I got called to head down to Outer Harbor in Buffalo, NY to meet up with a colleague of mine to shoot video and provide live coverage of the Marilyn Manson & Alice Cooper gig.
Compared to Inner Harbor, the view and sound for the boating community is much better. On such a calm, beautiful night, I was surprised there were so few boaters for this show.
I was to the right of the stage where our video truck was for this show. My view was amazing. (If I was interested in the show, I’d say my view was awful.) This little pier is where Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper arrived on the police boat. One of the police officers said that they let Alice Cooper drive the boat when he asked.
I wasn’t part of the audio crew for this gig so hanging out on the wings of the stage would have been a little tacky. Not only was I not part of the audio crew, (it was a union gig), it wasn’t our company. After sound checks were over, I did go up and roam around checking everything out. There were so many tractor trailers for this show I just had to see the props. I was impressed with all the pyrotechnics, costumes, and big theater props they brought. There was a huge chair, podium, mirror, tesla rig, and a giant Frankenstein amongst lots of other stuff. That big flag is the huge video screen behind Marilyn Manson when he was performing one of his politically charged tunes.
This was the video trailer I was running for the live feed. My partner was up on a lift out front of the stage with the video camera. Lucky for me, he was really into doing it. I didn’t want to be stuck up there in the sun for the whole show. Down here I was able to go back and forth to the courtesy tent for drinks and other concessions whenever I wanted. I was also able to go back behind the stage when the musicians arrived and get to meet some folks, as well.
At the start of the show, we blew one of the panels on the video screen. We quickly moved the panel to the perimeter and reduced the overall size of the display, hence the black border. That’s a live shot of Manson being creepy.
Nothing says “Evil” better than blowing a bunch of confetti all over the crowd at the end of your set. Nice touch, Marilyn. I wonder if there were little, angry fortunes written on them. “Your soul will rot in eternal damnation. Lucky Numbers 13-6-6-6-8-9.”
Add smoke and you’ve sealed the deal. When confetti isn’t evil enough, just add smoke. Though it looks like Marilyn Manson may have burst into a huge ball of flame on stage, which would have been one of the best rock moments of history, he safely exited the stage and avoided all danger.
Alice Cooper took the stage and I soon realized who his target market may be these days. He played all of the hits, even as awkward as it is to hear someone that’s in their mid 60’s sing about school being out or being 18 and sick of everything.
While I’m sure the cane was for show, at his age, I’m wondering if the cane was also helpful. He played for an hour and a half without a break. He can sing everything just like it’s on the album. I was really impressed.
“Be My Frankenstein!” This was a huge dude on stilts wearing a huge Frankenstein costume parading around the stage while fire and smoke danced around with him. All Alice needed now was some confetti… And smoke.
Smoke! There was lots of it for Alice. I walked around the tour bus and trailer area and marveled at the amount of smoke that was taking the whole harbor over. It was far more creepy back here than on stage.
I found a few things amusing about this gig. First, Marilyn came out for the encore with Cooper and sang “18” with him. He also got on his knees and licked Alice’s boots. Marilyn demanded that his private changing trailer be dressed in complete black, painted black, and not anything else but a single mirror amidst all the black. If we did not comply with the request, he said he’d take a blow torch to the interior of the trailer. I suggested we go the torch route since it would make for some great headlines.
Also amusing… both these bad ass, goth rockers are named Marilyn and Alice.