The Tfronky Pick of the Week – Nine Inch Nails

NIN and Explosions in the SkyWHAT?! I agree folks, coming out of another self-imposed blogging exile to pick NIN to write about seems a little absurd if you know anything about me at all. I have no problem admitting I have a pretty extreme like (not love)/hate relationship with this band and in particular leader Trent Reznor.

I first saw Nine Inch Nails back in 1991 at Compton Terrace, the very first show of the first ever Lollapalooza. Great line-up that day with the Rollins Band and Butthole Surfers (showed up late and missed both bands because this idiot left the tickets at home), Ice-T (first show with his metal band Body Count), Living Colour, Siouxsie and the Banshees and headliner Jane’s Addiction.  Jane’s finished its set early after playing “Ocean Size”. Perry Farrell bumped into guitarist Dave Navarro during the first solo in the middle of that song and screwed something up which pissed off Navarro. He stormed off the stage, the remaining three members finished the song without a guitar, then left the stage as well. The lights came up and a very brief set ended which did not make this fan happy at all. That should have been the low point of the day.

Nope. NIN also played at that show. I can still remember my friend Fitz and I getting into the line at the beer garden and by the time drinks were in hand the band was done playing. Reznor threw a fit just two or three songs into the set because the equipment was malfunctioning due to the heat. That was a truly adorable sight to see. I hated the Pretty Hate Machine album anyway so in my mind no big loss.

Fast forward to a year later when the Broken EP was released. I am listening to the disc right now because 21 years later it is still a great eight song creation. However, back then as much as I liked the disc I still refused to admit I was a fan due to the first album and the first show I saw.

Then The Downward Spiral came out in 1994 and the single “March of the Pigs”. I loved that song and a good friend of mine at the time convinced me to give them another shot live. That concert was at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, I believe October 1994 and featured Marilyn Manson and the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow as the supporting acts. Nine Inch Nails KILLED it that evening, I was blown away with the power and fragile intensity the band displayed that night.

The Downward Spiral is a good disc but I never fell in love with it the way many people did. Over the years I have liked many songs Reznor created, but never became a huge fan of the band. I saw them live one more time (I think at US Airways) and while I may not have been a huge fan, I respected the work from the band.

Then the Sound Strike happened in 2010. Until the band announced they were coming back to the Valley on November 9 I said “f them” and removed all of its music from my iPod. I kept it on my computer, just in case. It has only been in the past two months or so I started listening to NIN again, just to see if I was up for spending the money to see them in concert again.

I am torn. Part of me would love to go see the show, part of me feels that Reznor is still a dbag. Maybe I will go simply because opener Explosions in the Sky is incredible. Maybe I am once again showing my age and just being far too crotchety. But I like that. 😉



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