After an injury-mandated hiatus, I went back to work as a stagehand on Friday for the Mayhem Fest event, featuring Marilyn Manson and Slayer, supported by a cast of at least a dozen other bands on multiple stages. This went along just like any other day at Blossom, arriving groggy-eyed and bearing the uncouth comments of the other (99% male) stagehands.
In the evening, I came back during the mainstage event for my shift, and listened to a goodly part of Slayer’s set, albiet from the loading dock. It was ungodly loud, but I can appreciate the enthusiasm of the audience for this now-classic act, complete with their 8ft tall flame-throwing steel warbird logo. If entrance to the stage area hadn’t been restricted, I would have watched.
This guy was looking pretty wasted by the end of the evening backstage:
Once Marilyn Manson took the stage, security relaxed a bit and let me through to get a glimpse of what the hoopla is all about. My conclusions about this so-called shock rocker? Lame. Manson played to the audience based on the fact that he is from Ohio, and riled up these young kids with pithy comments on his first drinking binge, etc…IN OHIO. Aside from opening his set with a passable cover of Bauhaus’ classic ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ from behind a semisheer stage curtain, I was supremely unamused. The man who once scandalized the mothers of the midwest in the 1990s is now kind of sad looking with a growing waistline visible from the back half of the pavilion. His stage presence is waning and appears to be rote. Or maybe he was just bored and tired.
It’s always fun to get a glimpse of the other side, but after the lights come up and when I am pulling audio cable with the stench of sewer and three-day old beer at two in the morning all I can say is, for this I went to college?