Nine Inch Nails 9/3/2008

On May 10th, I purchased tickets for a concert to be held at the E Center on Wednesday, September 3rd. On August 10th I found a way to do more than simply enjoy myself at that concert. For my first essay as a part of this assignment, I went to see Nine Inch Nails.

The tickets said the concert started at eight o’clock, and for a rock concert it started amazingly promptly, at 8:05. The opener for the night was Deerhunter. Their sound can be best described as similar to Angels in Airwaves with some Nirvana and The Clash influences. I could not identify any of the songs Deerhunter played because this was the first time I had ever heard them, but I thought they were pretty good. There wasn’t a discernable hit song in their set, but Deerhunter looked to be fairly young so maybe they just need to develop more. Deerhunter served as a pretty good appetizer for the main course that the audience was more than eager to consume.

Forty minutes after Deerhunter’s thirty-five minute set, the headlining act began. At that point the crowd on the floor started to compact, and I was right in the front of it. For the first part of the headliners set, I was desperately trying to stay upright in a crushing mass of hot sweaty humanity. My vision was obstructed, I was stepped on, elbowed, and nearly had my ribs cracked. After about forty-five minutes, I extricated myself from the front, got a drink of water, and spent the rest of the headliners two hour performance near the back, where the situation was considerably better.

The headlining act for the concert was Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails is a much beloved band that is credited as one of the acts that defined the Industrial music genre. The members of this band utilize vocals, guitars, basses, drums, synthesizers, and pianos to create a sound that is a collection of contradictions. They are loud and delicate, chaotic and controlled, obscene and glorious. Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor’s use of melody, countermelody, and multiple climaxes had earned his praise from his peers, his fans, and music critics.

At the concert I attended, Nine Inch Nails performed songs from their entire career, with focus on work from their last two albums, The Slip and Year Zero. These songs include Ecoplex, Hurt, Survivalism, and Terrible Lie. In addition to music, Nine Inch Nails employs on impressive light display for their concerts. This includes a drop down LED video display that, from the right vantage point, is reminiscent of stage displays used by one of Nine Inch Nails’ greatest influences, Pink Floyd.

Overall, I thought this concert was quite excellent, except for the forty-five minutes I spent with my health endangered. It’s not the best concert I’ve been to this year, but it is the best rock show. My compliments go out to Mr. Trent Reznor and the rest on Nine Inch Nails for a great night.

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