Nine Inch Nails Ft. Wayne IN 2/23/06
Fort Wayne, IN
Allen County War Memorial
Red Pass Day
Back in the pit for the first time in a long time. Tonight was a solo gig for me. My wife (the saint) has endured (4) NIN shows for me over the years and this trip she wanted to skip.
I took full advantage of the possibility and got ahold of a GA floor ticket. Everyone walks in and is asked by security to sit, I notice that on the floor they have kindly laid down plastic tile instead of bare concrete (Unlike Conseco Fieldhouse in 2000.) I strike up a conversation with a Bethany and Matt who have also made a few stops on this tour. I see the head of security start to give his cues to personnel and they start their descent behind the barricade. Matt and I shake hands and get ready for the possibility of a slight rush (to which none ever came.) No sooner does the last security personnel get into defense mode Chris Robinson takes the stage.. no wait I mean.. Moving Units take the stage! Their music was ok but the comment had been made that "their music doesn't seem to go anywhere" and that "I couldn't hear a word the guy was actually saying" to which both were also true tonight. It had a good beat and was catchy; maybe with a CD listen I would enjoy it more. But the mix was pretty bad down inside. The pit was completely lifeless during the opener and people were freely drinking their beers and talking with each other like it was a cocktail party.
The crowd was much more kind to them [Moving Units] than the 3 trips to Chicago on NIN's Opening Acts. Tonight the lead singer made a comment to the effect of "Hey man, we give a little, you give a little.. it all works out in the end" To which they got zero comments back and started to play. No one seemed to heckle them though, must be an Indiana thing.
The changeover between sets was about a half an hour. The lights on and people going back to refill their beverages I cautiously watched this squirt behind me with his 16 oz beer 98% full with probably less than 3 minutes until NIN comes out. I told him "You better chug that down because in about 3 minutes it will be on the floor" (Thinking that really it will be all over me and everyone else) To which I was told "Nah man, I'll be drinking it when NIN gets on stage" 4 minutes later- that beer was all down my back. I love pit rookies!
2. Mr. Self Destruct
4. Terrible Lie
5. The Line Begins To Blur
6. March of the Pigs
7. Something I Can Never Have
8. Closer/The Only Time Breakdown
10. Gave Up
12. Right Where It Belongs
13. Beside You in Time
18. The Day The World Went Away
21. The Hand That Feeds
22. Starfuckers, Inc.
23. Head Like A Hole
Although the initial surge was normal, the rest of the night was actually pretty laid back down inside. We all had our fun, but for the most part people knew to help each other up (I got caught in a surge and about 5 of us ended up on the floor) and people were pretty good about having decent "pit etiquette" I caught a few elbows in my back but for the most part it were more forearms than fists! The pit did die off fairly quick though. To let you know how tame it was -- I was actually able to tie my boot, in the pit, DURING "Gave Up." After the "Eraser/Right Where It Belongs/Beside You in Time" segment, Trent came back out swinging and sadly; the pit couldn't seem to muster up the energy to get back into it. I personally felt like I had just run a marathon and was pretty whipped myself by the time Starfuckers, Inc. started. But I gave until the very end. "Reptile" was once again the shining point for me and on this tour I come to expect it being played and welcome the moment it starts. I felt like I was in the pit alone during the song. I moved up literally 10 feet from when it started to when it ended. I felt like I was in a zone and headed more towards the front.
As far as the performance itself- it is so hard to compare one show vs. the next but I would put this performance up against any I have ever seen or heard in my life. Trent was ON, the Band was ON, and Josh Freese plays his drum parts like he was with the band when Trent wrote the songs! We got some stellar notable quoteables: He said, "I know we haven't played a show here in a long fucking time, I'm glad you guys came out and have stuck with us" to which the place nearly tore off the roof. At another point in the show he said, "you set out to tour and want to play a good show every night but sometimes it just doesn't happen. But tonight it feels really good." And indeed it was. He then said, "Apparently some people up front really like to smoke pot." And smoke they did, the smoke in the pit was heavy all night.
The aftershow and hanging out with people you know is one part that makes the experience complete- sadly I was here solo so there is nothing to report on the aftershow hanging out and re-living of the show with each other. I got into the truck headed out of dodge and stopped at a gas station about 20 miles outside of town to get some water to re-hydrate. By the time the show ended the concession stands are long closed and the line to the water fountain was about as long as the line to the bathrooms.
Pit: B- (Polite but lost steam)