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Music, Fashion, and Marilyn Manson & The Smashing Pumpkins

When I heard Marilyn Manson and the The Smashing Pumpkins were coming to town, I wanted to go.  But for various reasons I held off getting tickets until the day of.  The week before my crew of friends that were thinking about going, plus myself, scrapped the idea.  Then a day or so later I had second thoughts.  The show was on a Monday and that weekend I texted my friends saying I had had a change of heart and wanted to go.  My friend Kelsey said he was too was still up for going decided to go.  And boy, am I glad we did, as it was awesome!  But first, as always, let's start with the clothing choices!

I have to apologize a little bit for the photos here.  It was raining while the sun was still up, and the rain only stopped the second the sun was behind the mountain.  Plus it was chilly and I was starting to look like a wet rat, so I quit while I was ahead instead of getting better details.
From the second I started considering going to Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins, I thought it would be hilarious to wear my Brady Bunch house dress to the show.  Something about the Brady Bunch and Marilyn Manson just aren't exactly peanut butter and jelly, and whatever the funniest choice is always wins in my world so I got stuck on the idea of wearing this dress.  That said, Colorado is hard to plan outfits ahead because the weather is so weird, and this is a case of getting an idea stuck in my head for the worst.  Usually in July it's not cold.  And the rain starts to go away.  But on this night, it began to rain and the weather dropped to the 60s or it was windy.  WTH?  It was officially the middle of summer when this happened, and frankly the weather has barely ceased being bonkers since.  Wearing a sundress may have not been the best choice.  But I did bring a cardigan and a rain jacket, and stowed stockings in my purse just in case I needed a layer on my legs.  Other than the fact that I was being stubborn about wearing something different, this is a great post to talk about outdoor fashion outfits for when the weather is less than perfect.  Here are my tips:
  • Pants versus a skirt/dress.  A lot of this is personal preference.  I'm usually in the latter choices.  But skirts/dresses are airy and don't cover your whole legs.  That said, I saw MGMT at this exact venue in POURING down rain when it was 65 degrees out and I was wearing pants.  That was miserable because the cold and wet fabric clung to me the whole time and my legs were a weird color for hours, even after a hot bath when I got home.  Neither is ideal, but it's worth considering the lesser of two poisons before committing to an outfit.
  • Practical shoes.  I love heels.  Everyone knows this.  But I hate standing, especially in heels, so thanks to my blogger friend Kathy raving about these Jessica Simpson ballet flats, I decided to invest in some ::gasp:: practical shoes for going to shows.  Knowing your venue is important.  This venue, Red Rocks, is on a mountain.  There's steep ramps and stairs EVERYWHERE.  I'm really glad Kathy raved about fashion forward shoes that are not heels, because if nothing else I needed them for all the Red Rocks shows this summer!!
  • The purse situation.  If it's going to rain, my advice is wear a shoulder bag so you don't have to put your bag down on the wet ground or seats.  Also, wear a bag that you don't care as much about.  This bag is from Target and I got it four years ago.  It's already falling apart a bit and was a bag I purchased to go to an outdoor music event (I didn't want to carry around a purse with my hands and didn't have a shoulder bag at the time), so it wasn't the purse of my dreams as much as a impulse practical buy...that's old and not in the best shape.  Designer bags have no place hanging out hours in the rain, you hear?
  • Layers.  If it's going to be chilly, windy, rainy, or all of the than sorry.  I thought I was being excessive with a rain coat and cardigan, but it was perfect.  Is carrying around something to and from the car more annoying than being cold for four hours?  Probably not...
  • Hair and make-up.  Though I maintain that I am no expert in either arena, I can say I've learned some tricks here and there.  For this show I did NOTHING fancy with my hair.  I just clipped back the short side of my bangs that I can't yet tuck behind my ear (I'm growing them out) so they weren't in my face in case of wind.  I also brought a ponytail holder in case of wind...which also came in handy.  I wore a little bit of face foundation with blush, but NO eye make up because I knew it would wash off and not look too great within 5 minutes.  I highly recommend this strategy for hanging out in the rain.
My rap concert going bestie (as well as my bandmate) and I at Manson and the Pumpkins change up the pace a bit!

I saw Marilyn Manson back in 2012 because my then boyfriend got me tickets to him and Rob Zombie for my birthday, which was a really great gift.  (Rock and roll and intellectual topics are kind of the ways to my heart, which probably explains why concerts and books are some of my favorite gifts haha).  I liked Manson WAY more than Zombie live, which was weird because I thought it would be the opposite.  Bobby Zombie (years ago one of my friends and I decided it was funnier to call him that and I'm sticking with it!) was great, don't get me wrong, but it was way too much pyrotechnics and screaming than this Sonic Youth loving lady was used to at shows.  Manson was engaging, funny, and his music was really great live.  I was excited to see him again this summer and I had never seen The Smashing Pumpkins but had always respected them, so these two facts combined made this line up was enticing.
There's a lot I want to say on how getting tickets here, at least without ridiculous convenience fees, is exhausting.  But I'm saving that for the next post.  That said (Colorado friends), if you risk it and go to the Red Rocks box office right before the show the day of the convenience fees are more like $7 at the box office as opposed to $15+.  #worthit
I'm surprised to find that so many people from my generation are still iffy on Marilyn Manson, both as a person and his music.  I understand if the music just isn't your jam, but he's at the end of the day a) highly intelligent and b) a legitimate entertainer and the two combined make for a fascinating show.  Aside from the fact that I've liked his music for over half of my life, I focus on those two points when seeing and/or listening to him.  Because I went to school in Miami, a lot shall we say...more superficial people were attracted to the University of Miami.  It was a Mecca for where book smart meets image conscious people...a truly weird mix.  Considering I'm not much of a clubber (I went there for the education plus the beach) and even as a college student I could only drink one or two nights in a row before being done with alcohol for a week or so, I befriended the kids who would study all weekend and had never had a drop of alcohol in their lives.  Socially stunted, sure, but they were more interesting to talk to and I enjoyed having deep conversations walking around campus at least one weekend night.  When we would be in my car driving somewhere, I'd somewhat on purpose put a Marilyn Manson CD on to gage their reaction.  Naturally they'd be weirded out and not see it coming (ripped jeans and a wife beater were kind of my look, or some all-American girl ensemble so I didn't fit the "stereotype" of someone who liked Manson).  But eventually they'd crack and be like, "Oh, I like this's catchy!"  To which I'd be like, yuuuuup!  And then they'd request listening to him next time we were driving somewhere.  It was also fun to see which all-American boys and girls I befriended would pipe up when I put on Manson, and in some cases even hear about their goth kids past that I didn't see coming.  Good memories :)
Now, if you find yourself at a Manson show...skip the opener.  When the opener took the stage, Kelsey and I were stoked for all of 5 seconds because it was a rapper.  We see EVERY rap show together so we were all, "Wahoo, let's add another to the list!"  But then we got to second 6 and our faces fell and the impulse to high five was ceased.  The guy's name was Cage, but upon Kelsey and I posting about it to Facebook one of my friends quickly said, "Manson always trolls his audience with a bad opener."  Suddenly the world made sense.  THAT'S why a dubstep DJ opened for Manson/Zombie three years ago.  (That always bugged me as it seemed wildly out of place). That said, I have not been able to corroborate that Manson does this anywhere online.  And while researching Cage I found out that he's not nearly as amateur as I thought he was, and even his music doesn't sound as bad as it did live.  Color me confused.   But in person the lyrics were terrible, the rapper turned on the audience, and he was rapping to a guitar player and it felt WAY too 1999 when rap and rock were poorly courting each other in popular music (a la Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park).
I have to say that the first time I saw Marilyn Manson I liked him a little better, but he still put on a damn good show this time around.  He does a million set changes, has tons of religious irony on stage, gets up on stilts, and this time, even had a woman twerking in a scantily clad costume.  (The only other time I'd seen this happen was at Snoop Dogg, so interesting thing those boys have in common).  Though it was a little chilly, there was something kind of cool about seeing Marilyn Manson in the rain on such a gray evening.  I guess it was fitting?
Smashing Pumpkins were pretty good, but unless they're doubled billed on a ticket with another act I want to see,  I'm not sure I would rush to see them again.  Granted, the weather sucked by this point because the sun had set.  And it was windy as all getup.  (Both acts had a warbled sound at times, I'm assuming due to the elements).  Billy Corigan wasn't very engaging with the crowd though, which to me is always disappointing because I like to get a sense of the personalities in the band.  I'm super stoked that I got to see "1979" live as I think that it literally one of the coolest songs ever.  When "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" played I had to laugh as now whenever I hear that song I think of my high school friend Pete, who went on to be in a reality show with that as it's theme song.  (Whale Wars).  And then when "Tonight, Tonight" played my brain spazzed for a second as I thought, Oh my did I totally and 100% forget about this song??  Seriously...I literally forgot about one of their biggest songs when I was gearing up for the concert and going over my wish list of songs I'd hope they'd play.  Am I getting old?!  One song that they did play that was on my wish list that I was nervous that they wouldn't was their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."  This is literally one of my favorite cover's of all-time so I feel privileged that I got to hear them play it...and play it amazingly at that.
As they did their encore, "Today" we started to sneak down the steps at Red Rocks so we could get to our car and out of the lot quicker (plus we were cold).  I usually don't dip out of concerts early, but the beauty about being at a Red Rocks show is that the sound carries everywhere.  So essentially we had a theme song as we exited and as we got closer to the stage, I was able to snap a few better photos:
You know I love to talk about the crowds at shows by now, so here we go!  The crowd was mixed, as it always seems to be.  I think I've finally learned that if a musical act is around 20+ years old there will be no majorities of stereotypes.  There were some goth and punk people trolling, but everyone was in ponchos or rain slickers so it was hard to tell what people were wearing underneath their rain gear.  But even if majority of the people in the crowd WERE in the goth scene at the height of Manson's career, 15-20 years has passed and so have they aged.  They're not 35-42 year olds that still wear what they did as teenagers and young adults.  I've found this to be the case at a lot of shows, especially rap acts, so I'm starting to accept that the people watching at older musical acts is never as interesting as it is at a concert with a newer musical group, specifically with a very specified genre.

That said, people watching was still amazing.  There was a...person...(Kelsey and I couldn't agree on gender or a potential M to F or T to M transition so I'm afraid to use pronouns.  Long hair, wide shoulders, feminine face with facial here, wide hips and curvy legs) who was head banging the whole both Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins.  I'm not sure head banging is fun for that long, at least for me, but my god was this person into it.  They were two rows ahead of us and this person had the biggest smile on their face the whole time.  I was obsessed with watching this person.  There's usually one or two people during a show that I just fixate it on; typically it's because they're having so much fun and they don't care who's watching.  I still have this image burned into my head of this person head banging with their glorious long blonde hair the whole show.  I kind of wished I tried to be their friend because I just got the biggest kick out of their energy.  And he or she was wearing a hair metal band tour tee shirt and cut off jeans, which seemed off and appropriate at once to wear to a Marilyn Manson show.  I love it.  Thank you, fellow human being, for enhancing hearing "The Dope Show" even more for me.

This show wasn't without it's weirdos though.  A guy a row or two ahead of us was dancing the whole time...and not well.  My FAVORITE new move I got from him was to hunch over as if you're a turtle on two legs, put one hand down the back of your shirt (as far as you can reach), reach for the sky with your other hand, keep your eyes and head down, and bop up and down.  Aren't you glad you learned something?!  You can now pull out this new dance moves with friends and be the bell of the ball!

Marilyn Manson has now joined the ranks of national musical acts that I have seen more than once.  The other artists are:
 The Whigs
Reel Big Fish
Sonic Youth
Cold War Kids
Of Monster and Men
Capitol Cities

Thanks for sticking with me on this longer read than usual for this series!  Next few acts I'll be covering are: Death Cab for Cutie, Jurassic 5, Tennis, STRFKR, and Milo Greene!

In case you missed other concert going stories:
Music, Fashion, and The Jesus and Mary Chain
Music, Fashion, and Surfer Blood
Music, Fashion, and The Sonics
Music, Fashion, and Fitz and the Tantrums
Music, Fashion, and The Westword Music Showcase
Music, Fashion, and The Geto Boys
Music, Fashion, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

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Twitter: @LaurenBlair23


  1. What a fun location babe! I'm so jealous!


  2. This looks amazing, I would love to see Manson (I've loved him ever since he and Dita Von Teese were together) and smashing pumpkins! You also look gorgeous, that dress looks wonderful on you!
    Bethany x

    1. He puts on a great show so if you can see him, you totally should! XO

  3. This outfit is so cute and perfect for a concert! You look beautiful and I love the ballet flats

  4. Dress twinsies! Love that dress on you. :)

  5. Amazing post! Loved all the details! It's been ages since I went to a concert but we need to keep our hearing! Anyway, enjoyed reading this! Would love to hear Landslide live. The dress is so cute


  6. Your rain jacket is so cute and goes so well with your outfit!!! Queen Fashionista!

  7. Perfect! I love and i follow your blog, please follow me too

  8. Great tips on dressing for a concert. I havent been to an outdoor venue in a while. All of mine have been indoors, but your postS are having me crave some more concerts for sure!

  9. I loved the post, reading about the concerts and your memories in Miami.. I went to a university that was the way you described - and I will use the word mercilessly :) superficial girls galore, I couldn't bear them. Your group seemed nice, and nice that they liked MM. I like or used to like The Smashing Pumpkins, glad that you liked both acts. The person banging the head is impressive - I can't do it for 10 seconds, imagine that, the whole time. I loved your dress, such a cute print! And the shoes, too! Bad it was raining, but still beautiful pictures!

  10. You looked super cute for this event! Darling dress! <3 Wish I could have been there! I absolutely *love* Billy Corgan. Sucked that he wasn't very responsive to the crowd, though. I always would have thought the opposite about him when it came to live performances.

    - Anna

    1. It could have been the rain that made him less least I hope bc I thought the opposite would be true too! XO

  11. Traveling during summer season I learned is not a good idea. Same thing happened to me in Malaysia and Japan. I have so many cute summer outfits planned in my head but a few days before my trips, I found out it was rainy in both countries but very hot and humid. I had to pair my dresses with sneakers instead and brought a light jacket to cover up.

    You look cute in that dress, btw. :)

    The Pink Lemonade Girl

  12. This dress is so cute and red rocks is amazing! I went to a show there and it was the best!

  13. your dress is so cute

  14. You look so adorable in this dress! Thank you for the tips about what to wear to outdoor concert spots. I always wanted to see a concert at the Red Rocks.


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