Band Concert Review
NIN: Back For More
The First Midwest Bank Amphitheater - Tinley Park, IL - July 1, 2006
On a perfect summer night in the south suburbs of Chicago, Nine Inch Nails powered their twisted rock machine right into the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater. Kicking off the show at about 9:20 P.M. CST, Trent Reznor marched onto the stage almost unnoticed to the Chicago crowd. With the house lights still on for the first thirty seconds or so of "Somewhat Damaged," the five piece touring version of Nine Inch Nails continued to rip through With Teeth's "You Know What You Are?" behind a stage-covering metal curtain of sorts. On the verge of heading up north to Milwaukee for Summerfest, Trent and the guys then produced a decrepitly evil version of Pretty Hate Machine's "Sin" before allowing the metal curtain to be lifted up and moving on to concert staple and classic hit "Terrible Lie."
Things moved a bit closer toward insanity as the opening roar of "March of the Pigs" echoed through the sold out pavilion sections. The microphone stands were flying and the band stage diving began before Mr. Reznor could even utter the words "...doesn't it make you feel better?" After electrifying the crowd with this masterpiece, he went back to the Pretty Hate Machine recording to fire out "Something I Can Never Have." Moving to the very back of the stage set up on a riser, his silhouette could be seen from a distance as the indoor cameras struggled to keep pace with the rock legend. Everyone remained on their feet and started to sing along with a smile as "Closer" and "Only" were played about as perfectly as their original studio versions.
Just as Trent retreated and changed his sweat-soaked black tank top for a new red t-shirt, the violent opening notes of "Wish" got everyone back into an untamed fury. The Cleveland native led his band mates through the Nine Inch Nails catalogue kicking out songs such as Broken's "Suck" and a very deliberate and haunting rendition of "Hurt." Then, as noted earlier in the day on nin.com, Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) joined the guys for a guest appearance before the set was rounded out with "Hand That Feeds" and "Head like a Hole." As one black electric guitar lost its life and was left screaming on stage, Trent Reznor and his gang of musicians left the stage as anonymously as they arrived. Dark and silent, just like the Perfect Drug that their music is for so many avid followers.
With that, the hour and forty-five minute set came to a conclusion with no encore. (Not that there was one needed!) As the metal screen descended to hang over the open stage area, the forever classic Nine Inch Nails logo was illuminated in white lights marking the end of a great performance and the continuance of the prevailing Nine Inch Nails juggernaut. Knowing what we all know about Nine Inch Nails remote touring habits, Trent Reznor might not be spending a night with us here in Chicago for a long, long time. This show provided a balanced dose of Nine Inch Nails classics with a decent sampling of 2005's With Teeth. Although "Everyday Is Exactly the Same" was not played Saturday night, everyone went home satisfied and craving much, much more.