Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Review: Nine Inch Nails at the Hollywood Bowl, October 1, 2005

On a balmy Saturday night in Los Angeles, Nine Inch Nails put on one of the best concert shows I have ever seen. Trent Reznor was in fine voice and great shape.

Although he had said in an interview the previous day on KROQ that the band plays about 75% of the songs from the new album, it actually turned out to be closer to 50%. Songs included "Only" and "Bite the Hand That Feeds", and a mid-set pairing of "Right Where It Belongs and "Beside You in Time", performed behind a nearly transparent curtain. In an eery courterpoint to those songs, film clips showing disturbing images of animals engaged in survival of the fittest, as well as war, mass marriages, homelessness and our current president were shown. Old classics like "Hole in The Head", "Closer", "Hurt" and "Suck" were also played in the nearly two-hour long set, all with the ferocious intensity Reznor is known for. With between song patter kept to a bare minimum, the focus remained on the music (the band included Jereome Dillon who played drums despite his recent heart problems that forced the postponement of several concert dates) and Reznor's charismatic delivery of his songs.

Second-billed act Queens of the Stone Age delivered a brief, but riveting, set.

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