ROB ZOMBIE AND MARILYN MANSON, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 27 Nov 2012

Traditionally only one of a pair of twins is evil, but last night two shock rock giants were united for the Twins of Evil Tour, a carnival of the grotesque at which they proved they were anything but identical.
No longer capable of filling arenas on his own, American hate figure Marilyn Manson, now on his eighth album, was joined by Rob Zombie, perhaps better known over here as the film director who has revitalised the Halloween horror franchise. The problem with a co-headlining tour, as this was billed, is that the first band on ends up being the support act in all but name. That role was taken by poor Manson, who at 8.15pm looked a shadow of his former self and not in the good, creepy way.
Unlike the year’s other big co-headlining tour, Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne venture, there was no interaction between the pair. Manson simply did his thing early on and in truncated form, still capable of a blood-curdling scream but seeming disengaged for the most part. He strolled when he could have charged, and every time he did rile the crowd, as with a menacing cover of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus or his own shouted anthem mOBSCENE, there followed a long deflating gap while his roadies set up his next foul scene.
He threw down an American flag and pretended to be Hitler, grim sights next to Zombie’s colourful extravaganza, which proved that this kind of thing can be fun. Doctor Who fans would have enjoyed the succession of lumbering monsters that joined the bearded beast on stage, while vivid video clips of Godzilla and Japanese anime showed interests beyond the horrific.
His brand of metal was more accessible than most. Lyrics, unpalatable as they were, were mostly audible. He covered Alice Cooper, mentioned being in the audience here for The Rolling Stones the night before, and boasted of chatting to Roger Daltrey the other day, showing a taste for classic rock that was obvious in the catchy howl of Mars Needs Women and the dirty glam stomp of Pussy Liquor.
Unlike his co-conspirator, he appeared to be giving his all, dreadlocks flailing, and his great balls of fire saved this devilish pairing from becoming a damp squib.