I’m very happy to share with you all one of the most exciting experiences of my life.
My friend and I made the $1000 donation to help out Eric. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of- the total as of now is somewhere around $600K in three days. That’s the power of a strong community!
We thought we were running late getting to MV, but everything ended up being perfect timing- picking up tickets from Corey, heading through security with JT. We were towards the back of the line, but we stood in a row of seats and the soundcheck started immediately. We were able to hear 4 songs- I’m Afraid of Americans, Meet Your Master, The Good Soldier, and Dead Souls. TR thanked us, commented on their ‘casual attire’, and also made a remark about how it’s hard to play the xylophone and sing at the same time. My friend and I were totally dancing around, while most people were motionless…I don’t get it. There are clips of each song below.
Then we stayed to watch the Street Sweeper Social Club soundcheck. Carl Restivo came out first, playing a few chords of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, when Perkins came out and played a couple of beats on the drums (there’s like a 3 second clip below). Perkins left, and Carl was quickly joined by the rest of the band. A girl in front of me shouted, “I love you Tom!”, to which he replied, “You don’t even know me”, to which she replied “I could get to know you”. I don’t think Tom plays like that. I believe they soundchecked four songs as well- including one not in their normal set that I don’t know the name of…yet. They ended by Tom saying, “June 16th!” and “see you again in about 25 minutes with some snazzy jackets!”.
We were then herded into the massive line for the meet and greet. Again, we were towards the back, but luckily we were able to have a friend go get us Wave Goodbye posters to have signed. Once we finally made it up to the band, it all happened very fast. I rounded a corner, there was Brett asking for my camera, the band standing against a wall, my arms are full of purse-coat- poster-my original PHM CD slip-and a silver pen. I throw my stuff on the ground, say hello or something, and start passing my poster down while I mention last week’s airport encounter to Trent, who seemed to remember right away. The other band members were like “what?”, so he told them the story. Then I asked him to sign my PHM cover- I’ve been carrying it with me to shows since the beginning- so mission finally accomplished! It’s all beat up, but I said, “would you sign this, because this is where it all began”, and he said, “this is where it all began, isn’t it?”. Then we took our picture, and he put his arm around me (! wasn’t expecting that!). I must’ve jumped, because he said something like “sorry to encroach”. Haha! Then I asked Robin to sign the NIN tour journal that a few ladies have started this tour, since he wasn’t at the meet and greet the day before. Then I said hi to Ilan, and told him that I write HardRockChick.com and he did an interview awhile back with me. He seemed to remember, and thanked me. The irony!
So, that was 2 minutes I’d been thinking about for years. I waited for Sabrina to finish with her time (she got hugs- jealous!) and on our way to grab some food at catering, I got to say hi to Dave Navarro, and then the SSSC guys walked by on their way out to the stage. I got to say hi to Tom Morello, who proceeded to tell me “you were rockin’ out out there!” (at their soundcheck). Then he told us to hurry up and get out there as they were about to go onstage. It’s amazing how much can happen in the span of 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, we did miss their set as my friend needed to eat. I did, too, but I have been so worked up all week that I’ve barely eaten a thing. NIN/JA diet! So I watched them on the TV screen in the back.
We waited at the side of the stage for NIN to come out. I’ve always been in love with watching the band take the stage, and to see your most favorite band do it was really stellar. They do a little ‘whoop!’ yell before going out. I caught their entrance on video below.
Since we had third row seats, we watched the set from there instead of the side. Great seats- really nice to not be squished but still be close! It was great to watch the sun set during their set. Kinda symbolic really. I’ve seen NIN play their last With Teeth show on this stage, and Trent did his Bridge School performance there as well. While those were both amazing, this one was the most personally relevant for me.
The sold out crowd seemed mostly into it, though it’s funny that I can look and see the most movement from my fellow NIN followers sprinkled across the crowd. Two guys in front of me sat down for a bit, but they stood up again before I could kick the back of their chairs.
TR backed up into the mid stage keyboard/synth set up and had to catch himself. He threw a mic stand at the back of the stage once, and Robin took out a front light at one point. Otherwise, there weren’t any tantrums to report- which I’m glad, because that means the set went off without a hitch.
I filmed parts of The Becoming and Gave Up, below. There were so many people hardcore filming and photographing around me that I felt like I was dancing in the middle of the paparazzi. It was kinda weird. But I expect my hair and arms might make appearances in many images from this show.
And I wore heels again. Didn’t I just say I wasn’t going to do that? Luckily TR was standing on a ramp or something during our picture.
We went backstage again. I could really get used to this. We watched the Jane’s Addiction set from the side of the stage. That was cool to do once, but I missed the energy of the crowd a bit. Not too many people were up there at this point- though there was a guy tripping balls. He whispered to me, “Do you see Perry Farrell? Is he trying to hide from us?”. Fucking hilarious.
I couldn’t hear all of Perry’s speeches, but it sounded like he likes SF. His jumping around looks even crazier from this angle- I can’t believe he hasn’t injured himself again. Perry hugged a sixty year old man in the front row, and Dave went into the audience and played for a bit. I also finally got to see the screens or the first time (I’ve been too close otherwise)- Natural Born Killers…
Afterwards we hung out for a bit before making the drive home. It was a lot of the west coasters last show of the tour. I’m lucky to take a little break, and hit two more up in a couple weeks. Though I just checked flights to Noblesville next weekend…hmmmm…..
Ain’t No Right
Pigs in Zen
Then She Did…
Thank You Boys
Had a Dad
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit it…
Combined waiting time for four shows: 28 hours (Chula: 7am-7pm, Las Vegas: 9pm-4am, 7am-10am, 6pm-8pm, Santa Barbara: 1p-4:30p, Shoreline: 4-4:30p)
Number in line- Chula: #6, Vegas: #2, Santa Barbara: #30ish?, MV: didn’t matter!
Total number of times seeing NIN: 13
“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…
“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…
“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…
“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…
“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…
“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…
“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…
“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…
“I could talk about my world How you brought about ruin I could talk about your greed If you want…
“Always lived, very quiet lifeI ain’t never did no wrongNow I know that life without youHas been too lonely too…
To say Perry loves San Francisco is an understatement. He just couldn't stop the shout-outs! He called us the Great Human Experiment, where everyone does everything. “We love San Francisco, we'd be your house band if you'd have us!”
Also, he loved the smell in the air. The smell that makes it nessesary for me to paraphrase his speeches, because I can't remember word for word…
Early in the show he gave a rabble-rousing cry about how those who hate, hate because we have got something that they want, they need, and they envy. We have freedom. And the ultimate weapon of freedom: “Faggy clothes.” Then “I'd rather die then give up my corset!”
Then he said “Give it up for faggy clothes!” Crowd cheered. Then, “Give it up for Barack Obama!” That one got a mixed reaction. “Lets give him a chance, he can't be worse then what we had!” Then back into the song.
He also talked about Bill Grahm. “I knew Bill Grahm. I know two of his kids. His spirit lives on!”
When he went to hug the 60-year-old man, he said, “I'm 50, how old are you?” The man said 60, and Perry gave this big smile and said “Wow, I hope I'm still coming to shows like this when I'm 60!”
I hope he's still GIVING shows like this when he's 60. Perry Farrel might be the single best frontman I have ever seen in person. His way with an audience is just so effortless. He makes it look so EASY.
And he loves San Francisco. I say he comes back so we can elect him mayor.