Please Note: This is not a blog about Crappy Indie Music or a local Portland/Vancouver band, but it is about a show that took place in Portland, OR on Sunday, December, 7 2008.
This is a story about my experience at my 4th Nine Inch Nails concert! I didn't really think about it until after the show, but Trent has been creating music as NIN for over two decades! Granted there are musicians out there who have been making music longer, but the man is a genius! His vision is mind blowing, and while I haven't loved every album right from the start, I have been able to appreciate them for what they are. I have my favorites, but I listen to them all! Now on to the important stuff, the show:
Back on September 16th at 5 pm pst - presale tickets opened for the Decemeber 7th show for Nine Inch Nails Lights in the Sky: Over North America - I waited for the clock to strike 5 so I could purchase my ticket and secure my spot at the show. Well the clock did strike 5 and the ticket was bought and $60.50 later, Alia had her ticket, or at least the ticket would be waiting for her at the show. I opted for general admission because all the times I have seen NIN, Trent has been a little spec on the stage and being spoiled here in Portland with the many small and intimate venues I figured it was time to get closer! I was worried that I would wimp out and not be able to handle the moshing or the surges for the front, but alas I DID survive and will never buy a seat ticket for an arena show again!!!
So, Sunday finally rolled around and I was psyched all day long, and as I rode the MAX to the Rose Garden Arena I had butterflies in my stomach. The anticipation grew as I tried to find where the will call was... then it was time to find the line for the general admission. Holy shit, it was really long. There is a back entrance and the line went from the door for the Arena to the Memorial Coliseum and then wrapped back around towards the door. Enter the info guy: this old man was wondering along the crowd looking for "certain tickets" (aka. the ones bought through nin.com).
I had mine ready for him and he says, "come with me". He proceeds to tell me that he is phishing out "fans" who have bought their tickets through the website. I say something like, "well I am glad that $60 bucks is getting me somewhere", and he is like, "that is what you paid - I paid $128 per ticket once". I asked for who... can you guess? No not Celine Dion... it was for the Rolling Stones!! It made me think if I would pay that kind of money to see Trent when he is way way older and still shaking his money maker... I guess I will see.
Anyway - the guy leads me to a practically non-existent line and within seconds I am on my way to find the floor!! The opening act, The Bug with Warrior Queen on vocals, had just started. I don't think that Trent ever tries to find an opening act that is "like" NIN... but I must say that The Bug was an interesting way to go. They are a little electronic and a little reggae. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if it was a smaller dance club setting...
Well, the minutes ticked closer to 9!!! Once The Bug finished up, the roadies and tech guys spread around on stage to set up for the moment that we were all waiting for!!! It must have been a little before 9 and the opening for 999,999 started!! Holy shit, the crowd and myself started going nuts! (Oops, I forgot to mention that I was about 3 heads back and right in line with Robin Finck!!!) I won't be able to tell you the exact set list, but I know they started with 999,999 which went into 1,000,000.
Here is a highlight that turned into a lame-light: Robin takes a drink from a water bottle, starts looking into the crowd and I just started to jump up and down, waving my arms all over the place and he throws the water bottle right in my directions. It was like the water bottle was meant for my hand. I caught it!!!, and then this bitch in front of me sticks her grubby little hand up in the air and starts ripping it out of my hand!!! I am yelling at her to lay off it is mine and she and her stinky ass (really ripe B.O.) rip it out of my hands!!! I was so pissed. She was barely rocking out the whole show... she will get hers...
Okay, back to the show: The lights were off the hook! There were 3 different screens that would come down for different songs; one was behind the drums/key boards, one was behind Trent and guitars/bass, and one came down in front of them all. The light show was probably much more enjoyable from the seats because I am sure they could see the whole effect, but I wouldn't trade my spot for that. I will watch it when he releases it on DVD.
Songs in no particular order: Closer, The Frail (recently remixed by my dear friend Adam Steinfink), The Wretched, Lights in the Sky, Hurt, Discipline, Head Down, Echoplex, Piggy, March of the Pigs, Terrible Lie, Head Like a Hole, Pinion, Happiness in Slavery, Wish, The Hand That Feeds, Survivalism, In This Twilight, God Given, Only, The Big Come Down, The Warning... He also played 3 or 4 of the Ghosts, but I really do not know them enough to tell you which ones they were. (There were many other songs because they played for 2+ hours, but my brain is not remembering them right now.)
That brings me to another highlight: When they played the Ghosts, they transformed the stage! It was awesome. Trent was playing a xylophone the size of my orange couch (for those of you who know)! Which makes me think they were playing 6 Ghosts I. (My favorite is 14 Ghosts II - for the record) But during the the Ghosts set - Robin busted out the banjo and Justin Meldal-Johnsen played the cello among other instruments.
The show was amazing! I sceamed my brains out, I sang along to all the songs, I jumped and threw my arms around. I got punched in the back by some freaking hippie kid (why are they always the moshers?), who I then shoved because he continued to fuck with me. My ears rang, my chest felt like it would explode from the vibration of the music, my throat went raw! I could see the sweat dripping off Trent, I could see the whites of Robin Fincks eyes! I cannot imagine not enjoying myself last night. The man knows how to put on a show! They played for a little over 2 hours!!!! Holy Fuck!!!
Moral of the Story: Next time (if there is a next time) spend the money and have your mind blown by Trent and Co.
All videos are from thereisnotruth - they seemed to get some good footage. Oh, that reminds me... I thought about bringing my camera so I could take video and pictures, but thought against it because I did not want to have it taken away even though Trent mentioned that they would be allowed. I noticed some of the people around me were only taking videos the whole time. I am glad I did not bring my camera because when I have taken videos/pictures at shows I realize I don't get to really enjoy and experience the music. It is like you are detached from what is happening because you are watching it through a filter.
Nine Inch Nails will forever be my all time favorite band! I hope you enjoyed a little piece of my experience.