Sunday, July 20, 2008
Nine Inch Nails Private Rehearsal Show at the Forum
Photos Courtesy of Capital M_
I am lucky to have some good friends and readers. I can testify that real people actually win on KROQ as did my friend (thanks J) who was kind enough to invite me to the Nine Inch Nails private rehearsal show.
I thought I was done visiting the Forum after seeing Coldplay, but would gladly make the exception for Nine Inch Nails. After securing a spot on the rail slightly right of center I anxiously awaited for the lights to dim. Security for the show was extremely strict as I couldn't even use my cell phone to take notes.
The show was surreal. It was a bombardment of the auditory and visual senses as Trent Reznor orchestrated a stage show that is light years ahead of the prior "With Teeth" tour. It was the debut of the semi new line up with Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Bass) and Robin Finck (Guitars) returning to the line up. Josh Freese (Drums) pounded away the opening drum beat for "1,000,00" as Robin Finck sliced out the cutting guitar riffs on his first of many Gibson Les Pauls. Trent was using a slew of different vocal effects on the songs as he squeezed a trigger mounted on his microphone stand.
"Head Down" is easily my favorite track of the new album and sounded huge live. Robin had switched to a Danelectro baritone scale guitar for the sledgehammer guitar riff while crushing his wah pedal. Trent had a remote Novation SL that unleashed a storm of 8-bit glitches for the breakdown of the song.
A large screen of lights dropped as an assortment of Lemur controllers, keyboards and laptops were assembled for a mini electronic set. "The Warning" was a twisted electronic gem with added delays and echoes. "The Great Destroyer" was mind blowing as it happens to be my favorite song from Year Zero. The lights went out for a few seconds before roaring back in for the glitch filled storm of noise.
A batch of different instruments hit the stage as the band had light screens in front and behind them for a few tracks from the instrumental collection of Ghosts. Trent was playing an orchestral sized Xylophone and Josh had a junk kit consisting of an empty water bottle and various pots and pans. Robin played a flute and mandolin. The visuals were stunning as it looked like they were playing in the rainforest. "The Greater Good" was similar to the cutting edge visuals from the "Only" video.
"The Big Come Down" had strips of swinging lights surrounding the band members as Robin was whipping his dreadlocks around while head banging. "Survivalism" incorporated elements of the video as a few cameras mounted on the stage filmed the audience members on the rail. "Echoplex" has to be incorporated into their set every night as Josh interacted with the visuals in a similar manner to the rehearsal footage. I don't think I will ever see "Hurt" performed in such a quiet manner again as Robin had a nylon string guitar while Josh pounded heavily on the drums.
It was such a surreal show in that you were blown away trying to take in all the visuals and the music. This will easily be one of the best shows of 2008. I left out a lot of details as I don't want to ruin too much for you but can easily say the production value of this tour is worth the ticket price alone. The "Lights In The Sky" tour is the must see concert tour of the year.
Nine Inch Nails private rehearsal show setlist(7/19/08)
"March of the Pigs"
"The Great Destroyer"
"1 Ghosts I"
"25 Ghosts III"
"19 Ghosts III"
"The Greater Good"
"The Big Come Down"
"31 Ghosts IV"
"The Hand That Feeds"
"Head Like A Hole"
"The Good Soldier"
"The Beginning of the End"