The Pretty Reckless, lead by vocalist Taylor Momsen, rolled into Milwaukee, WI this Saturday as the opening act on Marilyn Manson‘s Hey Cruel World Tour at The Rave/Eagles Ballroom. Momsen, known also from her various acting roles, took to the stage with the swagger of a modern style Cherie Curie strutting onstage in black vinyl and fishnets while her Rupunzel-esque locks floated around her.
The band kicked off their set with the blues infused Hit Me Like A Man, off their new EP of the same name. Though The Pretty Reckless isn’t usually associated with being as heavy or dark as Manson, the crowd seemed to contain a fair amount of supporters for the group as well as some newly converted fans as their performance went on.
The Pretty Reckless live at The Rave in Milwaukee
Momsen’s soulful husky voice resonated throughout the ballroom grabbing concert goers attention while her enthusiastic and vixenish stage presence certainly held it. Lead guitarist Ben Phillips chimed in on vocals during another new track, the slow and sultry Cold Blooded along with the bands first single Make Me Wanna Die, while showing impressive technical skills with his tightly focused solos. Miss Nothing, Just Tonight and the moody yet intense Zombie were also received with positive crowd reaction. The band also performed My Medicine who’s video, which Momsen made sure to mention, features adult film star Jenna Haze.
The Pretty Reckless put on a strong, solid and energetic set but ultimately may have their work cut out for them. It may prove a somewhat difficult task to break through the more cynical music fans that have difficulty accepting Momsen doing something outside of her acting resume.
Marilyn Manson took to the stage later that evening to a roaring crowd opening with Hey, Cruel World, a track from their latest album Born Villain. Having attended a plethora of Manson shows in the past it seems that indoor venues generally lend itself to the vibe that the band is going for and this performance only reinforced that opinion. It also didn’t hurt matters that Manson himself seemed to be more in performing spirits than on the previous tours promoting the underrated Eat Me Drink Me and High End of Low albums of which no songs were performed.
Despite the exclusion of those two albums, Manson chose a wide variety of tracks from their extensive catalog. Early favorites like Sweet Dreams, Tourniquet, Irresponsible Hate Anthem were met with wild enthusiasm with Manson bringing back his classic podium bible ripping performance for Antichrist Superstar. This time around, Manson himself was much more into partaking in playful onstage banter giving the audience valuable advice like,”Don’t get caught (smoking pot I assume), don’t get pregnant and don’t end up on my tour bus”.
Manson returns to vintage form during a performance of Antichrist Superstar
Overall, this performance had much more energy than I’ve seen in Marilyn Manson for some time and perhaps Manson himself has gotten out of his self described “low place” and is able to enjoy performing on a different level again.
Till next time folks
P.S. Wasn’t able to get the professional camera in but upon viewing the few shots I DID get with my pocket camera I realized how the concert going experience has certainly changed with the addition of the sea of mini glowing LCD screens. I’m curious, and feel free to sound off in the comment section, is excessive picture taking a normal part of today’s concerts or is it a new annoying trend? Let me know your thoughts.