By Chris Molstad
I had waited 5 years for NIN to tour again. FIVE YEARS! I saw them the first time when i was in high school in February of 1995, during their Further Down the Spiral tour, which was also at the Target Center here in Minneapolis. Back then it was the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and the Melvins who opened up for them (though it should have been Pop Will Eat Itself instead of the Melvins). I was so pumped up for this new concert. In 1995 I was in the upper level and didn't have my glasses, so I couldn't see very well, but this time I had managed to get lower level (near the floor too) for the first time ever for a concert at the Target Center. I'm not a floor person, I don't like to mosh and get pushed around, I just like to go with the music.
A Perfect Circle had a cool set. It had those sweet looking crescent logos and a bunch of rune type writing that you could only see well when certain lights were active. To be truthful, I was not that excited for APC. I love Tool, but I had heard prior to the concert that APC was not very intense, and that the crowds got bored with them. For the most part that was true. APC had a lot of good sounds, but lacked the ingredients that made the crowd go nuts. There were some cool lighting effects but nothing ground breaking. Maynard was totally messed up, he was doing some weird movements on stage. He did say some cool things though, like to buy some of our favorite band albums like NIN, because the bad music is winning. But enough of APC.
It seemed like forever from the time between when APC finished and NIN began. It was actually way longer than normal, but that is most likely because of all the equipment and electronics, lights, etc, that NIN needed to setup and test. Every time the crowd even saw lights go on, we went wild, even though they weren't starting yet. Finally Somewhat Damaged started, and it was just amazing how nuts everyone went. These Minnesota NIN fans were some hardcore fans, and I think Trent really loved how the crowd would not stop cheering for Nine Inch Nails. Once they started playing Terrible Lie things only got more intense, and I was just in awe. The lighting effects were excellent. The whole show kept me in suspense. Some of the lights made my eyes see flames when there weren't any, and after one song a 5 second part of something was played over and over again, and the lights and noise were almost brain washing me. There were some cool songs played that I hadn't expected to hear, such as Sin, Piggy, and Pinion. There were a few songs I would have liked to see NIN play live though. The ones that were played in the 95 concert that I really wanted to hear were Reptile and Dead Souls, and other songs I wanted to hear were The Perfect Drug, We're in this Together, Something i can never have, Sanctified, Heresy, and The Fragile. But of course nothing can be perfect. Overall I was very pleased with the concert, but there were some issues. Compared to the 95 concert, the lights sometimes didn't seem as intense or as cool (like for Wish instead of two giant orange lights like in 95 there were just a bunch of plain white lights). It was also hard to hear Trent's voice over the rest of the music most of the time. I don't think Trent himself was as intense as he was in concert years ago. Regardless of the bad, the good far outweighed it, and my two NIN concerts rank high on the list of the coolest things I've ever been to in my life.