I’ve written quite a few technical articles, so I figured this article I would let loose and write an article on a more personal level. Last night I had the opportunity to see Nine Inch Nails live in concert in San Antonio. And let me tell you, this concert was awesome. I hadn’t seen them live since ’95 when they toured with David Bowie, and I missed their last two concert tours due to ticket scalpers getting all remaining tickets and jacking up the price. Luckily for me, Nine Inch Nails allowed pre-sale offers to members of The Spiral, the Official Nine Inch Nails Fan Club (http://www.nin-thespiral.com/). This gives true fans an opportunity to get a chance to buy tickets before scalpers and take money out of their pockets.
Opening for Nine Inch Nails was Queens of the Stone Age, who would have been a great live show with the exception of the terrible job the sound engineer did. If the high end wasn’t cranked up so high, I might have actually been able to make out the vocals. This was kind of heart breaking for me since Queens of the Stone Age are one of my favorite bands and I was really looking forward to hearing them live. I’ve worked with plenty of sound engineers in the past whos ears were so calloused up from years of abuse they had a hard time hearing high end or low end sound correctly. Excusing the sound engineering, the bands live performance itself better than their studio performance in my opinion. They played much faster paced and definitely fed off the energy of the crowd. Their performance of “Go With the Flow” and “No One Knows” really got the crowd moving.
However the real highlight of the show was Nails. All of the songs they did live totally rocked. While their stage setup was not quite as elaborate as the one they used for the Fragile tour, I felt it was a better setup visually. The live sound was excellent, and the crowd was on their feet the entire show. Songs such as “Beside You in Time” and “Right Where is Belongs” that I thought would not work as well live far exceeded my expectations and ended up being some of the better performances. For almost two hours the band kept playing, so I have to give kudos for their endurance, especially since some of those songs really take a lot of energy to perform. This concert, by far, was better than their performance in ’95. While all the songs were definitely known songs (there really aren’t Nails songs that are unknown to Nails fans), I was surprised that they didn’t play “Starfu$#@ers INC”. I was really looking forward to hearing that live, maybe its because I remember a certain guest appearance during their show in NY Madison Square Garden.
Overall, if you are a fan of that genre of music, I do highly recommend seeing them live if you have the opportunity. I will actually be attending the show in Houston, and am looking forward to seeing them again so soon. I must be getting old, because this time around I think I will have earplugs.