Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor made yet another triumphant return
to his home town when he brought the current configuration of Nine Inch Nails -
guitarist Richard Patrick, keyboardist Lee Mars and the newest addition,
drummer Jeff Ward - to the Phantasy Theatre last Friday for yet another sold
out show. From the minute the house lights went down, it was pandemonium -
albeit controlled pandemonium - with Trent Reznor at the helm. Body guards were
strategically located at both sides of the stage, there for those who felt the
need to stage dive - and were more than welcorne to stage dive, but nothing
With soundman Sean Beavan at the board (the
evening also found him adding backing vocals from the rear of the Phantasy),
the mix was impeccable as NIN started the night with “Terrible Lie.“ The
passion, anger and frustration found throughout PRETTY HATE MACHINE becomes
much more immediate in the live setting. Reznor breathes believability into the
lyrics of his songs, experiences that he and his audience can relate to. This
was more than evident as those in attendance sang every word, from the
beginning to the end of the show.
Trent had toys of torment and torture on
stage with him. Ropes dangled from the ceiling at the side of the stage, and a
huge steel grate fence took up the width of the stage. Throughout the course of
the evening they both would be scaled by the vocalist as well as various
members of the audience. Before the first refrain of the opening song, the lighting
post, stage left, had literally fallen victim to the antics of Trent Reznor.
“Sin,“ the current single, followed, and the
frenzied frolicking continued. Guitar assaults, an intricate part to the NIN
sound and an important part of the live show, abound in “Sanctified“ and
“Ringfinger.“ The mike stand made its way over the metal fencing during “The Only
Time,“ and a chair materialized now and again to be beat against the metal wall
of doom. The entire night Reznor encouraged his fans to get into the music and
to become physically involved in the show. He was their shining example.
As the stage diving began to incorporate adoration,
a female fan jumped on stage, hugged her idol and dove back into the pulsating
mass that made up the entire area in front of the stage. Reznor mused, “Just
like a f**king Bon Jovi show“ before making his way into “That‘s What I Get.“
An interesting addition to the set was the NIN
version of Queen‘s “Get Down Make Love.“ In a complete rework of the song -
rather than simply covering the song - Reznor made those in attendance forget
about Freddie Mercury by making the song his own with fiery vocals and a
Picking up a light during “Down In It,“ the vocalist
searched the audience, surveying all that he controlled. He positioned the lamp
as if it were a light beckoning the crowd to join him on stage. At least 50
people answered the call, some hanging from the rope, others climbing the
fencing. A climactic conclusion indeed.
If you are still one of the few who have yet to
experience Nine inch Nails live, the band will return to town the end of
January. Reznor and company have to be seen to be fully appreciated.
The Adults did an admirable job as opening act,
especially, as Paul Michael openly acknowledged, because the majority of the
audience was unfamiliar with the band‘s material. However, those in attendance
who were familiar with the Adults were more than pleased to see the band back
on stage, complete with new material, after a lengthy absence.
The Adults had opened for NIN the night before
in Pittsburgh. Their 30-minute set contained well-crafted,
catchy songs, made distinctive by Michael‘s folksy voice.