Nine Inch Nails hit Hub crowd right on head

By Sarah Rodman for Boston Herald on November 9, 2005

Trent Reznor may be clean and sober now but that doesn’t mean he’s content.
    Five songs into what was shaping up to be a bang-up Nine Inch Nails show at the TD Banknorth Garden last night, Mr. Crankypants made a welcome appearance. Reznor declared the night a “historic event.” The occasion? “The last (bleeping) time I will ever play in an arena with seats on the floor.” He apologized to the chair-encumbered, saying “It’s my fault I didn’t check the contract when I booked this (bleeping) (bleep-bleep).”
    Elder members of the Nine Inch Nation may remember that over a decade ago he did the same thing at the old, old Boston Garden and some fans responded by tearing the offending seats out.
    This time around everyone remained orderly and the Goths still managed to get their cardio, shimmying in their designated spots to a crystalline hour-and-fifty-minute blast of rage, pain, death and yearning set to a beat agreeable to both headbangers and rump shakers.
    If the seating arrangements fueled his mood than all the better because Reznor – and his quartet of touring Nails – threw themselves into the music with ferocity and soulfulness on a stark stage covered in jagged LED video screens that looked like demonic stalactites and stalagmites and hovering lighting fixtures that perfectly matched the dank industrial disco mood.
    A barrage of images – contrasting war and consumer culture, conformity and death – played during a four-song midset to mixed results with some songs like the stark “Right Where You Belong” scoring with Reznor’s underrated croon and “Beside You in Time” coming off droney and repetitive.

Nine Inch Nails, with Queens of the Stone Age and Death from Above 1979, at the TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, last night.

View the NIN Hotline article index