Saturday, June 6, 2009

NIN|JA 2009: Nine Inch Nails at the PNC

I was still ringing out my socks from the monsoon of the concert the night before... when I realized I had to start preparing myself. Today marks DAY ONE of the NIN|JA 2009 "Wave Goodbye" Tour. I am nervous... physically and emotionally. I am unprepared to close this rather large chapter of my musical life. I have been an avid fan and listener of Trent Reznor and his beautiful dark cathartic music known as Nine Inch Nails since I was the ripe age of 10. Ten. That's a little more than 16 years of commitment in my life to one man. One group. One sound. I have evolved both musically and as a person over the years... but anyone who knows me can tell you, that when I love something I love it 'til the bitter end, Nine Inch Nails is no exception. I have watched the band grow, adapt, and morph into the powerhouse it is today, and I am proud to have been there listening every step of the way.

The day begun with the pilgrimage to New Jersey. I won't bore you with the details of my day (though I didn't find it boring at all) I will instead get to the goods. The SHOW. We pulled into PNC around 7:30... unfortunately missing Street Sweeper Social Club. We parked in the boonies (I know what you're thinking- Isn't ALL of NJ the boonies?) and began our endless and exhausting walk. This walk is only worth mentioning because I was wearing a leopard print Lucille Ball dress (please PAUSE here fora moment, and give yourself the visual). I've a sneaking suspicion it was QUITE the thing to witness while one is driving on the Garden State Parkway. We saunter on in and pick up our Jane's Addiction Pre-Sale tickets- and successfully avoid the MASSIVE crowd waiting to get in. We B-Line it to the merch table where I rather successfully deplete my finances for the week. I'm getting anxious. Everything is taking too long. I want to get to our seats. My beloved sister and I finally climb the stairs and witness a MASSIVE lawn. All the way down the bottom of this little valley is the stage and seats. I check our tickets. We're all the way down there. We begin our trek... when the UNTHINKABLE happens. I hear the tell-tale sounds of "PINION" and realize in sheer HORROR- THE SHOW HAS BEGUN AND I'M NOT DOWN THERE! AH!"We begin to book it which is rather impossible for me. We sail through the throngs of screaming fans and work our way to our seats... it's not until I actually GET there that I realize how good our seats are. Then, it happens. The show begins and I have my mind blown and my FACE MELTED! Pinion leads straight into Wish, and then the FIRST of many shocking rare nails songs is performed... LAST! I never thought I would hear this live... I hear it, and I experience the first of MANY out of body experiences for the weekend.

I heard: Pinion, Wish, Last, Discipline, March of the Pigs, Reptile, Meet Your Master, Gave Up, La Mer, Non-Entity, The Way Out is Through, Mr.Self Destruct, 1,000,000, Echoplex, Survivalism, The Good Soldier, The Hand that Feeds, Head Like a Hole, and Hurt. I cannot express to you what it felt like to be there, that close, and hearing these songs. I was amazed at my own strength. I didn't cry once. That unto itself is a small miracle. Especially considering how near the man himself I was... unrequited love of a celebrity can be so painful, the yearning and the ache is palpable... but I dealt with it in stride and realized (finally?) that it's OK to love the ideal I've created- but that that ideal is NOT the man singing before me. He is beautiful, strong, and dark, or at least his music is for me. Ultimately, it's the music I've been in love with all these years, and Trent Reznor is simply the man who delivers it to me.

Every song was infectious and perfectly executed. Every picture I took was flawless and exciting. I couldn't help but revel in the choice I made of making Nine Inch Nails my favorite band of all time. Trent Reznor sets a standard that cannot be topped. The wall of sound and fury he creates is impossible to duplicate. I feel sorry for anyone who loves this music and hasn't seen it performed live.

I thought this was going to be a long and drawn out entry... but honestly, I don't have the words to express to you the mixture of pain and pleasure I am experiencing about this. This (and a few of the future entries making their way on here) is truly something you had to see for yourself. You just had to be there to get it. Even more difficult for you to imagine is my personal experience with this show. You will truly never know exactly how it made me feel... but that's okay. It's like my secret inward smile that I will take out and show myself whenever I turn blue.

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