Lollapalooza: Nine Inch Nails Returns

NIN 9The band on everyone’s must see list at Lollapalooza was Nine Inch Nails, and if you heard anyone brag about the new Killers album, you knew it was in hopes that they wouldn’t see you at the Bud Light Stage for “March of the Pigs.”

It’s been four years since the band played in the united states, and like Trent said last night, “It feels like it was yesterday.” The band has not changed that much since then, and since the Lights in the Sky tour, Nine Inch Nails has only seen one lineup change with the addition of Joshua Eustis. While some were disappointed to hear that the bragged about NIN super group of Eric Avery and Adrian Belew had disbanded, I couldn’t have been more happy. The Lights in the Sky/Wave Goodbye incarnation of Nine Inch Nails will always be my favorite and there is no beating Robin Fink when “Wish” kicks in.

NIN 7The last time I saw Trent throw a mic stand was at the Aragon Ballroom right here in Chicago, and even though he said by the end of the tour, it would be the last time he would set foot on stage as a member of Nine Inch Nails, I always knew that wasn’t true. During that show I sat in the balcony and tried to take in every moment, just in case he stood by his promise. Last night I was in search of a different experience and ended up 3 people from the barrier in a mosh happy Lolla crowd, that worshiped every word with what could have been their last breath.

NIN 2This time around that band was channeling the visual orgasm that was The Lights In the Sky tour. With moving pillars of light, the band brought more depth to their songs and rehashed LITS favorites like the interactive wall of static of “Only”. Usually I dread the standard addition of “Hurt” to a Nine Inch Nails set list, but this time around, the visual story-telling added a new layer to the song. Flashing from blooming flowers to the annihilation of a nuclear explosion, I found myself singing along like I would have 10 years ago.

NIN 3While the light show is an aspect that I brag about to friends that have never enjoyed the religious experience that is NIN live, at times it can lead to disappointment. Because of the flashing choreography, that band is limited as to what they can play, and last night they left time for an additional two songs with silence and the echo of The Killers from across the park. For what was one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails shows, that would be my only complaint.

Trent and company haven’t lost a step, and the last four years have become a distant memory, and even with an aching body, all I can think now is, “I’m ready for more”.

Set List:
Copy of A
Sanctified (Altered version)
Came Back Haunted
March of the Pigs
The Frail
The Wretched
Terrible Lie
Gave Up
Help Me I Am in Hell
Me, I’m Not
Find My Way
What If We Could?
The Way Out Is Through
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

By Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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