How do you battle an unusual cold snap on the west coast? Head to a packed arena and be bedazzled by flashing pretty lights, perfect sound and get enveloped by a lot of smoke from different sources, legal and illegal. Nine Inch Nails; another band off of my list to see live. What remains….Korn and Type O Negative (obviously not happening).
Venue: Vancouver, BC at Rogers Arena
Opening Performers: No idea. Apparently they are called Explosions in the Sky. We didn’t end up getting to the arena until about 15 minutes before NIN went on stage deciding to go to the bar instead. I’m glad I did because I almost choked getting charged $10.00 for a CAN of beer. Ridiculous.
The Merch: Nothing special. As far as band shirts and merch, it was pretty mundane and just not worth the cost.
The Show: The opening song was Copy of A from the new album Hesitation Marks and from the opener to the closer, the sound was amazing; from the band to Trent Reznor’s vocals, it was a stunning performance. The lighting effects and strobe lights added to a great stage performance but there were a couple of points where it was too much. The same can be said about the artificial fog. It got a bit overwhelming and only added to the irritation that my eyes were suffering from because of the cigarette and pot smoke.
The show was over 2 hours, which is quite impressive and the set list included a good portion of the new CD, Hesitation Marks including one of the 2 songs that I like, Came Back Haunted, and of course there were classic NIN tunes: The Hand That Feeds, The Wretched, Sanctified, Head Like A Hole and the final song of the night at the end of the encore, Hurt. I thought ending the show with such a melancholy tune was a bit of a downer but it was a great performance none the less. There were plenty of people disappointed that they didn’t play Closer but I was disappointed that they didn’t play Starfuckers Inc. or The Perfect Drug.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a good concert. Nine Inch Nails puts on a fantastic show both visually and with the quality of the sound from the band and the vocals. I would say they rank up there with Iron Maiden and Rammstein and Trent Reznor is an amazing performer and musician. NIN is the second band I’ve seen live (and I have seen many, many live bands) that didn’t really address or interact with the audience other than a thank you at the end and a quick intro of the band members. Slayer was the other band and hey, they’re Slayer. The only drawback was that I didn’t care for the new music. It’s different from the traditional NIN of the 1990’s and 2000’s, which is fine but it just isn’t for me. Now, Bow down before the one you serve, you’re going to get what you deserve….