Dogged by protesters, Marilyn Manson has called off the final five dates of his U.S. concert tour--including a May 8 show at the Universal Amphitheatre--in the wake of the Colorado mass shooting.
The shock-rocker said Wednesday on his official Web site that the decision is both a response to the “irresponsible finger-pointing” by critics of his dark music and a nod to the needs of the grieving Littleton, Colo., community.
“People are trying to sort out what happened and to deal with their losses,” the singer said via the posting. “It’s not a great atmosphere to be out playing rock ‘n’ roll shows, for us or the fans.”
Manson’s career has been fueled by controversy, but it has intensified after two youthful gunmen went on a rampage at a suburban high school in Colorado last week.
Hundreds of protesters turned out Tuesday for his show in Minneapolis, and more outcry was expected Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the last show on the now truncated tour.
In addition to the Universal Amphitheatre date, the canceled shows are in Reno, Fresno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The status of Manson’s upcoming international tour is not clear.
In his statement, Manson responded to critics who have questioned the effect of his horror-show music and imagery on young listeners.
“The media has unfairly scapegoated the music industry and so-called Goth kids and has speculated--with no basis in truth--that artists like myself are in some way to blame,” he stated. “This tragedy was a product of ignorance, hatred and an access to guns.
“I hope the media’s irresponsible finger-pointing doesn’t create more discrimination against kids who look different,” the statement concluded.
While Manson’s Internet statement suggests the move is only a postponement, Universal Amphitheatre officials said there is no plan for a rain-check show.
“I’m sure he will come back to Los Angeles at some point, but we don’t know when that would be,” said Melissa Miller, the venue’s senior vice president of talent booking. “We didn’t want to keep fans in limbo.”
Fans can get refunds at the site of purchase, Miller said. Universal officials said the Los Angeles show had not prompted any community response of note before it was called off.