"A NINE INCH NAILS SHOW ON GOOD FRIDAY-THAT HAS TO BE SOME KIND OF AN OMEN, NO?"
The following article appeared in Chicago Suntimes Weekend Plus Section, critic, Jim DeRogatis
"This record will be huge or it will be a career stopper." Trent Reznor of
Nine Inch Nails, said of "The Fragile" shortly before its release. "It won't
Sure enough, it wasn't (safe) and it was (a career stopper)
As sonic craftsman for his generation, Reznor is without peer. Five years in
the making, "The Fragile" extended the electronic vocabulary the Cleveland
native introduced wiht 1989's "Pretty Hate Machine" and 1994's "The Downward
Spiral", integratting the organic sounds of grand pianos and electric
guitars into his patented metal machine music.
Sure, he remained mired in self-pity in the lyrics (Most common words on the
dis: "decay," "debris," and "defeat.") But the music was interesting enough
that you could forgive him for his angst and self-obsession.
The sprawling sonic canvas was hailed by many critics - it was named the
best release of 1999 by Spin - but alternative-rock-programmers couldn't be
bothered to plumb its double-album depths for the hits; MTV was suddenly
more fond of third-rate Nine Inch Nails knock-offs like Filter, and a newer,
younger crop of fans were busy turning to Korn and Limp Bizkit at one end of
the spectrum and 'NSync and Britney Spears at the other.
For once, Reznor's misery seems justified.
The question now is whether the band's tour can breathe new life into the
album. The cross-country arena jaunt started April 12th with relatively
little hype. Organized by a single national promoter, it is crisscrossing
the country in scattershot fashion, preforming two dates in Chicago
separated by six-day break. (Promoters usually schedule two dates in a row
to save on teh considerable expense of hailing equipment and setting up a
Reznor and his reconstructed band - which is rounded out by Robin Fink,
Danny Lohner, Charlie Clouser and Jerome Dillon - play the UIC Pavilion
tonight and Wednesday. Neither show is sold out. But my hunch is that the
group will indeed reclaim past glories - at least in terms of the legendary
intensity of its stage show.
A Nnine Inch Nails show on Good Friday - that has to be some kind of an
Jim DeRogatis co-hosts "Sound Opinions" rom 10 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays on
(no picture was included)
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.