You don’t really need me to tell you how good this gig was – you know the story. Nine Inch Nails are an incredible live band. They possess a frontman capable of delving deep into his unconscious to deliver some of the most intense performances known to man. They boast an enormous back catalogue covering everything from metal, industrial, goth, disco, to glam, pop. dance and everything in between and they’re back after a six year hiatus with an album that promises a spectacular return to form, playing a TINY venue as a Reading and Leeds warm-up. Needless to say, tickets sold out in minutes and people were practically selling their mother to get in. All of that is patently obvious.
BUT what I didn’t see coming was an epic light show that wouldn’t look out of place in an arena, a brutal cover of David Bowie’s (NIN-esque) ‘I Believe In Americans‘, a surprisingly talkative Trent Reznor, a brutal moshpit for Terrible Lie, and (however many times you’ve seen it before, it never ceases to surprise) the sight of grown men crying to the dark balladry of Hurt that gets you every single time. Epic.
Of course, this was just a warm-up for the madness to come this weekend at Reading and Leeds Festival. Their previous performance, in 2007, was so captivating that frankly, The Smashing Pumpkins were blown off stage, and I certainly don’t envy Biffy Clyro this weekend. Unfortunately I’ll have to miss this, as I’m heading to Suede at Kenwood House on Friday, but I’m heading up to Leeds on Saturday and looking forward to checking out Frank Turner, Deaf Havana, Bring Me The Horizon, Twin Atlantic, Chase and Status and Eminem (in that order!).
(Re NIN, Cleverly I turned up 20 minutes before showtime which meant I was literally right at the back with no chance of moving, so the above pic is sadly the best I could do!)