Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nine Inch Nails Redux

Bruce Lefsetz saw Nine Inch Nails in Los Angeles. He wrote about it. He expressed himself better than I did, but then again he's the "First in Musical Analysis" and I'm just some dude. He also didn't spend as much time trying to describe the visuals, which probably helped. In any case, there's one section in particular that really struck me:

You’d think something as inside, as powerful and almost violent as Nine Inch Nails, would be a guy thing. But the ratio was at least 50/50. You should have seen the women WRITHING! As if possessed by a spirit. Each and every one was in a trance. Popping and locking, swiveling almost involuntarily.

I kept needing to get closer. There were no video screens. No giant images of the band so those in the upper deck could get a glimpse of the singer’s face.

But, suddenly, they did lower a hi-def screen. And the band installed itself in front of it. And as it played, stripped down, flame-like bubbles encased them on the screen. You almost weren’t sure whether they were BEHIND the screen. The images MERGED!

I needed to get closer.

That's pretty much how I felt: when everything really clicked, it was like I was possessed by a spirit. I was jumping up and down, yelling at the top of my voice, teetering on the edge of breaking through the social constraint that keeps me from jumping on random people who aren't interested in mosh pits, that keeps me from being a huge jackass. That's what Nine Inch Nails did; why that show ranks so high on my all-time list: they broke down my social controls, let me revert, for a few minutes, to an animalistic state. And then they blew my mind with pretty lights.

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