Okay, what wit decided to have have goth/shock rocker Marilyn Manson supporting Iron Maiden. After all traditional metal and goth surely is like oil and water!
But, surprisingly (to Baal at least!) Manson turned in a good set.
Of course, all the hits were brought out for an airing. Beautiful People, Fight Song, M-Obscene, Dope Show etc all were given a shakedown. But the biggest cheers came for Tainted Love and Sweet Dreams, two cover versions.
Listening to 40,000 poeple whispering along to Sweet Dreams was spooky and a little disconcerting. But therein lies the weakness of Manson. He can be a crowd pleaser; he can turn a hostile crowd to his will for a little while; but beneath the face paint and above the stilts there is little more.
Yes, we all enjoyed the set; yes, he got us singing along; yes, the images on the screen during Beautiful People were a wonderful juxtaposition, but Mr Brian Warner will really have to stop believing his own hype and put a little more substance in his songs.
But, above all, we here at Belfast Metal Reunited have to say that Manson won over a difficult crowd; altogether now: "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This..."