Nine Inch Nails – Henry Fonda Will Never Be The Same

and neither will LA. Nor live music.

Henry Fonda Theater
NIN Wave Goodbye Tour, night 3
September 8, 2009

You give me the reason. . .

You give me the reason. . .

“Wait – wasn’t Sunday’s show at the Echoplex supposed to be the last one??” For those of you who haven’t been following the events surrounding the final four Nine Inch Nails shows, there were some. . . complications.  After playing  a brilliant show (although he was sick) at The Palladium on September 2nd, Trent had to reschedule the NIN shows at Henry Fonda Theater (capacity: 1,300) and The Wiltern (capacity: 2,200) because he was too ill to perform.  Well, nobody’s complaining tonight!

I’ve been to A LOT of “best concerts ever”, but this may be the one that trumps them all.

Let’s start from the beginning:  Attending these final Nine Inch Nails shows makes me feel like the luckiest person alive.  It’s also like being on Survivor NIN.  Here’s how it goes:

  • Line-up to pick up your tickets.
  • Make alliances in line.
  • Line-up to enter venue.
  • Eat dinner in line.
  • Hydrate.  But not too much. You don’t want to have to leave during the show to go to the bathroom.  Nor do you want to fight your way back to your spot after doing so.
  • Make more alliances in this second line.
  • Conspire with other fans to find the guy who’s buying up all the tour shirts and selling them on eBay.
  • If anybody asks what happened to that guy, everybody uses the “I don’t know – I was standing in line with all these guys” alibi.
  • Get strip searched on the way into the venue. They told me they were “looking for weapons. . .  or jewelry”.
  • Try to figure out why they’re looking for jewelry.
  • Enter the venue and get in the merch line, hoping they don’t sell out of event shirts this time.
  • Look for the guy who’s been selling shirts on eBay. Somebody must have already taken care of him.
  • Grab a spot on the floor, surrounded by new friends and stand your ground for the next 5 hours
  • Get an amazing shoulder workout by holding the camera above your head for several hours

The only difference is – on Survivor you win a million dollars.  Tonight we won the best performance we could have hoped for from Nine Inch Nails.  Yes, I’d rather have that than the million dollars at this point.

NIN kicked off with “Head Like A Hole” and the crowd went nuts (I’ll post the video as soon as it’s done uploading).  From that point forward the energy just continued to rise. The walls at the Fonda were shaking.  From “Head Like A Hole” they went straight into “Terrible Lie” which is always a welcome song. Next, they played “Sin” which I had been not-so-secretly hoping to hear during these final shows.  It’s one of my favorite NIN songs and it’s been a little while since I’ve seen them perform it live.

Wish there was something real. Wish there was something true.

Wish there was something real. Wish there was something true.

Alright – I just took a brief time-out because I have A.D.D. and did a trend search on Twitter for #NIN. . .  Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Everybody is talking about how this was “the best show ever.” And thanks to them for reminding me to tell you that the show was 3 hours.  Solid. 2 encores. Guest appearances by Mike Garson (Bowie), Gary Numan (who needed no introduction this time), Eric Avery (Jane’s Addiction), Danny Lohner (NIN), Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan). They finally played “Atmosphere” (following a failed attempt due to technical difficulties at The Echoplex on Sunday).

I don’t ordinarily do this because there are plenty of places that post the setlist and there are so many other details that can be written about that illuminate the experience, but in this rare (and perhaps only) instance, here’s the setlist from tonight’s show:

Head like a hole

Head like a hole

1. “Head Like A Hole”
2. “Terrible Lie”
3. “Sin”
4. “March Of The Pigs”
5. “Piggy”
6. “Echoplex”
7. “Reptile”
8. “I’m Afraid Of Americans”
9. “Survivalism”
10. “Head Down”
11. “1,000,000”
12. “Letting You”
13. “Burn”
14. “Gave Up”
15. “Eraser”
16. “Just Like You Imagined” (Featuring Mike Garson)
17. “The Becoming” (Featuring Mike Garson)
18. “I Do Not Want This” (Featuring Mike Garson)
19. “Down In The Park” (Featuring Gary Numan)
20. “Metal” (Featuring Gary Numan)
21. “Cars” (Featuring Gary Numan and Eric Avery)
22. “Anthrax” (Gang of Four) (Featuring Gary Numan and Eric Avery)
23. “Heresy” (with Danny Lohner)
24. “Get Down Make Love” (Queen) (with Danny Lohner)
25. “Mr. Self Destruct” (Featuring Greg Puciato and Danny Lohner)
26. “Wish” (Featuring Greg Puciato and Danny Lohner)
27. “The Hand That Feeds”
28. “Atmosphere” (Joy Divison)
29. “Dead Souls” (Joy Division)
30. “The Day The World Went Away”
31. “Hurt”

The band sounded great.  Guitars and equipment were tossed in the air. Trent easily jumped 4 feet high and the crowd did the same.  With this performance Trent and the band seemed to be saying a few things:

  • “Sorry we had to postpone the original show.  But you see now, right? THIS is the show we wanted to give you and we couldn’t have done it while I was sick.”
  • “We really are leaving for a while.  But before we do – we’re going to remind you that we’re one of the best live bands you’ll ever see.”
  • “I’m sweating more than you.”
  • “Thank you!”

I could go on and on, but you’d get sick of hearing me tell you how phenomenal this night was.  So hear it from some other people – do a Twitter search for #NIN.  I’m not the only one.

Videos from Henry Fonda Theater, Wave Goodbye LA night 3:
(Recorded sound quality isn’t very good, but the visuals are awesome and video footage is good so I wanted to post it regardless. I have excellent sounding video recordings from the Palladium show here:

Head Like A Hole:
This is how they started the show. The entire show was an encore!



Check out the light show and the look in his eyes.

More videos from this show are posted here: NIN Live at Henry Fonda (videos)

Resting up for Thursday’s show. Wave Goodbye.

This is all a dream

This is all a dream

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