By Xavier Plastic
this is my take on nin at minneapolis;
The longest 50 minutes of my life were spent sitting in my seat watching the advertisments change periodically on the nosebleed section, waiting for the lights to dim. When they did, and the black light ignited A Perfect Circles backdrop; it also ignited my quest to reach the floor. I had scanned the security guards posted every 15 feet or so and found a slight weakness in one particuarly bald and inept soldier stationed at the gate. Unfortunately I missed most of APC's set trying to be perfectly accurate with my dive, I didnt want to get kicked out and miss NIN of course. I made it to the bottom row and that unnaturally anal security guard spotted me switching seats and approached me trying to puff up and appear intimidating. I swallowed my loss and sulked back up to a seat that was not mine but was high enough as to not be of interest to security. Luckily it was next to a drunken college ogre. He had accumulated several empty beer cups which I used to my advantage. I skillfully popped out the bottom and tore a band out of the cup transforming it into a makeshift floor pass. I jammed it on my wrist and headed down to the gate, held my wrist high as the fascists probed me with flashlights and I passed right on through without a second glance. i guess i made it just in time because the house lights were just turning back on as i made my way into the mass of sweat and heat.
the crowds adhesive gave slightly to my prying (as there was no band playing) so i got pretty close to the stage shrouded in a mammoth black curtain. what was the second longest wait in my life was for the lights to go down again as i stood amongst the many awaiting salvation, or a form there of. the new flesh began with no warning, the lights were still up, people were still murmuring and bouncing, it appeared that it had begun but not a soul was aware of it, obviously not familiar with the song. my heart began to race the lights did dim and somewhat damaged was well on its way to kicking thousands of asses at once. the crowd was a throbbing blister of people all unable to control their movement. the black curtain still in place suggested the sillouetes of the band with stobed spotlights beating in time. there was not a moment of peace as we know it for a long time after. we the people swayed from complete berzerk insanity to intense bitter softness through the entire set. there is a real sense of oneness when your tasting, feeling and scraping the sweat and blood from the packed swarm of people around you. companionship without acquaintence.
if your reading this you probably already know the set list so i wont get too much into that, but the visuals were completely brilliant. the rows of pod floor lights rows upon rows of mechanized suspended lights and most dramatically the 3 LCD screens that painted a picture of emotion and visualised auditory passion. there was no parallel to the effort given by trent and the rest of the band to put on a good show. goosebumps still track across my back thinking about every splendid detail that was NIN live. trent was caught smiling on several occasions and i think that is a credit to the success of the show in its self. to persuade the inevitable encore there lit of thousands of bic's casting single flames for the benefit of the group. looking up and back it looked like a starry night with no moon all the lighters twinkling up to the upper sections. those who were without fire were clapping a steady stocatto rythm and chanting all with the same desire. it was really awe inspiring.
then it happened and the shadowy band reappeared in all their glory when danny robin and trent stood in a solemn circle and began driving out TDTWWA. The entire crowd singing on and off key with trent like a giant gaping mouth made the song more powerful than i had ever imagined it. then starfuckers inc began just as most of us had expected and most of us also knew it was our final delve into the energy of NIN live and the pits went wild and the throbbing masses throbbed harder until the song paused with the repeated "DON'T YOU's" which went on with audience participation to about 16 "DON'T YOU's" and then unbelieveably the energy increased and blew the mercury out of the proverbial thermometer and me out of my mind. then we were all escorted through our own minds with "hurt" and were now baptized by fire. it is finished. there was a strange feeling of underlying power eminating through the building as it slowly cleared, as if every person was somehow given a gift of solidarity and empowerment. we all knew that we all knew. the floor cleared and all that remained were several sweatshirts, socks, piles of misc. debris, buttons, safety pins and at least two dollars in change that i scraped up. i went home stinking of joy.