Monday, July 31, 2017

Nine Inch Nails at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Mercer, Pennsylvania. He began playing the piano at the age of 12 and later learned to play the tenor saxophone and tuba. At school, he was a member of both the jazz and marching band, and out of school played in a local rock band, Option 30. As a young adult, Reznor moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and played in the Urge, a cover band. In 1985, he played keyboards in the Innocent and in 1986 in Exotic Birds. He also worked as an assistant engineer and janitor at a recording studio, where he secured permission to record demos during unused studio time. Unable to find a band that could articulate his songs, he played all the instruments except drums. This became the first work under his pseudonym, Nine Inch Nails, in 1988. Nine Inch Nails has since won two Grammy awards and sold over 20 million units worldwide, with 10 million sales in the United States alone before going on hiatus from 2009 to 2013. In 2016, keyboardist Atticus Ross became Trent's first permanent associate in Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails recorded eight albums and then released Add Violence, the second of a trilogy of EPs, on July 21, 2017. Nine Inch Nails is based currently in Los Angeles, California.

The morning after headlining the third night of the Panorama Music Festival, Nine Inch Nails announced a concert at the 1,500-capacity Webster Hall. Tickets were sold through the band's fan club. As the concert began, fog machines started and blue lights bathed the stage and audience. Keyboardist Atticus Ross and guitarist Robin Finck took their positions and began to play the opening chords to The Fragile's "Somewhat Damaged" for the first time on this tour. Thick clouds of fog partially obscured the stage, and Reznor suddenly appeared at his microphone, joined by keyboardist Alessandro Cortini and drummer Ilan Rubin. This song fed to The Slip's "1,000,000," another first for the tour; the 19-song set later also would include another tour debut, "Sanctified," and the first-ever performance of "She's Gone Away," but lacked the David Bowie cover, "I Can't Give Everything Away," and "Hurt," both of which were performed the night before. Fans heard songs from most of the albums, starting with the more propulsive songs and leading into the slow burn of the more atmospheric, soundtrack-style songs. Most of the set leaned on the heavier side, and Reznor sang with fire and rage, often amplified by Finck's searing guitar leads. Hedging on controlled dynamics, altered tempos and widespread, looming sonic attacks, the band was tight and the arrangements were imaginative. This was New York's best concert of 2017.

Visit Nine Inch Nails at

  1. Somewhat Damaged
  2. 1,000,000
  3. March of the Pigs
  4. Piggy
  5. The Frail
  6. The Wretched
  7. Sanctified (with "Sunspots" interpolation)
  8. Closer (with "The Only Time" interpolation)
  9. Less Than
  10. Survivalism
  11. Burn
  12. Gave Up
  13. She's Gone Away
  14. The Lovers
  15. Reptile
  16. The Loop Closes (How to Destroy Angels cover)
  17. The Great Destroyer
  18. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
  19. Wish
  20. Head Like a Hole