I’d been wanting to see Nine Inch Nails for a few years, having been blown away by their debut ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ and superb follow-up ‘Downward Spiral’ albums – not to mention the Broken & Fixed EPs. Pretty Hate Machine was rarely off my record player, and they had very quicky become one of my favourite bands – something that stayed with me all the way through to today. So when they announced three consecutive London dates I brought tickets for them all – although events would conspire that I only saw them on two of those dates.
As luck (or unluck) would have it the Nine Inch Nails dates fell on the same week that we were supposed to be playtesting Wraith: The Oblivion for White Wolf. I was a big World of Darkness fan so the playtest was something we were very eager to do. Thankfully our Storyteller, Duncan, was running two intensive playtest groups over the course of the week, so our group met on the Sunday (22nd), Monday (23rd) and Wednesday (25th) playing through to 3-4am. The Tuesday and Thursday allowed me to go to see NIN and Friday getting out to the Electric Ballroom to go clubbing. Given that it looks like I had about 2-3 weeks around this time of not getting to bed until between 1-5am most nights and was still doing a 9.30-6pm day job I can only praise the vigours of youth as I’m pretty sure I’d struggle to do more than a day or two of that schedule these days!!!
Anyway, Tuesday 24th May was the first time I ever got to see Nine Inch Nails. We had tickets for upstairs at The Forum, due to tickets for downstairs selling out fast (although I had managed to get downstairs tickets for the other nights), but I wasn’t about to let that diminish the night – even if it meant no dancing in the mosh pit for me – and we managed to get a spot at the front of the balcony for the show.
Treponem Pal were the opening act, whom I didn’t rate more than medicore. PIG, whom I’d seen a couple of times before supporting Die Krupps and Judda, were really good but the stars of the show, unsurprisingly, were Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.
The energy of the set was so intense and they belted out hit after hit after hit, and did the whole ‘trash the instruments and stage’ at the end of the set. I was in awe. This was one of the best gigs I’d ever been too and I was so looking forward to repeating the experience a couple of days later 🙂