Tuesday, October 11, 2005
i never got to see nine inch nails in the 90s. i think i knew better than to ask my parents if i could go see them in madison or milwaukee (chicago would have been absolutely out of the question). rem, sure; nin, with marilyn manson opening, uh, NO. i owned and proudly wore at least three nin t-shirts (black, of course) until i was about 23. i always thought trent was ugly(ish)-hot. i always thought that the band was a lot more thoughtful and artistic than what the mainstream music press and typical-kid rock fans gave them credit for. it never ceased to strike me as sincerely surreal to see sorority girls happily dance and sing along to "closer" at college bars. i still believe that natural born killers, produced by trent, is the best soundtrack ever released, and certainly one of the few that flows seamlessly. i love that he sang back-up on a tori amos song, and i love that he bought john lennon's mellotron and played it on manson's "cryptorchid" (one of my favorite songs, and i'm not entirely sure why). when i went on a garden district walking tour in new orleans, the tour guide pointed out his house, complete with black curtains, and told us that it used to be a funeral home. i'm not as huge of a fan as some people (and there are a LOT of those people), but i like him/his band, and i respect him a lot.
so i was so happy for how ENTIRELY BADASS the nin show at the allstate arena last friday was. for reals.
the crowd was about as eclectic as you could possibly be in an all-white crowd: goth kids, punk kids, rural couples, normal folks who like rock shows, sluts, jocks, heavy metal guys, bikers, the heavily tattooed, the heavily eyelinered, moms with their 8th graders, indie kids, the trenchcoat mafia. i would say that a solid 20 percent of those in attendence never got the memo about not wearing the band's t-shirt to their show. this also includes the fellow with the nin raincoat (homemade) and those with nin neck tattoos (also seemingly homemade).
queens of the stone age opened (so did autolux, which we missed). the crowd sat in its seats, and those in general admission just sort of stood there, waiting. josh homme did not care for this - he taunted some guy in the front ("what did you say? take the dick out of your mouth, i can't understand you. what? huh? put the dick back in - you make more sense that way.") and before their last song he likened playing to us as "playing for a bunch of dead people." i was happy to hear "the lost art of keeping a secret" but i guess i was alone in that. my favorite qotsa story is that a bunch of hearing-impaired people showed up to a venue in england after they had seen the "songs for the deaf" tour advertised.
so nin played two hours, no breaks, no encore. lots of old stuff - opened with "pinion" (playing behind a gauzy white curtain) and closed with "head like a hole" - mixed well with the new. i wish i had heard "happiness in slavery" and "all the love in the world," but those are minor complaints. they seriously rocked hardcore, and the first half an hour made me so freaking giddy and happy - it was just too fucking awesome. at one point they dropped the white curtain again to show some trent-tastic video clips (nature at its most beautiful and hideous, monkeys, war, corpses, george bush - booed, of course - ameobas, static, etc) while they played. i was surprised to hear "hurt," as i read somewhere that trent can't even listen to the original version since johnny cash basically reclaimed it, but i'm sure that's all hyperbole. i tend to forget how easy it is to dance to nin - it's downright dark disco, yo.
there is something precious about 10,000 boys yelling "i gave you my purity and my purity you stole." also, the lyrics "this world rejects me/this world threw me away" are sorta ironic considering i just gave him 50 bucks to rail about how isolated he is.
here is the playlist, stolen from the blog of someone who REALLY LIKES NIN:
Love Is Not Enough
The Line Begins To Blur
March of the Pigs
Right Where It Belongs
Beside You In Time
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole