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So B throws out an email a few months ago and asks me if I was interested in seeing Nine Inch Nails and Janes Addiction. I said sure.

Both groups are interesting in the fact that I don’t love either, but I don’t dislike them either. While both have songs I really, really love — hell, I can remember where I was the first time I heard NIN’s “Head Like A Hole” — but NIN never really grew musically and Jane’s Addiction got out of the game after two or three CDs.

Yet $50 for both bands is a gimme, as I like enough songs in each catalog to easily justify the ticket price (which, due to a snafu that was the fault of StubHub, I ended up getting the ticket cheaper than face. Hi kudos to the cats at StubHub.com. I highly recommend them.). Plus, the concert was at Merriweather Post Pavilion, a venue I happen to really like. Throw in some sweet company, and, yeah, going is a no brainer.

I took off early the day of the concert to give me time to get home, change and get to the venue. This was Tuesday, the day that thunderstorms ripped across my area. Hardcore, damn near hurricane-like weather. The concert was to start at 7, and at 6 it was absolutely storming. Fortunately, God loves me more than most, and the brunt of the storm passed by 6:30. I rolled out of my house at 7 and got to the show by about 8.

After a little confusion, I met up with B and her friends. She had told me there were “stage left, by the bathrooms” and I spent 10 minutes looking for her. After another text message, I was told I was on the wrong stage left. Apparently, stage left is not the left side of the stage from my point of view, it’s from the performers. Go figure.

I had arrived about 20 minutes into NIN’s performance (and when the hell did Trent Reznor turn into Henry Rollins?? Christ he has beefed up), but I was lucky that I didn’t miss any songs that I really wanted to hear. While the rain had stopped, and the weather turned perfect, the crowd was, sadly, not into the show. There was so very little energy. Luckily, though, most NIN songs don’t require a ton of energy, so it was still quite enjoyable.

Oddly, while I don’t know quite as many songs of Jane’s Addiction as I do NIN, I completely enjoyed thier performance much more. Not only was the crowd warmed up, but Perry Farrell is a helluva showman. I was mildly concerned that they wouldn’t play “Jane Said”, as the concert was coming to a close and I still hadn’t heard it. Not worried, mind you, because I would have been surprised if they didn’t play it. They did, though, as the last song. And it was much better than I expected because it was damn near accoustic. I would love to get a high quality recording of it, becuase it had more emotion than what is on the CD.

Overall, I had a great time. Undoubtedly it was heightend by B and her friends. I know I’m a broken record, but times don’t mean shit if you aren’t with people to appreciate them with.

  • MyklGee

    Good times, Yea, Good times. The Wife and I got tix for Kings of Leon for our 8th anniversary. We never really do much but catch dinner. So, my question to you is were you that old guy at the concert ?

  • “I know I’m a broken record, but times don’t mean shit if you aren’t with people to appreciate them with.”

    Definitely.

    And I hear ya on the “stage left” directions. I used to be in Technical Theater in high school and can't tell you how many times I didn't know where the hell I was supposed to go.

  • Ace

    I guess if you're an actor, you know “stage left”? I know it from my days in school theater… Think “stage” left, as in, on the stage, vs. “house” or “audience” left. That might help.

    On a lighter note, I can still remember when I first heard “Head Like a Hole,” too!

  • Surprisingly, no!

    It was an older crowd for the most part. Pretty soon seeing NIN is going to be like our parents seeing Crosby, Stills and Nash. 🙁

  • Right! The audience is more important than those on stage. So the fancy pants terms should apply to us and us alone!

  • Yeah, in our group, I think only two people knew. I was just happy to find them.

  • Surprisingly no!

    It was an older crowd for the most part. Pretty soon seeing NIN is going to be like our parents seeing Crosby, Stills and Nash. 🙁

  • fnordboy

    When you say acoustic version of Jane Says, was it with more steel drums and bongo drums? If so there is a HQ version of that around from some release. They play it on XM alot.

    The last time I saw NIN was in '97 with Bowie and Prick. NIN sucked but Bowie and Prick were great. The time before that was in like 93 or 94 with NIN and Marilyn MAnson. THey were great then, but that is also the era of NIN I prefer (Broken, Fixed, some Downward Spiral, Pretty Hate Machine).

    Janes I never saw. And while I like most of their stuff, I never cared about not seeing them.

  • Yermom

    NIN “never grew musically”? I love it when people who aren't qualified to make statements like that make statements like that.

    I wasn't aware you had a degree in music. In what way didn't they grow? Trent's music is WAAAY different than it sounded on Pretty Hate Machine. So what standard you using there, fruitcake?

  • By “way different” do you mean “has barely changed”? Because, no, they haven't grown. I still like their music, but while you always know when you hear a NIN song, it's harder to tell which year it came out because it's all very similar. I understand the concept of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', but it would be nice if some risks were taken.

  • fnordboy

    I have to disagree with you on this completely. There are obvious changes throughout NINs career where you can pinpoint what era it is from. Pretty Hate Machine to Broken is alone such a huge leap musically. Fits perfectly well with their respective times and what was going on musically, but they are very, very different. From then on the changes are more subtle, but still obvious IMO.

    You sir are WRONG.

  • I think you two girls are getting the wrong impression. I don't hate NIN, by any means. But musically, no, the growth or diversity of music has not been that impressive to me over the years, and it was evident at that concert.

    SHUT YOUR COCKSUCKER.

  • fnordboy

    I know you don't hate them. I hate them more than you do, but you clearly need to get a diploma in music, fuck-o.

    ZOMG YOU SHUT YOUR COCKSUCKER!