Reznor, Nine Inch Nails show dark side at Wachovia Arena
By Alexander Choman for The Citizen's Voice on November 7, 2005
Like FX network's Nip/Tuck and the show's famous opening line, someone should ask Reznor, "Now, what is it you don't like about yourself?" Except we'd likely be listening to the answer all evening long. And in fact, we were.
Nine Inch Nails is the brainchild of Pennsylvania native Trent Reznor. Reznor has the whip-smart intelligence of Henry Rollins combined with the sexy-mysterious appeal of Jim Morrison.
For all intent and purposes, Reznor is the one-man, heavy-industrial hate machine known as Nine Inch Nails. The western Pennsylvania-born musician produces an aggressive electronic-based rock that exposes his deepest self-loathing and doubt.
Nine Inch Nails' set at Wachovia Arena was an onslaught of the sound Reznor has made accessible, full of crunchy guitar work, pulsating rhythms and Goth-burdened vocal assaults.
Reznor is an iconic prince of darkness deemed genius by acclamation. Most of Reznor's tunes have searing angst at their core, surrounded by machine-gun sounding guitar licks and funky synthesizer fills. It is augmented by thumping bass lines and metronomically repetitive drum beats.
Speaking of the band, the ever-changing live line-up of NIN presently features Aaron North (guitar), Jeordie White (bass guitar), Alessandro Cortini, (synthesizer) and Alex Carapetis (drums).
The concert is a journey through the mind of Reznor. The ride should not only come with instructions, but also advice: Caution: Strap yourself in and hang on for the ride of your life!
Reznor was in excellent vocal form Sunday evening. Songs like "The Wretched" were immersed in that dark, ambient NIN feel while "Closer" and "Terrible Life" featured the angst-laden singer in full stride.
The Downward Spiral's "March Of The Pigs" and With Teeth's "Love Is Not Enough" were superb amidst the organized confusion on stage swirling about Reznor.
Reznor can deny the comparisons with Door's frontman Morrison all that he wants. Tight leather pants, throwing equipment around the stage and snarling all mirrored Morrison. Even the way he wraps his hand around the front of the microphone and cradles it flashes back to "Absolutely Live."
NIN's light show is a spectacular barrage of blindingly bright rays and interlocking beams with oscillating waves transforming the band into silhouettes through much of the night.
Based on this band's reputation and ability to fill arenas throughout North America, this was a significant show to have at Wachovia Arena.