Henry Fonda Theater
NIN Wave Goodbye Tour, night 3
September 8, 2009
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.
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
1. “Head Like A Hole”
2. “Terrible Lie”
4. “March Of The Pigs”
8. “I’m Afraid Of Americans”
10. “Head Down”
12. “Letting You”
14. “Gave Up”
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”
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.”
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.
September 2, 2009
Wave Goodbye Tour
It’s not often that the better a show is, the sadder the audience gets. But such is the case when Nine Inch Nails takes the stage for one of the last times ever.
Nine Inch Nails is one of the best bands in the world. Even if you don’t like their music, you can’t deny how amazing they are. Well, you can deny it, but somebody will likely slap the $h!t out of you.
Tonight marked the first of four intimate NIN shows in Los Angeles. This is also the fourth to the last show Nine Inch Nails will ever play live (hopefully they change their mind about that in a couple years). I’m still somewhat speechless so please forgive the brevity.
They could have played anything and I would have been happy. As they did at New York’s Webster Hall, they played The Downward Spiral in its entirety and everybody was happy.
On another note, NIN just sent a Tweet announcing that Thursday’s show at Henry Fonda is canceled, making tonight’s show at The Palladium the third to the last NIN show ever (hopefully they’ll make it for the remaining two!). Trent did mention that he was sick and couldn’t hear anything when he was performing tonight. But if he hadn’t said something, we wouldn’t have known it. He played and sounded great, 2 solid hours, no break. The announcement on the band’s website says Trent’s doctor advised that he not play the next show. “Reimbursement details will be posted as soon as we figure them out…” Fans will want more than their money back – this is an experience that they’ve been anticipating for months and one that they may not have another chance to partake in. People were already lined up outside the Fonda at 6:30pm tonight for tomorrow’s show (well, today’s show given the current hour). I feel even more blessed to have been at the Palladium for this show and hope Trent feels better soon… soon enough to play NIN’s scheduled shows Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking of the Palladium, prior to this show, I refused to go to that venue for many years. I had seen a handful of shows there (before Live Nation purchased it) and the sound was always awful. They also used to search you as if you were entering a maximum security prison. And when you got inside it kind of felt like one. Now I know there are times to get upset when big corporations step in and take over a venue, but this isn’t one of them. The sound system has been upgraded exponentially and you can walk through the front doors without feeling violated.
Bow down before the one you serve
Back to Nine Inch Nails. I can’t pick out one highlight. The entire show was a highlight. Just being there, in a small venue (capacity: 4,000), watching one of my favorite bands perform some of my favorite songs and being able to see the sweat drip off them while they moved around the stage. As usual NIN sounded great and I think everybody who was there felt like they were part of something very special. I’m not sure anybody’s feet touched the ground for longer than a few seconds — the crowd was moving and jumping non-stop. I got some video (see below) of Trent introducing Gary Numan and talking about his influence on the sound of Nine Inch Nails. Gary performed “Metal” and “Cars” with the band and the crowd went (even more) insane.
Hopefully Trent is well enough to play The Wiltern on Saturday and The Echoplex on Sunday. Hopefully you can make it to one of those shows because this is not to be missed. But just in case you’re missing this tour, here are some videos from the show at the Palladium:
March of The Pigs
Head Like A Hole
Trent introducing Gary Numan & his influence on NIN’s music