May 31, 2009

Wave Goodbye: The end of NIN.

On the Wave Goodbye (or NIN/JA) Tour, the night started with us walking in and seeing some guy about my age, in glasses and holding a Bible, "preaching" to everyone going in. The only thing I clearly remember him saying was, "Jesus Christ was the first person to ever say the word 'hellfire.'" I'm not really sure what the context was, but my first thought was, "That's not something to be proud of." Then I thought maybe the kid just needs to see a good rock show and fuck some drunk chick in the crowd, and then maybe he wouldn't be wound so tight.


I think there might have actually been more people at Trent Reznor's farewell tour last night than Ozzfest, Mayday, X-Fest, or Family Values. If it wasn't sold out, it was damn near close to it. Well, the lines were so damn long that Chris, Kevin, Lisa, and I missed the whole Street Sweeper Social Club set, finding a spot only about five minutes before Nine Inch Nails came on. It sucks even more too, because when I got home, I found a video on YouTube of the crowd singing Happy Birthday to Tom Morello, which apparently happened while we were waiting in line. Fuck.

Anyway, I've seen Nine Inch Nails once before, back on the With Teeth Tour in May 2005, exactly four years ago now. I guess the Noblesville show, the second to last show on the American tour, inspired something of a bit of envy among the rest of the NIN fans since the setlist had a few gems not played anywhere on the rest of the tour. I'm not sure why that was, but maybe it has something to with the Noblesville venue being one of the largest on everyone's tours, twenty-five thousand making a full house. In case you're curious, here's the setlist from last night, not including the instrumental Ghosts tracks. Home was the perfect song to open with, with an extended guitar beginning:

March of the Pigs
Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)
Meet Your Master
Head Down
I Do Not Want This
Gave Up
The Fragile
The Downward Spiral
Mr Self Destruct
Physical (You're So)
The Good Soldier
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Almost all of this was during the super-cell thunderstorms that tore through Indy. I read that one newcaster even stated that: "Trent Reznor just scared away a tornado." I didn't even have to go stormchasing last night. It came right to us. We could see the dark clouds rolling in during Gave Up, and started sprinkling a little during The Fragile, and right as The Downward Spiral started, it became a downpour, which was as I was attempting to film the song with my phone. I watched it today, and it doesn't sound too bad, until about halfway through, where the sound almost completely disappears. So I think the rain fucked up my microphone. Oh well.


Then the rain slowed back down and lightning flashed across the sky in all four directions during Wish, Survivalism, and Mr Self Destruct. It was nothing short of amazing, only making the show that much better. I guess the preacher-boy was wrong, because it looked like even God enjoyed last night's show. I even enjoyed watching the hippie chick in front of us dance to every song the exact same way: just like Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

The last time I saw NIN was just after With Teeth, so I never got to see any of Year Zero live. Getting to hear Meet Your Master and The Good Soldier live were definitely the highlights, with Hurt definitely among them. I just can't stop reliving how completely badass the show was last night. The more I think about it, the more I realize this was probably the best show I've been to, and I've been to a lot. I'm actually glad he didn't play Closer too, being a crowd favorite, and the fact that I've heard it so many damn times now. It probably would have taken the spot of one of the songs that never gets played, like The Good Soldier, which he only played last night on the whole tour, and was my favorite by far.

"I could say this is our last tour, but it will make you sad. So I won't say it."

I could tell the show was coming to an end with Head Like a Hole and then the last thing Reznor said was: "Every once in a while you have a night where you feel like everything is in the right place, time and place, and this is fucking it. Thank you so much," right before he ended the show with Hurt. It was just perfect.

I didn't really get into Jane's Addiction, other than Dave Navarro shredding the guitar. It was all just a little too 1980's David Bowie for me. I have to say though, the best part was in between two songs when Perry Farrell, practically in drag and holding a bottle of wine, said, "Hey, Indiana, and all you farmers. I want to come live on the farms with you. I know how some of you farm people like to get freaky." Everyone started cheering and I looked over at Kevin, Chris, and Lisa. The sky at this time was a weird black, orange, and purple like a low budget horror film about a midwest cult, and I said, "I think it's time to get the fuck outta here." We left not too long after.


Definitely the best money I've spent in a very long time. Reznor is a fucking god. The only real regret I have is having only seen Reznor twice now before he called it quits. Fuck, that's depressing.

While searching for good pics and vids from last night's show, I actually came across a working torrent of the entire show here: NIN Noblesville torrent. It sounds almost perfect, but of course, it just doesn't compare to actually being there. Also, if you're bored, check out the Nine Inch Nails Film Festival, where people send in videos using the instrumental tracks from his last release, Ghosts: NIN Film Fest.

Update: I kept seeing and hearing something about VIP donations, but had no clue what it was about. Well, here you go: NIN Helps Man In Need Of Heart Transplant. It just makes me wish I had decked that motherfucker holding the Bible.


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