Nine Inch Nails

Lollapalooza--Grant Park--Chicago

August 03, 2008

BY JASON SONGE


It was night at the Bud Light stage. The backdrop was the lit Chicago skyline. I was in this for the rock, but it wasn't always what I got. I understand that Trent Reznor wanted to showcase some of his "Ghosts I-IV" instrumentals and create a peak-and-valley aspect for the show, but really, who's there for the instrumentals? Thankfully, the band played "Terrible Lie," "March of The Pigs," "Piggy," and of course, "Closer." That song is so much more enjoyable live than hearing it for the millionth time coming through car speakers.

Reznor littered favorites here and there to keep the crowd satiated, I assume, but this was not a show for nostalgists. Most of the material seemed to come from NIN's last three albums. Since I don't know these albums super well, I left the show after 1:15 minutes, with thirty minutes left in the set so I could get some food before the mass exodus filled every business in a thirty block radius. I got some good rock in, though. I was not very disappointed. I got the whole experience, that's for sure, and I gotta hand it to the band for being tight as an anus and to Reznor for being covered in sweat by the third song and for throwing mic stands around frequently(yeah, a real rock show!) and to the light designers. Man, the light show was spectacular. Besides Radiohead's show two days earlier, I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like it. Fog filled the stage, strobes were used heavily, and at one point, a string of lights that formed a screen that could show images came down in front of the band, which was perched up on a riser. How much did this cost to put on? Probably a lot, but it was worth it, because I went away feeling that not only was this band relevant but that maybe their best days aren't behind them. Reznor seems re-invigorated these days, and I'm excited to hear what's next.

Setlist:

1,000,000
Letting You
Discipline
March of the Pigs
The Frail
Closer
Gave Up
The Warning
Vessel
Ghosts 5
Ghosts 25
Ghosts 19
Ghosts
Piggy
The Greater Good
Wish
Terrible Lie
Survivalism
The Big Come Down
Only
The Hand that Feeds
Head like a Hole

Echoplex
Hurt
In this Twilight



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