3. - 9. Januar.1991




Text by Judy Black



Live Wire


Nine Inch Nails

The Adults

Phantasy Theatre

December 28

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 more.

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 pounding beat.

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.

Judy Black