Sunday, March 18, 2007

Nine Inch Nails

16th March 2007, Tilburg, NL: Three sell-out shows in the Netherlands for the Nine Inch Nails, the first of which was in Tilburg. The colour of the crowd was predominantly black and the age of the crowd was surprisingly 'not so young'. The support band was Ladytron - a back to the 80's electronic dance combo. A surprising choice that didn't go down very well with the crowd. The leading ladies had obviously listened to a lot of Depeche Mode and Grace Jones but this wasn't the kind of music the crowd were waiting for. Maybe Trent has a thing for one/all of them. But I doubt it, their robotic, prim, secretarial appearance was not in the least bit sexy and he after all, is THE macho sex god.
The lights went out. The smoke machine was turned on full, filling the venue with a dense curtain of thick smoke, out of which the shadow of Trent Reznor slowly materialized, guitar held aloft. The cheering was soon drowned out as the band launched into the wall of noise called Mr Self Destruct. A tremendous live voice from the big-booted, but small singer. It was frustrating not to get a good look at him, but the smoke machine wasn't turned off and continued to spew. This combined with a blinding light show of mainly intense white strobe lighting effectively blinded the audience. During March of the Pigs, Trent dived into the crowd, accidentally tripping his strobe light next to the mike stand, so that this act was also invisible to the majority of the crowd who could only see a pulsing white light in the middle of a black stage. The musicians were great, the sound fantastic and I loved Wish and Only - Everybody singing: "There is no you, there is only me". The only words Trent spoke all evening, were to say that he had nothing really to say, except that this was the new single, before launching into Survivalism. The set ended with Trent on the keyboard singing Hurt. The keyboard was brought to the front of the stage, the other band members left and Trent sang a perfect rendition of this unbelievable song. After the one yell of "Johnny" from the crowd, the 013 listened in awe and silence as this incredible voice filled the venue with emotion. Slowly the drummer and guitarist came back on to accompany him for the last chorus. It was enough to make your hairs stand on end. Brrrr. After a short break, back they came, finishing with 'The hand that feeds' and finally 'Head like a hole'. With the whole crowd singing along and the mosh pit seething, this concert has to be one of the most memorable shows in Tilburg (and for me!).

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