The Van Buren was packed with fans lined up early enough to get their merchandise, drinks and a spot to catch the opening band Deadly Apples. The rail is pushed a little further back from the stage and I think to myself something great must be set up to happen. From the moment Deadly Apples hit the stage it was obvious this was going to be a great show. David Houle (keyboards, dance artist), wearing a mask that covered the lower half of his face, dances on to the stage with aggressive yet graceful acrobatics as he moves towards a keyboard. We see him throughout the set doing various back flips and dance moves, reminiscent of watching an ice skater or a gymnast. I feel the choreography is unique in the industry and the talent really sets the band apart. We see the rest of the band take their places, in particular lead vocalist Alex Martel as he takes center stage and pours water on himself. This actually made a great effect because as he moved around the stage you can see splashes of water flying off from his head. Don’t underestimate this band..they are heavy and aggressive! I counted at least 5 times Martel knocked over the mic stand and it was pretty entertaining to see the crew guy run out to fix it just for it to get knocked over again. This is my first time seeing the band or hearing their music. The sound has an electronic metal feel, and I love the blend of high and low chords from guitarist Bruno Roy. Drummer Antoine Lamonthe hits hard, I thought at times he was going to break his drum kit. The lighting consists of a blend of green and red colors with moments of heavy strobing. This band makes the lighting look good as it completely fit their name and aesthetic. Within the band’s 6 song setlist, Martel and Lamonthe made their way through the pit greeting everyone they could. Alex performed his lyrics while being held up from the crowd. After performing song “Further” the crowd is obviously into the French-Canadian band, and I heard several people commenting “that was badass”. I have researched the band and found videos of previous shows and will say this particular night was the best I have seen. The choreography was very well done and the band appeared to be so connected to the crowd it showed in their music. Deadly Apples ended their performance as described by frontman Alex “for those who like heavier shit” with the song “Self Inflicted”. As he dismantled the drum kit during the song, kicking and throwing instruments around the stage, the crowd goes crazy. The performance from Deadly Apples was no doubt aggressive as one can expect from a metal show! The guys are very nice and friendly off stage and definitely appreciate the fans. If you ever have a chance to meet the guys from Deadly Apples, do it. Be sure to follow Deadly Apples on instagram and facebook for all their music and tour updates.
The floor is filling up tighter as everyone is anxiously waiting for Marilyn Manson. A curtain covers the stage after opening band Deadly Apples cleared their equipment and the crowd cheers wildly. After hearing a drawn out repeat of “Meow mix, Purina cat chow” theme song, the show begins with a thick burst of fog as the curtain drops to opening song “Angel With Scabbed Wings”. Marilyn Manson greets Phoenix, letting us know this was the last stop on their tour and we must scream louder than everyone else. We may have been the loudest that night at the Van Buren as Manson did tell the crowd “Not Playing favorites, but Arizona may be my favorite”. Arizona does carry the advantage of being home to great venues as well as having a solid rock fanbase…of course we are Marilyn Manson’s favorite! The Van Buren is known to be a more intimate venue as it is not too large, yet it holds enough space for a rather hefty sized crowd. The show continues with Manson performing several times at the rail of the crowd. In between songs we would see outfit changes and new props such as a long black feather coat and what appears to be a rather large blunt for song “Dope Show”. “Mobscene” follows with another costume change and at the end of the song Manson pulls down his pants, nothing obscene is exposed, we just see black boxer briefs as he wobbles off stage. Other notable costume changes and props was a large knife blade attached to his microphone during “Vampire/Say 10” as well as an exaggerated sized podium set up to raise Manson nearly up to the ceiling during “Antichrist Superstar”. At the top of the podium he lights a book on fire and throws it to the side of the stage. (No uncontrolled fires were created in this set, everything and everyone was safe.) A continuous blast of foam sprayed onto the crowd during the last two songs “Nobodies” and “Coma White”. Overall, the band’s performance was great. The vocals were on point and the show was just as anyone would expect from Marilyn Manson. Over the top and offensive just enough to get reactions did not fall short from this show.