Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Live Review - Nine Inch Nails @ Terminal 5 (Night 1)

In many ways I have said "Goodbye" to Trent Reznor and his touring outfit of Nine Inch Nails more times than I initially thought I would. Starting the summer concert series off with the band's co-headlining venture with Jane's Addictions, the NIN/JA tour at Jones Beach and closing out the summer saying goodbye, officially again, to one of the greatest live bands that ever hit the road. However, this time was different, it was much more special, it was much more intimate, it was much more Trent. After rethinking about it, Reznor felt that NIN/JA was not the proper send off for his bands and his fans, so the singer decided to do a small club tour, a swan song in New York City, Chicago and LA. Being one of the lucky few to see one of these gigs was witnessing history.

Packed like sardines in a tin can, 3,000 hardcore NIN fans (which included Kanye West and girlfriend Amber Rose, Gerard Butler, Howard Stern and his wife Beth, and True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard) crammed into New York's Terminal 5 for night three of Reznor's four nights in New York. The previous nights were at the 500 person Bowery Ballroom, and the 1,500 person Webster Hall (which saw the band playing The Downward Spiral in its entirety). Last night was a bigger venue, but enough to feel so close to the action. Engaging his fans from the moment he walked on stage, opening with "Home," Reznor had his hands in the air as a Christ like figure singing to his followers. From start to finish for the 2 1/2 hour set, the heat was up and the intensity never died. What I loved about this concert was the fact that everyone who was in there, wanted to be, there were no fair-weather Nine Inch Nails fans at this concert and I doubt at any of these small club gigs. It was people who screamed every word, who sweated out everything they had and entertained Trent and his band as they entertained them.

A night filled with bittersweet moments, with Reznor saying to his fans "I am really going to miss you guys, thank you for everything." Out of the four times I have seen the band (2006's With Teeth Tour, Lollapalooza 2008, NIN/JA and last night), it was the most he ever spoke to his audience. Discussing the band's early days (he did the same at Lollapalooza last year), his hero's such as David Bowie (before breaking out into "I'm Afraid of Americans") and how this really was it for him. Like Michael Jackson said in his presser for his London 02 concerts, "This is it! I mean it this is it!" I get the same feeling from Reznor, that this really is it. His life on the road and whatever he has done in between has taken a toll on the legendary front man. These are his times of stopping, yet completely understandable. We sometimes forget that rock Gods are human too. The thing is NIN is still going to make music in the studio, just not go on the road for it, it is touring that Trent is receding from. Which in many cases is the true shame of it all, going to see this band is one of the most intense experience's one will ever witness from a live show and this is what fans and generations to come will be missing.

The highlight of the night came when Reznor was discussing his early days in a van and how Bauhaus were the first band to really recognize and believe in what he was doing. That being said, Bauhaus front man Peter Murphy came on stage to perform "Reptile," and Bauhaus' "Kick in the Eye." Murphy would later return in the encore to cover Joy Division's "Dead Souls," a track NIN covered for The Crow soundtrack in the mid 90's. An incredible night to say the least and an experience I will never forget. Closing with "Hurt," Reznor mapped out his fans feelings in the famous song, "Everyone I know, goes away, in the end...."

Opening the show was UK goth rock / electro outfit The Horrors. The Horrors spared no expense and took the stage as if they were headliners. Backed by a lighting design and effects, had this been any other concert, one would never guess they were not the top billing. What a brilliant live band! The band's mix of goth, electronica and alternative sounded better live than on disc. Playing a 35 minute set and closing with the epic single "Sea within a Sea," The Horrors are one band I wouldn't mind seeing over and over again.

Nine Inch Nails Setlist Terminal 5 8/25/09 "Wave Goodbye"
"Terrible Lie"
"The Beginning Of The End"
"March Of The Pigs"
"The Line Begins To Blur"
"I'm Afraid of Americans"
"The Big Come Down"
"Gave Up"
"La Mer"
"The Fragile"
"The Way Out Is Through"
"Letting You"
"Reptile" with Peter Murphy
"Kick in the Eye" with Peter Murphy (Bauhaus Cover)
"The Hand That Feeds"
"Head Like A Hole"
"The Frail"
"The Wretched"
"The Day The World Went Away"
"Dead Souls" with Peter Murphy (Joy Division Cover)

Photo and Video credit to THE CREATURE. More Photo's of the event can be found on "With This I Think I'm Offically a Yuppie" Facebook Page ---Link at the bottom of the blog!!!