Nine Inch Nails at the Brixton Academy, London - Dec 8-14 1999
(4.4 stars out of 5)
There's no one who uses the word "f***" quite like Trent Reznor.
His "f***" has a stabbing ring
you just can't ignore. And, unlike the metal fraternity, he uses it
selectively – so from the embittered
"Where the f*** were you?" ("Somewhat Damaged") to the on-all-fours,
debauched "I want to
f*** you like an animal" (the best chat-up line known to rock, from
"Closer"), this four-letter
expletive signifies so much more.
You see, Reznor is a law unto himself. He barely speaks between
songs. For any other band,
this would be deemed unforgivably apathetic. But Reznor has the
mystique of a dark angel, a
presence that permeates every awe-filled onlooker.
Indeed, NIN not only have the power to seduce with their
heartbeat rhythms, but, within
minutes, they're ripping out your very soul with their orgy of
guitars. They embody the point where
pleasure and pain collide, exemplified in "Sin" and "March Of The
Pigs", where your stomach
encases itself in your pelvic cartilage.
Although despair is a common NIN theme, it should not be
construed as superficial,
self-indulgent angst on a post-industrial platter. They may possess
the dark synth-woven guitar
textures associated with "industrial", but Reznor writes proper
melodic songs with lyrics uncovering
genuine human pain (check the dark poetry of "Reptile" – "Angels bleed
from the tainted touch of
After the rippling, filmic "La Mer", classics such as "Wish" and
"Head Like A Hole", and vicious
"Starf***ers, Inc", the grinding tones of "Closer" dissolve Barry
White's complete repertoire into a
pool of stagnant goo. Reznor closes on "Hurt", a ballad of
soul-bearing proportions, an we air-clap
along, as Reznor doubles up, clinging to his own personal torment.
Extreme anguish never sounded so good.
Review: Julie Glassman Transcribed by node_girl for the NIN
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.