It’s been 2 days of extreme highs and extreme lows.
I am fully convinced that the Oakland show was just a warm up for what I experienced in Inglewood. The intensity of this show truly blew my mind (and this was my 7th time seeing them).
First off, be prepared for a full on bitch fest about the presale situation. Inglewood was by far the worst of the 3 shows I have been to on this tour. I arrived to a strange 4 prong line of a mix of presale and general sale people, not knowing what to do. I circled the venue looking for other lines or familiar faces and found none. So we got in the line, to soon find out that we had to quickly jump into a presale only line. Then we waited all in one line to get our tickets. A group of people appeared who claimed to have been waiting somewhere for several hours, and convinced the girl who runs the nin.com presale stuff to let them filter in with the rest of us. There was a full of fight between all of the familiar fans up front and this group of infiltrators. Luckily the situation course corrected later on as we went through several more shitty line situations, including a separate girl’s and guy’s search line, which let all of the guys get in faster as purses were searched, and a weird 2 line hallway situation that confused everyone and got us out of order. Thanks front of the liners for standing up for us up there. I was a total stress case all day. I didn’t get my rail spot, but decided to take a closer to center position in the danger zone, but to the right of a big tall guy for protection. And my friend, a NIN virgin, was able to get rail after the girl in front of her started feeling sick during Deerhunter and was pulled out. But, as always, chatting with all the other fanatics in line (the San Diego crew and the Seattle girl) was lots of fun as we got to geek out on our NIN experiences.
OK, so to the actual show. Deerhunter was still mellow, and I spent that half hour thinking about the fact that, because we were let in late, I wasn’t going to have a drink to help me numb the crush I was about to experience in the second row. And that by the time this was over I will not have peed for 12 hours. And I was mulling over the weirdo security guy who was hitting on the girl in front of me, and that they weren’t giving us any water. But as soon as the lights dimmed for NIN, all the negativity floated away.
From the minute they hit the stage, I could tell that someone had taken the intensity knob and turned it to the max. Being that close, you can see the glint in the eyes, the veins poking out, the extra sweat. The crush was unbelievable, but I still managed to wriggle a hand out at the appropriate fist pumping moments. I wondered how many people’s DNA I had on me. It was hot to the point that I wanted to remove my little leather vest shirt, and I usually not that kind of girl.
Between fighting for my life, being very emotional because this was my last show, and my usual concert high, some of the exact details are fuzzy. But, it felt like some of the songs had some extras that I hadn’t seen at the other shows. The major difference was the picture of Bush…and then McCain, behind them during The Hand That Feeds. This is slightly infamous because they were supposed to perform this for the VMAs several years ago, but canceled when MTV wouldn’t let them project the images. And the VMAs are going on right now as I write this.
I was 3 for 3 for Robin having guitar problems….but this one was much worse, as was his reaction. During Letting You, the guitar came off and was thrown at the barrier a few people away from us. It was completely insane as we all were a little shocked looking down at its broken neck. John (their security guy) whisked it away. His audio issues persisted- half of Closer was guitarless, as were several other spots. But, he is the fucking man. The looks like his face is melting, pacing in circles maniac. This is why I stand over there, basking in Robin (yes, I did just say that).
I couldn’t hear Ally half the time, but I could hear Trent better than normal. And wow was he in a state last night. He spear chunked the mic stand again, he tossed his little stand gadget thingy off the stage and broke it, he knocked over other stuff. He literally had a stream of sweat coming off his shirt sleeve. Usually I talk about the intensity- that 1000% intensity- but tonight I realized that what I really admire is his authenticity. Lots of people write about these deep dark places, and then you go and see them perform and come away feeling like it was an act. Or maybe they just wrote that song on a bad day, or when they used to be on drugs but are now clean and sober and into Scientology. Or they sing about being alone, and then you see an image of them in a magazine with some plastic prostitute or vapid model. But I feel like Trent lives and breathes what he writes, and that is why all of us fanatics who feel like that in our menial lives worship him. If we could see a physical representation of our pain, our despair, our passion, it would be Trent Reznor.
People were getting pulled out of the crowd right and left. There weren’t any lifeless bodies like I saw in Seattle, but I saw a girl get dropped on her head by security.
When it came time for the encore, I was sending ever ounce of psychic energy I could pretend I had onto the stage to hear Reptile. After Echoplex, Trent introduced the band, thanked us front row types, and then asked if we wanted to hear something uplifting or depressing. And then it happened.
she spread herself wide open to let the insects in
she leaves a trail of honey to show me where she’s been
she has the blood of reptile just underneath her skin
seeds from a thousand others drip down from within
oh my beautiful liar
oh my precious whore
my disease my infection
I am so impure
devils speak of the ways in which she’ll manifest
angels bleed from the tainted touch of my caress
need to contaminate to alleviate this loneliness
I now know the depths I reach are limitless
oh my beautiful liar
oh my precious whore
my disease my infection
I am so impure
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is what I needed.
After that I realized I was really hurting and tired. I made it to the end, but it was a blur. I just remember Trent leaving the stage, because he just walked straight back into the darkness. How appropriate.
As we unpacked from the rail, I could barely stand, but still waited for something from the stage, which never came, once again…
Thank you, NIN, simply for existing.
March of the Pigs
Closer/The Only Time
5 Ghosts I
17 Ghosts II
19 Ghosts III
The Greater Good
The Big Comedown
31 Ghosts IV
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole
In This Twilight
Trent Speaking + Reptile (from psychoticstar)
After show bonus: 2 guys inviting us to a mansion party in Burbank complete with a “stripper poll”. We respectfully declined.
NIN performance: 9.99/10
Deerhunter performance: 7/10
venue (The Forum): 5/10
value ($65/ticket): 10/10
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