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Because I know I’m completely all powerful and I can affect things even from a distance, I decided I wasn’t going to mention the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) concert ahead of time.  After all, the last time I was waiting for it to arrive, I got so excited that I kept talking (and blogging) about it and then Trent Reznor got sick and the concert was postponed from its August date until November.  Of course, that was all my fault because I jinxed it by wanting to go too much.  Sorry, Minnesota NIN fans, for my unintentional jinxing.

Between August 2nd and the rescheduled November 25th day, I was determined to keep my mouth shut, thus avoiding a potential repeat of said incident.  Apparently it worked because the NIN concert Hubby and I just attended at the Target Center in Minneapolis went off without a hitch and was absolutely flawless.  (And, thus, totally eff-ing AWESOME!)  The will-call line was efficient.  The fans were well-behaved and polite (no continual screaming through the songs, like happened at the last concert we attended at the Target Center).  We had fabulous seats.  We had decent earplugs, which cut down on distortion and kept our ears from ringing.  The opening act (Boris) was interesting and on time. (The drummer of Boris was so charismatic that he needs to be front and center and the girl needs to be allowed to sing more in order to show off her beautiful voice).  And NIN gave a technically perfect and engaging performance.

Pictures will help tell this story, and, boy, did I take pictures.  As I said, we had good seats.  Here was our view:

NIN Stage at Target Center, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

NIN Stage at Target Center, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

We could see down into the area where the technical crew was working and some of the musicians came to or left the stage from this area.  Check out all the rigging.  I remarked to Hubby that roadies cannot be afraid of heights, which means that I could never be a roadie.

Light rigging, NIN Concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

Light rigging, NIN Concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

I thought the light rigging was particularly attractive in the hazy red light.  Hubby asked where the smoke was coming from because we have a smoking ban in Minnesota.  We spotted a smoke machine on the stage, quietly puffing away.

Giant Red Trent, NIN Concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

Giant Red Trent, NIN Concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

The current NIN tour is called Lights in the Sky Over North America and the NIN show was filled with lights.  The photo above shows one of three massive screens that stretched across the stage and that could be lifted and moved into various positions during the show.  The screen in the photo was the one at the back of the stage. The view is a tight camera shot of Trent while he is singing on stage.  The screens were more than simply video screens; they were also interactive. At one point, the drummer used one of the screens to start a drum machine.

NIN in concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

NIN in concert, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

Here’s the band at the front of the stage. The screen behind them was moved into place from above. This photo is fairly clear, unlike many of the shots I took. The trouble with taking concert photos with an amateur digital camera is that a shot can be lined up and look great, but by the time the shutter goes, the performers have moved or the lights have changed or gone out. I have several views of blackness that weren’t blackness when I tripped the shutter. I’ll refrain from boring you with those.

Trent Reznor on xylophone, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

Trent Reznor on xylophone, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

At one point in the show, the band was cocooned between two of the screens and performed some of the songs from the Ghosts albums. Note that Trent is playing a xylophone. This was the second xylophone performance I saw in two days, the first being at a local band concert during the percussionists’ finale. In both cases the xylophone was used to good effect, thus making band geeks rockin’ out on xylophones a cool thing.

The beauty of where we were sitting, even though we didn’t have a straight-on view of the stage, is that we got to see “behind the scenes” sorts of things, like Trent hitching up his pants (I guess the show did have a couple of hitches) and Trent slamming bottles of water. He can down two faster than a lightning strike.

The NIN show contained a nice mix of new and old songs, not done in any particular order, each song flowing into the next in rapid succession. It wasn’t until the end of the show that I realized that Trent and the other band members had not engaged in any chit-chat with the audience. Not a word. They performed efficiently and with great gusto. Robin Finck, the guitar player, did this quirky herky-jerky Rumplestiltskin dance while he played and Trent was jumping around all over the place. The movements of both men made me wonder if bands have workers comp insurance.  (Oh, the knees & back!)

At the very end of the concert, Trent thanked the crowd and introduced the band members. He also apologized to those in attendence for the hassle caused by postponing the show. He said that he had been sick and followed up with a comment along the lines of, “What was I supposed to do?” Apparently, he didn’t realize the postponement was all my fault (the jinxing, remember?), not his, and he did exactly what he was supposed to do when sick. He’s supposed to rest, get better, and then give a kick-ass performance later.  Which he did.

All is good in the world and NIN has restored my faith in the arena concert experience.

One last picture, the only one Hubby got to take:

Trent Reznor, final bow, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

Trent Reznor, final bow, Minneapolis, Nov. 25, 2008

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