The French Tricolore beams down over London's Hammersmith Apollo as we await the arrival of Marilyn Manson, as his 2015 Pale Emperor tour arrives in the UK - the energy and message of the 'Tainted Love' star refusing to stop in the wake of recent terror.
The setlist and insane stage set prove that the God Of Fuck still has as much impact now than ever, let alone showcasing the sheer calibre and range of the ground he's covered across his albums - but of course, there's far more at play with Manson than meets the eye.
The sounds of Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, some classic blues, a dash of hip-hop and an old gospel reading blare out over the speakers while we await Manson's entrance - the perfect reflection of the montage of influences that he represents. Tonight as he howls, raps, struts and even preaches atop a pulpit, he's now so fully-rounded at doing what he does best: chewing up all of the culture that surrounds and precedes him, and spitting it back out.
"When you start a tornado, and you are the tornado - do not bitch about being the tornado," Manson told us when we spoke to him ahead of The Pale Emperor's release. "Rock's not dead, it just needs a kick up the ass."
The Manson whirlwind has never stopped spinning, and rock can never die as long he is nearby with his steel-toe-capped boots. Smoke shoots up as the devil rises when Manson pays his dues with the menacing metal blues of 'Deep Six'. "London," he sqwuaks, before punching the mic stand to the ground and rushing into glam-rock fire of the classic 'Disposable Teens'. Pits erupt and subside before he leaves the stage for a quick costume change, returning as a gangsta' for 'mOBSCENE'.
He continues to morph through his various guises, from gangster to circus freak on stilts, to fanatical leader and preacher, to an Anti-Christ Superstar - remaining quintessentially Manson through it.
There's no rush quite like the theatre of Manson.
Watch our interview with Manson below
"Throw your bras, don't throw your cups," Manson tells one concert-goer, "because A I'll drink it, and B I'll come out there and bite your liver out." As terrifying a character Manson may be, there's still something ultimately human about him beneath all the make-up. You can see the love as he stares out the front rows of his dedicated flock, before referring the aftermath of the Paris attacks when he humbly "lights a candle for the people of the world" and says "I wanna thank you all for coming tonight - no joke there, I just want to thank you."
That humanity shines through his sheer love of all music too. Whether honouring the blues or rapping Ice Cube, he's the twisted manifestation of all of his influences. He is Iggy Pop, he is Ozzy Osbourne, he is David Bowie, he is Madonna - he is the traits of all icons torn inside in nightmare form. He is sex, he is religion, he is art and ultimately pure hedonistic entertainment. He is the reaction to the horror that surrounds him. That's Marilyn Manson - the hero that we deserve.
Marilyn Manson played:
Cupid Carries a Gun
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) / Lunchbox
Angel With the Scabbed Wings
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
The Dope Show
The Beautiful People
Manson's remaining UK dates are below. More information on Marilyn Manson's tickets and shows here.
Saturday 21 - Wolverhampton, Civic, UK
Sunday 22 - Glasgow, O2 Academy, UK
Monday 23 - Manchester, O2 Apollo, UK