Perry Farrell gave an ass-shattering performance last night. But I’m giving too much away too soon. More on that later.
My day started out with a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Trent Reznor and the band for donating money to a great cause to help a young man receive a new heart. All of this because Trent was eager to help a man that was bound in all of the red tape of the health care system. We arrived extra extra early to make sure nothing could go wrong. And after a few grunts and groans of missing the road into Starlight, we arrived to park for free up front. We finally received our tickets and the group of about 100 people were escorted behind the stage and buildings attached to it. We were in a single file line and in groups of ten, we entered into a covered shelter and got to have Robin Finck, Justin Meldal Johnson, Trent Reznor and new drummer Ilan Rubin sign something personal of ours. Trent and I shared a few words about the demise of HD DVD as he signed my HD DVD copy of Beside You In Time. I commented on the absence of the ‘fro’ of JMJ and he said that it was “coming back, coming back with a vengeance!” After sharing a few words with each member, we lined up again and each got an opportunity to take a picture with the band, photo courtesy of Rob Sheridan, professional photographer of NIN!
The band could not have been nicer. I was so nervous, having met some members of other bands before and being so disappointed in their general attitude, I was especially nervous meeting my favorite band and one of my idols, you could say. They laughed at our cheesy jokes and answered, I’m sure, mundane questions like it was the first time hearing them. I even decided at last second to show Trent my NIN tattoo that I had catered to my liking. Thinking they would just give a glance and a nod like, Oh, we see those all the time, but NO, they all dropped what they were doing for a moment and just stared at it. It was quite rewarding, considering all of the pain I went through just putting it on.
The show started promptly at 7pm with opening band, Street Sweeper Social Club. They’re not just a band, they’re a social club, according to front man Boots Riley. I had heard one song of theirs prior to seeing them and only knew that guitar legend, Tom Morello was in the band. They did not disappoint. Between Tom shredding his guitars to pieces and singer, Riley dancing and pumping up the crowd from the stage, they had the crowd’s attention. They got everyone to stand up and pump their fists at their great rendition of MIA’s Paper Planes, and played a fun, energetic forty-five minute set. They will not be an opening band after this tour. I also learned that bands don’t need a DJ, they just need Tom Morello.
Next, I’ll talk about Jane’s Addiction, because in my eyes, most bought tickets to see Nine Inch Nails. Nails was giving Jane’s a big payback by letting them headline for giving them the start on Lollapalooza years and years ago. Jane’s got back together for this reunion tour and I have to say that they were definitely missing that chemistry a band has from being together every night. Dave Navarro spent much of the ninety minute set as far right on the stage as possible and piping away on his many cigarettes. He still looked good as always with his shirt open and flaunting the goatee while effortlessly flowing through the songs. Perry Farrell was exactly as everyone remembered him. I had never see Jane’s live before but was quite a fan back in the day. He was still dressing like Bowie in his rock-staresque golden sequenced one piece suit with a flowing golden scarf flipping around as he jumped from one side of the stage to the other and even getting too close to the edge to see the pit area and ended up falling straight off the stage into the crowd. I and everyone else jumped up to see if this was part of the show and after seeing him spend some time down in the crowd, I began to think that something was wrong. He eventually got back up on stage and finished the song and laughed about it later saying, “I’m not gonna lie, that really hurt.” He went off stage for the encore and from backstage made a joke announcement that Perry Farrell is now paralyzed and is on his way to the hospital, as if we didn’t recognize his voice. He was very entertaining, and although the set started off a little slow, the band really gave us their all towards the end with endless notes holding onto Perry’s operatic voice. They played favorites like Mountain Song, Oceanside, Been Caught Stealing, Stop Now Go and closing it out with Jane Says.
Now back to my headlining band, Nine Inch Nails. Trent came out through the smoke on stage singing Now I’m Nothing and getting the rumors out of the way that this was his last tour with the lyrics singing, Wave Goodbye. The song was great, something I had not heard live, but was sad at the same time. The song immediately jumped into Terrible Lie when Robin slid out onto stage doing what I have named the “Robin Slide”, as it seems he is always facing us when he walks across the stage. The band was tight, the four-piece worked flawlessly together. New drummer, Ilan melted my face as he likes to say with his penetrating bass pedal and continued to swing his head up and down through every beat of the show. Justin and Robin were rocking the bass and guitars while also adding some keyboards in the mix on this tour. They were both great at managing all of the instruments given to them and still had time to head bang and keep us pumped up. Trent was amazing as always. Giving his voice over to the emotion that was originally placed in the songs when he wrote them. He still gets into his own songs, even if he has been singing them for twenty years. He was so energetic, running around on stage, throwing mic stands and head banging and belting out lyrics while playing something beautiful on the keyboards or just playing the guitar up front with Justin and Robin.
The set list was something similar to the Lights in the Sky tour. Probably because he didn’t visit Kansas City with the last tour and I was forced to drive to Colombia, St. Louis and Tulsa to be satisfied. I was happy to hear some older songs like Physical, Burn and The Becoming. They were all really into the song, Physical and made it really intense for everyone watching. They played Wish and March of the Pigs while everyone else sang along. They closed the ninety minute set with Hurt and a single spotlight on Trent and once again, he got very emotional with the song, which always makes it so much more than a song. This was a sad day for all the fans in KC that will only get to see them once, because as far as we know, NIN is taking a long break after this tour, and who knows when they might return. There have been rumors that he might add a second leg to his tour and there are also talks with HBO to do a show with them of his music into a visual interpretation some time. I imagine, we will all find out in time, but in the mean time, my last show with NIN will be Friday in Chicago. It will be a sad night for me when the set is over, but I will still find the strength to write it all down for you.
I give the KC show 5 “Robin Finck rocking the clogs” out of 5.
by Angela Davis
Photo’s and Video By Ryan Davis
Here is a little tease of the footage we shot at Starlight. Beware: this may melt your face (According to Ilan, that is).
I’m going to try and get as much footage up as I can so stay tuned we also plan on a review of this show. I worked really hard on this last night compressing this for you tube and I’m still not happy with it. It’s hard to get a 23 gig file down to 1gig but, I can do it just need sleep. The footage that is coming up from us will look crystal clear but, its off to Chicago so here is the review and teaser.