end of the station (where the trains used to head out from), and the unobstructed span gave everyone a great view.
Unfortuntely the support act had great musicians but a frontman who was an embarassmnent to everyone present, going on and on about erections, sex, getting turned on, etc, initially just between tracks, but eventually singing songs about it too.
But when MM himself came on, we soon forgot all about the support act! This was the first time I'd seen him live, and the first thing I noticed was how much taller he was than I'd expected - for some reason I'd always pictured him as being a bit like Danni Filth, when in fact he most closely resembles a younger Alice Cooper.
We got plenty of theatrics, including a very impressive rising column from the centre of the stage, upon which MM stood and sang through one of the tracks while it rose to about 40' in the air. There were loads of synchronised back projections, including the mandatory fast-shifting guns, god, government, etc during The Love Song, and a huge chair during The Dope Show.
All the classic tracks were there, plus quite a few new ones, I'm thinking the new album will be worth getting.
I didn't notice any self-harm, but as we were standing a good way back, just by the mixer (where the sound is always best), I might not have noticed. I certainly did notice when he ripped an assistant girl's head off and waved it about the stage though!
The sound throughout was absolutely superb, the lighting was great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the gig. There was a brief pause at one point after some (to echo what MM said) "cock sucker" threw a bottle which hit the bass player on the head, requiring treatment (the ensuing speech about "we really shouldn't identify the culprit and beat him to death" was amusing ).
The only downside was that afterwards the merchandise stall didn't actually have any MM CDs, which seemed a bit weird, especially as they did have the aforementioned support act's one.
So, while not quite up to the truly awe-inspiring display Within Temptation managed in Eindhoven the other week (though to be fair I suspect it'll be a long time before anyone manages to top that), a great gig, good crowd (cock-sucker excepted), and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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