Nine Inch Nails Return From Hiatus, Play Barclays Center
Getting married and having children does a lot of things to a man—it gives him perspective, teaches him patience, enlightens him on how to function with little to no sleep, and obviously compels him to return to the rock ‘n roll business with a vengeance. Trent Reznor decided that his band, Nine Inch Nails, needed to go on hiatus in February of 2009, but now he’s back and better than ever, this week’s show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn proved that much.
Since the Nine Inch Nails hiatus, Reznor got married, had two children, wrote a couple film scores (winning an Oscar for The Social Network), and went on tour with his wife (Mariqueen Maandig) and producing partner (Atticus Ross) with their side project How to Destroy Angels. If that wasn’t enough, he wrote Nine Inch Nails’ eighth studio album, Hesitation Marks, while planning an entire North American tour, which becomes a co-headlined Australian tour with Queens of the Stone Age in 2014. The man clearly doesn’t understand the word “vacation.”
This past Monday, Nine Inch Nails had their tenth show of the “Tension Tour” at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. To say the concert was innovative, breathtaking and raw is an understatement. NIN’s concerts have always been hailed as a “sight to see,” but this time Reznor went above and beyond. The band played for two hours, only stopping once so they could change into non-sweat-drenched clothing. NIN touched every single studio “Halo” from the past twenty-four years, satiating the most hardcore fans, while managing to spellbind with performances of new material.
“Find My Way,” “Disappointed,” and “Satellite” stole the show with extravagant staging and intricate light shows. Reznor employed the vocal stylings of two on-stage back-up singers, who added a new dimension to the rock show. The back-up singers’ presence was venerated after one singer dropped jaws with a vocal solo over an instrumental section. Scattered throughout, Nine Inch Nails played through the classics, as Reznor kept them all moving from song to song without even a moment to grab a drink of water.
At one point, “Somewhat Damaged,” “Wish,” “The Hand That Feeds” and “Head Like a Hole” were played back-to-back. The crowd didn’t even know how to top their own energy from the previous song. While taking a very, very small moment mid-encore to thank the crowd and show gratitude to his fans, Reznor caught himself saying, “Well, before we get too positive, let’s go.” They closed with “Hurt.” As the song came to its epic close, NIN vanished from the stage amidst a cacophony of feedback and blinding lights.
To my left, a mosh pit full of young fans waited for the release of the chorus, to my right, a man who looked almost as if he was mid-prayer, in front of me, a couple mouthing every lyric perfectly in time with Reznor, and behind me, at least 12,000 people mesmerized by a twenty-five year old industrial metal band. Trent Reznor didn’t “come back haunted,” the man got married, had a kid, and won an Oscar… give him a break. Nine Inch Nails, however, is back, and haunted as hell.
Article by Mark Ayesh