I started this blog entry up while live in the concert on my Palm Treo. Thank goodness for the Outlook calendar. Anyway, I decided to list all the songs from the set list as he played them – it sort of tests my knowledge of NIN songs, and with three new albums I haven’t heard him play live, it would definitely be a challenge. So, here we go.
March Of The Pigs
1 Ghosts I
6 Ghosts I
19 Ghosts III
The Greater Good
The Big Come Down
31 Ghosts IV
Down In It
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole
The Good Soldier
In This Twilight
Made a few mistakes when comparing to a set list posted on 9inchnails.com. I couldn’t remember the names of Head Down, Vessel, The Greater Good, and The Good Soldier. I recognized the first Ghosts track he played, but couldn’t number the next three as precisely; I knew that 6 Ghosts I was from Ghosts I, but that was all I could recall. So, all in all, I did fair with 24/31 correct (that’s 77%), but my memory of Year Zero and Ghosts I-IV were the weak spots, and I didn’t give them multiple listens like the albums before that. I guess they just didn’t stick as well? Hmm. I remembered most of The Slip, but that’s only because I recently listened to it.
A couple of fun notes, however – he tricked us by making us think he was going to play The Wretched right after The Frail, but it became Closer instead, which was pretty cool. They used a lot of odd instruments like a xylophone and an upright bass for the first three Ghosts tracks, and they used the same instruments for Piggy – this version is being labeled as Piggy (Deconstructed) on forums and blogs. Pinion only played for a couple loops since they integrated it into the outro for The Greater Good. Survivalism employed six live camera feeds throughout MTS Centre and within the concert itself, all fed into faux security monitors on the LCD screen behind him. For the encore, a digital tracking pad appeared on the LCD screen, and Trent came out, pressing the “buttons” on the pad to start a custom drum track. After a while of fiddling with the pad, the drum track eventually morphed into Echoplex. After God Given, he stopped the concert and introduced his band, as well as gave thanks to his stage crew and us – his fans. He also made a humorous comment about Canadians smoking a lot of pot, because he was able to smell it on stage. When they played The Good Soldier, he forgot the words to the intro verse. “Ah ah ah ah ah,” he sang until he regained his composure. That was definitely the highlight of the concert! At the end of In This Twilight, each member of the band stopped playing their instruments and walked off the stage until Trent was the last one left, playing keyboards. He was playing a tune from another one of his songs, the tune and name of which escaped my memory. At the concert, I seemed convinced that it was from Zero-Sum, but when I listened to it afterwards, it didn’t seem to ring a bell. Nobody else seemed to make the same observation online, so maybe I will never figure out which tune it was.
All in all, the concert was awesome, with the light show and the drop-down LCD screens. Unfortunately, the set list wasn’t up my alley, as he played way too much content from Year Zero and The Slip, while he only borrowed two tracks each from The Fragile and With Teeth. Even Broken beat that out with three tracks played. Also, of all the tracks in Year Zero, he didn’t play Capital G or Meet Your Master, which are better tracks than Vessel or The Greater Good. In terms of the set list, I preferred the Kool Haus (Toronto) show from two years ago.
The show started shortly after 19:00 when Crystal Castles took the stage. They were not too bad, better than the crap Dresden Dolls who opened in the aforementioned Toronto show. They sounded like a cross between ’80’s synth pop and 8-bit video game music, though I could do without lead vocalist Alice’s weird screaming. They only did four or five tracks, and it took NIN until just a bit after 20:00 to take the stage. The arena lights came up at approximately 23:00. Since Trent doesn’t like to talk a lot during the concert, he managed to squeeze 31 tracks into a three hour timeframe. At roughly $80 a ticket, this concert was the best bang for your buck. I highly recommend it for anybody who wants to catch the later shows in other venues.
EDIT: Flickr user aqua_swing posted quality pictures of the concert. Note to self – buy a very thin point and shoot camera for concerts. Be amazed after the jump. I want to be amazed.