Why NIN is one of the greatest live bands

From those killer tunes that you heard 6 years ago in the back of a mini bus, heading into Utah, or the songs that are on the radio now. This is the place. (No R&B please, because it doesn't exist)
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Morbid Angel
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Location: In between Amy Lee's chins

Post by Morbid Angel » Fri May 20, 2005 3:32 am


If you don't know, I pratically like to write research papers when it comes to reviewing concerts.

Well, as you may or may not know I did attend the NIN concert in Philly last night.

It was worth every cent I paid for it. I would even pay double if I had to.

Getting there was half the battle. We left at 5:00, because my dad wanted to try and catch a baseball game at 6:35. No way in hell should two girls be in Philly, alone, at night. Well, traffic was a bit heavier than expected, and we ended up actually getting to the venue at that time, so he decided to not go. I had no idea where the Electric Factory was, but somehow by the big line wrapped around the block a bit ahead, I knew we were there. Driving past the line to get to a parking spot, exactly what I expected. Un-natural hair, piercings, stripes, fishnets, now I know where they get that Philadelphia has the largest Goth population in the US. All sorts, neos, gothic lolita's, gravers, metal-heads and a few old-schoolers here and there. Even your occasional Abercromie and Fitch-wearer. NIN is known as a "neo-goth" band, but still never-the-less, attracts people of all sorts. And of course, the "goth" sluts. At least most of them had the body to pull it off. I really don't have a problem with what they wear, but it makes you wonder, were they there to see the band or actually be seen? And some girls with open-toed shoes, high heels and long skirts. Later, I'll go on to why you have to be a complete idiot to wear this stuff.

Finally being directed to a parking place, me and my friend Rachel got out, on the quest to find the end of the line. We probably had to walk two blocks before finding the end, but you got an interesting view of the crowd. It was about 6:45 when we actually got to the end of the line, and I was hoping the doors would be opening at 7:00. I was right, but we probably didn't get in until 7:30 or so, because they had security to search everybody. I'm glad I decided against bringing a purse and all that happy crap. My friend Rachel had to take out the pins in her hoodie, so I had to wait a bit for her. Finally got in the building, and I quite liked the layout. It was an open area, with a balcony (with a bar on top) stretching in front of the stage and on the sides. Under the balcony area, you had the merchandise area (got a NIN hoodie), your food stand, arcade games, that sort of stuff. You walk out from under the stage, and it's an open area, with a great view of the stage from anywhere. I'm glad it was a smaller arena, although there were less tickets, you got a good spot no matter where you were.

The opening act happened to be The Dresden Dolls, a sort of cabaret-inspired duo, at 8:00. Or as they put it, punk-cabaret. There was a guy on drums, and a girl on keyboards and vocals (One of those females who kicks ass but always go un-noticed.), but it sounded excellent despite it being only a two person band. Kind of going with the image, they had two girls near the beginning of the floor area, who stood still until you gave them a few coins. Thought that was neat, then again, I'm quite easily impressed. On with the band again, I wasn't too familiar with the band, but I found myself enjoying them. Especially the song "Coin-Operated Boy", cute-little perverted song. And very, very addictive.

I'll admit, the enjoyed The Dresden Dolls, but I was really anxious to see Trent and NIN. REALLY anxious. I didn't eat right the whole day, and didn't sleep right either. I was just too damned excited. The Dresden Dolls set lasted till about 8:45. I figured NIN would start at about 9:00, and I was pretty much right. I never been so nervous/excited/impatient in my life. I've been drooling over this man and his music since I was 13 or so, and I finally get to see him performing, right in front of me. Call me a fan-girl or whatever, but I swear I was going to have a fucking anxiety attack if they didn't get on soon. The lights grew dim, and everybody started to scream and yell, knowing of course what would come next. I forgot how concerts like this went, and everybody pushes forward, therefore smashing people like a sandwich. I looked at Rachel, and we were laughing as I screamed how I couldn't put my hands down now.

It was quiet at first, then I heard the faint music starting. It was "Pinion", the opening track of their EP Broken. Starts off quietly and grows louder. I was hoping it was going to lead into one of my favorite songs. We were still being smashed by everybody pushing on each other, until the first few beats of "Wish" came on. Utter-fucking chaos, especially if you know the song. Everybody started to move around, pushing each other, jumping and screaming. Rachel and I wouldn't see each other until the end of the show, because we completely lost each other about 10 seconds into "Wish". I absolutely adore the song, and everybody really got into it. It's a loud, aggressive and heavy song, and the crowd was just the same. I was being knocked around, screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs, trying to desperately stay atop and watch Trent. I was absolutely mesmerized by the man. Again, the fan-girl side of me girl showing. Lights were spectacular, perfectly in sync-with the song, adding a whole new dimension to the concert. Oh, and those idiots with the slut attire and the heels and shit? They did not last even a minute up front before they went to the back. Haha, makes me damned glad I wore my shit-stomping boots. Of course, the mosh pit had started, and I happened to be right on the outskirts, having to push some of the guys away.

Nobody really calmed down during the song, and I loved feeling the song through the crowd. By this time, Rachel managed to get pushed up to the front, and I was still stuck in the middle about. Which was not a bad place at all, I could still make out Trent's face an all. Then they went into the song "Sin". Another song I absolutely love. The crowd calmed down a bit, only because it was a "slower" song. By that, I mean not as aggressive, but it still has bite. Pumping my fist, screaming the lyrics, totally getting into the song. One thing I did notice, Trent's excellent delivery on the vocals. And still sexy as hell at age 40. A few people tried to sing Happy Birthday since he turned 40 on Tuesday, but I don't think he heard it. Once again, great energy from the crowd, slight resting point from "Wish".

"The Line Begins to Blur" was the next song they played. I will admit I'm not to familiar with the song, because I haven't given With Teeth very many listens yet. I've been having a hard time getting into the album because of the "pop" feel to it, but hearing it live may have just completely erased that thought. It's a much slower song, not as heavy, but even though I didn't know the lyrics that well, I really got into it. The crowd had calmed down a bit more, and was more sub-dued, preferring to nod their head to the song and slowly move their body to the beat, but you still had the idiots in the mosh pit. Still..moshing.

Next was "March of the Pigs", and the crowd started up again, chaotic like the song. Much like "Wish", but more of a staple song with NIN. Trent started to beat on his guitarist a bit in the middle of song, kind of like in the video. He also started throwing water-bottles and the such into the crowd. Of course, with the pauses in the song, everybody kind of stopped, and started back up again, yelling all the lyrics. You could hear the crowd over Trent, especially over the softer parts. I was hoping they would play "Piggy" afterwards like in their All That Could Have Been DVD, but it didn't happen. By then though, Trent started to get really worked up, all sweaty...and wet. Watching the sweat drip off of him, oh dear.

"Something I Can Never Have" had Trent, and Trent only on keyboards, singing. Great song, the time to get the lighters and the bloody cell phones out. But he's vocals, once again, were dead on. Nice "quiet" time, especially after "March of the Pigs". I think the mosh pit actually stopped moshing for the first time throughout the whole concert, but of course would start up again during the next song, "The Hand that Feeds", their newest single. I actually didn't like the song the first time I heard it, but live it's a whole different story. I really got into it this time, since it sounded a lot heavier. Great song to pump your fist to. Funny how seeing it live changes your perspective on it. I may end up liking With Teeth yet.

Next up was "Terrible Lie", one of their older songs. Not one of my favorites, but I still love the song. Has more of a synth-pop sound to it, so people weren't as rough. Still, loved dancing and singing to it. Loved yelling "Terrible lie", as did the rest of the crowd.

NIN went into an angrier song "Burn" this time around. Except this song builds up, instead of having it loud and heavy during the chorus. You could feel the energy building up in the crowd, with each new addition of a sound. Especially during the lyrics of "I'm gonna burn this whole world down" is when the crowd went really nuts, if you are familiar with the song, it's an intense moment. And of course, the end is marvelous. All the energy is finally released, and then calms down, into their most well-known song, no doubt.

Of course everybody knows "Closer". Strobes do a marvelous job on this song. Nothing liking singing along with Trent "I want to fuck you like an animal", quite the infamous line. And one of my favorite parts of the song, is actually when he whispers a few lyrics near the 4 minute mark, but this time he actually screamed them out. I believe he actually mixed some beats from "Down in It" during that part too, which was a very nice addition. I love that the song actually sounds like sex, it builds and builds, until the end when it's finally released.

After "Closer" was "Home", which is exclusive to the Japanese version of "With Teeth" so I really wasn't familiar with the song. But of course, I enjoyed it, especially since it sounds closer to the old NIN sound. Beautiful song, and the crowd finally calmed down again so I could watch Trent belt out those lyrics. Sweat still dripping off of him. Quite the sight to see, for me anyway.

"Even Deeper" is sort on the same tangent as "Home", it was a bit slower of a song so I actually got a nice 8 minute breather. It reminds me of a bit of Pink Floyd during some parts, very dream-like.

When "Even Deeper" ended, they started up the next song, which I couldn't identify at first, but after I actually took a good listen, I became giddy as hell. They started the song "Reptile", definitely one of my favorite songs. It's so sexual, yet just so raw and dirty. Did I mention that Trent was actually singing this, in front of me? Hormones. I was doing more of a dance to this song, rather than headbanging, moshing or jumping like an idiot. To me, it's a really sexual song, and I couldn't help but really feel it. Singing and dancing to it, I swear I was in heaven. If I have any more reason to love the song more than I did, it would be actually seeing him perform it. I didn't expect them to play it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely one of the greatest moments of that night, if not the greatest.

They played another song from With Teeth, called "Love is Not Enough". A little bit of a slower song, I would say. Another one I wasn't familiar with too much, but I loved seeing Trent "cooing" into the mic towards the end of the song. All you see is just the shadow of him against the red light. It was sex.

Finally, they went a little heavier with the song "Suck". I love the slow songs, but it's great being able to release that energy again. "Suck" is an angrier song, and of course that reflected in the crowd again. Stomping my boots to the song, getting into it again, great times.

And once again, they go into one of my absolute favorite songs, and when the hearing the first drumbeats of "Gave Up", the crowd went insane. The song goes slow at first, but builds up into an explosive, huge chorus. The whole crowd was jumping, beating on each other, reminiscent of the performance of "Wish". One of those songs you really, really get into. One of the many songs I had really hoped they perform, and they did. My mom doesn't understand why I love going to concerts. It's a whole different scenario, and when you are getting into the song and letting out that aggression, there is nothing else like it. It's when you are allowed to smack people around, and people don't care. "Gave Up" is just a perfect live song.

But of course, we had to calm down, and the music died down. Trent broke out in one of his signature songs "Hurt", another beautiful, potent song, the whole crowd getting into it and singing along. The break was much needed after "Gave Up". Trent's vocals were right on cue, I don't think I ever seen anybody perform as well as him live.

After that lovely performance, the next song started up, which again, I didn't recognize at first, until Trent started to sing. It was "Starfucker's Inc.", one of the few songs he did off of The Fragile album. Time to get the crowd hyped up again, with an explosive chorus. One of the things he likes to do with this song is at about the 3:30 point of the song, when he repeats "don't you" quietly, he likes to extend it, for about a minute or so, to try and catch the singing crowd off guard. It works for a few people, but I think a lot of people have caught on, so we keep repeating the line till he starts screaming.

I knew the end was near, unfortunately. So they send us off on "Head Like a Hole", another hugely popular song. The light work was especially good during this song, the lights actually "bowing down" during the appropriate times of the song. Everybody really got into it, because they all realized this was it for the night. Singing the chorus with everybody else sort of had a nihilistic feel to it, but boy, it just felt so good singing it. The crowd just finally let it out, kind of a "safe" rebellion of sorts. Unfortunately, since Rachel was up in the front, she got the worst of it, and ended up being taken out of security for exhaustion. Made me a bit glad I wasn't up in the front, but I kind of wanted to feel the "full" effect of the crowd.

The song ended, about an hour and half later, the lights around lit back up, and I could see hundreds of dazed faces, smeared eyeliner, and sweaty, smelly bodies. Quite the site to see. My first thought was "Where in hell is Rachel?" She finally caught up to me and she looked like she just looked like a mess, as did I. Her pants started to rip, her hair was messed up, but we couldn't stop talking about it. But it was worth every elbow to the head, every sweaty back, every time I practically got ass-raped. And I would do it again in heartbeat.

I got this feeling of sickness in my stomach, because I wanted to go through it again so badly, and knowing they performed in Philly again tonight made it worse. I still didn't eat right today, and I couldn't stop listening to them all day. I couldn't wait until break so I could rush out to my car and just listen to them for at least 10 minutes. I knew it was worth what I paid, and I could say I even got more out of it then I thought I would.

And as for those girls who thought it would be an awesome idea to go way out-dress wise, I laugh in your face for not even able to survive 10 seconds in that crowd. I knew my steel-toed boots would come in handy someday.

The Setlist:
The Line Begins To Blur
March Of The Pigs
Something I Can Never Have
The Hand That Feeds
Terrible Lie
Even Deeper
Love Is Not Enough
Gave Up
Starfuckers, Inc.
Head Like A Hole

I give it a 10/10. Then again, I'm biased, and this was no doubt one of the greatest moments of my life. It's amazing what music can do for you.
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Post by Super Goat Weed » Fri May 20, 2005 4:04 pm

i rather liked 'the fragile' album

i wasn't even there, but i wish he did 'we're in this togeather' i love that song.
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