WARDRUNA Live || San Francisco || Regency Ballroom || September 15 2018

We’ve all heard this: tastes differ. Something you enjoy may be a pain for others. For me, it’s always been pretty simple: do whatever makes your heart content, as long as it does not bring the physical (or severe moral, for that matter) pain, to someone else. I am endlessly happy to meet and communicate with people who share this principle. Alas, this kind of acceptance is quite rare and more often than not, we’re weighed down by someone’s beliefs, constrained by rules and obligations, and don’t feel free enough to simply, be… While I’ve stepped away from religion and other “traditional” mainstreams a long time ago, I am still a person bound by social rules that come with a workforce package. On this night, however, an opportunity to break away from all this dogmatism presented itself in a wondrous live performance by WARDRUNA.

Since having discovered the band a few years ago (long before watching the Vikings series), I’ve wanted to see them live. There is something ethereal about their performance, something that needs to be experienced with a full set of visual and audial receptors. Finally, the day has come. WARDRUNA visited San Francisco and opened the night with a blow… into actual ceremonial bronze lurs, setting the ambience from the very beginning.

This opening was breathtaking. I did not set any expectations to allow for more of an “ad-hoc” perception, and there it was: pure, magical, and tantalizing. One of my favorite compositions followed, and below is its semi-decent interpretation:

There were more, of course, and I felt guilty for recording this – the performance was so sincere and unreal…

Eventually, Kvitrafn’s speech has left me speechless:

 Upon hearing this, recording the actual song didn’t feel right. The entire set was so unique; more of a spiritual occurrence. (For someone who is as non-spiritual as me, this is quite a big deal). The audience was silent until the last cord. It was dark, sad, and simultaneously, so comforting. I’m one of those weirdos who really enjoys all the gothic and grotesque, and the experience it was all that, plus deeply emotional. Now I know which song will be on for my funeral.


#Twins of Evil Tour || Marilyn Manson x Rob Zombie

Concord Pavillion, August 28 2018
*Opinions are my own.

Another year, same purpose: to attend (yet again), and to hear (anew) a handful of musical musings (this cannot qualify for tautology) by one and only Marilyn Manson, with a cherry on top, aka Rob Zombie, and a tart, largely unknown pie of the crust, mysteriously named Dealy Apples.  Yes, Zombie is a firecracker of an artist and the opening band is definitely worth further discovery, however, my main focus was on Manson, who did not disappoint. Having attended the Manson show 5 times total, this was one of the most memorable sessions.

“There were a couple of bumps in the road”,  Manson claimed in his Fall 2017 interview with the Revolver magazine, and, given all the circumstances, artist’s musical career was not where it could have been until then. In addition to playing the US and international shows, he’s appeared in a number of film and TV episodes, revisited the art scene, as well as shared thoughts in numerous interviews, confirming once again that talent can take many forms. As for his most recent playlist — no shocking revelations this time, however, still a good mix of old and new:

    1. Irresponsible hate anthem
    2. Angel with the scabbed wings
    3. This is a new *HIT
    4. Fight song
    5. Mobscene
    6. Say10
    7. Dope show
    8. Kill 4 me
    9. Cry little sister
    10. Antichrist superstar
    11. Beautiful people
    12. Sweet dreams

The Manson part of the show progressed at a really good pace; he’s addressed the audience warmly and knew the exact location of the venue, changed the outfits to correspond with the lyrical themes and even returned with Sweet Dreams after saying his goodbyes to the audience. I have never been in the pit so close to MM before:

Marilyn Manson, This is a new *HIT

Then, Zombie heads invaded the stage and stirred up the audience for good. With all the classic Rob Zombie horror film references (think original Godzilla and best, aka trashiest, horror flicks from the 70’s) used as a backdrop, the atmosphere was heated within seconds.

Rob Zombie, Superbeast

In the end, the two legends, to all the fans’ hearts content, performed together to prove once again: the Twins of Evil tour was truly a remarkable experience.

Rob Zombie x Marilyn Manson, Helter Skelter || Twins of evil 2018