From the first notes of "Somewhat Damaged" off the double-album The Fragile, Nine Inch Nails started an auditory and visual assault that never once let up. Focusing on older and wiser LPs, Trent sang his heart out, bowing with the force of emotion and his all-black ensemble shining with sweat after only a handful of songs. The scorcher "Burn" was quickly followed up by its Broken EP mate "Gave Up," with a beat so frenetic, hearing it was akin to being electrocuted. Many lesser known and even lesser-played tracks from the classic album The Downward Spiral made an appearance, "I Do Not Want This" and "Heresy" among them. The cover of David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" was dusted off and guitarist Robin Finck demolished two acoustic guitars within the space of one song ("The Becoming"). Then everyone's face was thoroughly melted by "Survivalism" and the double-hit of "The Hand That Feeds" and legendary "Head Like A Hole." The whole band was in top form and Trent ended the set with the touchingly sad "Hurt."
There is the suggestion that this is the last tour for the band (possibly ever), and calling it the "Wave Goodbye" Tour doesn't help matters either. After 20 years of NIN, it's more likely Trent just wants to start another project. Or take a well-deserved break. But with a man as genius and prolific as Reznor, all it probably means is that "there's more where that came from!"
-- OLGA BAS
Previously > Put on your Little (dancing) Boots