Tour Buzz: Marilyn Manson, Bonnie Raitt and The xx

BAD MAN: Over the years we’ve said a lot about Marilyn Manson—about his androgyny; about his incisive interviews; about his relationships with Rose McGowan, Dita Von Teese and the like. But the one thing we don’t mention enough about Manson, who plays the House of Blues on February 23 ($50-$60), is that he’s one hell of a fun glam rocker. His live show is almost self-parody, with the volume and the amorality cranked up as loud as they can go. And I know it’s still good after all these years because Gary Budzak, a writer for the Columbus Dispatch, hated it. Said he of Manson’s January 20 show in Columbus, Ohio: “The low-point of the night (or, highlight, depending on your point of view) was ‘Antichrist Superstar,’ with Manson leering over a large lectern like a demented dictator and flinging Bibles into the crowd.” That reminds me of another reason to see Manson live: Free Bibles!

VEGAS, RAITT’D: There’s a great bit in the John Cusack movie Tapeheads in which Cusack’s character, a smarmy music-video director, proudly rattles off his list of clients to a bored FBI agent. The agent feigns interest until a name catches him by surprise: “Not the Bonnie Raitt?” Yes, the one and only Bonnie Raitt, the nine-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter whose popularity transcends both cop and Cusack, is playing the Pearl on February 22 ($50-$95). Raitt has penned many great songs—”Something to Talk About” and “Love Sneakin’ up on You” among them—and plays and sings them with a soulfulness that’s all the more remarkable for being so understated. There’s something almost laconic in her delivery; you can nearly imagine her singing these songs from a rocking chair. And she could, you know? Raitt is American songwriting royalty, and like the proverbial 500-pound bear, she can sit wherever she wants.

NOW ON SALE: We’d all like to believe that the reason The xx is coming to The Joint on April 16 ($31) is because their October 2012 show at the Cosmopolitan was rained out, and they want to make good with us. More likely, they’re coming here because we’re on the way to Coachella, and because we’ve got nicer hotel rooms than they have in Indio. But it’s nice to think the other thing, isn’t it?

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