August 4th, 2013

Alex Tie

NIN-Lollapalooza 2013

Trent Reznor recently said he felt the recording of Nine Inch Nails’forthcoming Hesitation Marks was both sparse and minimal. A minimalist approach bled its way into NIN’s performance as they closed Friday Night on the Bud Light Stage. A large, blank backdrop covered the backdrop as Reznor marched out to the center stage. He began a new song, the Pretty-esque “Copy of A”, all by his lonesome, with a single machine and a lit mic stand. As the song progressed, stagehands began setting up additional instruments, and their players approached one-by-one to play them. This design was influenced by the Talking Heads’ setup during their Stop Making Sense performances and, like those shows, was a fantastic way to kick off the proceedings.

Mini-backdrops moved around constantly during the show, providing places for band members’ shadows to dance upon. Sometimes the screens would combine to form screens filled with static (“Terrible Lie”, “Only”), other times to hide Reznor during “Closer” while a close-up of his face blazed red upon them, via projection. The set design moved right along with the oft-leaping frontman, whose time off from the band has only re-energized him. He’s been in good shape for years now, a far cry from the wafer-thin days of Pretty Hate and Downward (clean living’ll do that for you, I suppose). By the penultimate song, Reznor was as insanely mobile as anyone in the crowd, bouncing to “Head Like a Hole” as white lights were fired into the audience.

The show ended the way every Nine Inch Nails performance must end from now until the great beyond, as Reznor confessed, “I hurt myself today.” Lighters were raised along with cell phones and their respective apps, the final sing-along was mounted, and guitars overwhelmed the vocals as they roared in the end. Welcome back, my sweetest friend. Good luck, remaining headliners. –Justin Gerber

Here is a link to the whole show-

Biggest highlights-

That intro was amazing. Love the slow build.

Performing part of the score for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

At 48, Trent has more energy than I do! Head Like a Hole