Nine Inch Nails fans from around the country found their way into Chicago on Friday, the 29th to watch the band give their last headlining performance in the United States .
The band knew how special this show was to them and us as they provided us with a limited edition Chicago tour shirt and played a two hour set that included almost every song they have been playing on this tour.
Street Sweeper Social Club opened the show for them. Everyone was running a little behind schedule, mainly due to the enormous amount of people who donated money to help Eric DeLaCruz and meet Trent and band. Street Sweeper came on with enthusiasm ready to rock the crowd and shred some guitars. They were all dressed in their matching outfits of retro military coats over some jeans and band shirts of the band’s name in initials, SSSC. They basically played the same set as KC, but one extra song, because they were given a longer set, as there is no Jane’s Addiction at this show. They had a great time and got the crowd warmed up and ready for NIN.
Emotions were stirring in the crowd as we waited for NIN to come out on stage. Some got their cameras out and ready, while others got their last refill of beer before the show began. Everyone seemed ready to enjoy the show and we didn’t have long to wait. NIN came out on stage and busted right into Somewhat Damaged, an old classic that let the crowd know that he had specifically planned the set list for long time fans. The band flowed effortlessly through songs while still giving much emotion to the songs. Robin had said earlier that he was not feeling well and couldn’t speak much, but when it came time to sing back up, he was right there, giving it his all. Justin and Ilan were really into the set list and gave very good performances with Ilan moving so fast on the drums, he almost became a blur and Justin moving around on stage all night, staring into the crowd and very intensely singing the songs with the crowd. Trent was great too, he actually jumped into the crowd to sing Piggy with the fans as they got to molest him as much as they could in four minutes.
The weather apparently lied by saying it was going to be warmer that day, as we were all freezing through a lot of the night. The band chose to keep their jackets on as well, even though you could see sweat and steam escaping their scalps as the night went on.
There was an announcement by the band again that this was their last tour and most knew of this already and all gave the sad sounds and general screams but I couldn’t help but notice the casual fans who didn’t know about this giving sounds of confusion or yells to their buddy of, “see, I told you man!”
The crowd was a lot more intense than in KC, mainly due to the fact that the entire floor area was general admission. I was afraid that I might lose my camera during March of the Pigs or Heresy. I couldn’t help but to jump and sing along as well though. They played most songs that people were hoping to hear, I had no complaints and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything in Chicago.
Apparently, they had to cut their set a little short though, because of a city curfew and didn’t do an official encore. He did close the show with Hurt and Head Like A Hole, but I believe they cut out Dead Souls and two others that I can’t remember now from seeing the setlist from the soundboard area.
So, overall, everyone seemed to love the show and walked out with smiles on their faces and bruises on their body from the many pits that broke out. I was not exempt from that with the addition of beer splatters in my hair from the crowd. It still hasn’t hit me yet that this is it for Trent and NIN. This would be my last show, possibly ever with them. I’m still coming down off of my NIN high from this week of shows and don’t really know what I’m going to do with myself now. I suppose I will just have to hope that Trent gets a wild hair to make music again and in the mean time, try to find something to fill the void in my heart that now exist.
I give this show, you know I have to, 5 “Wave Goodbyes” out of 5.
by Angela Davis