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Issue 2 Contents


NIN & David Bowie 9/16/95 Great Woods

In case you missed the media barrage Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie are doing a mini-tour together. Lucky for we New Englanders they practiced in Hartford, and started the tour there complete with an Mtv media blitz.

NIN offers nothing new musically, while Bowie has a new album to hock. Lucky for us, we managed to score a couple of passes and got to see the show at Greatwoods, which closed out their summer season.

We weren't allowed backstage, probably because Kurt Loder was interviewing doing another installment of the Dave & Trent Show for "The Week in Rock." Bowie seems to be out for his credit as a godfather of alternative music.

Teaming up with NIN is so like an angry version of Neil Young and Pearl Jam's flannel love fest. Unfortunately for Bowie his album wasn't in the stores when we saw them, and the video had only been on Mtv consto-play for two days.

This left NIN is the position of being the band most people really came to see. Their popularity has soared since Woodstock, and Bob Dole picking on them probably just sells it more.

It is odd to see how far Trent has able to market his techno-nihilism. There were a few bondage boys about from the early days, but most ticket purchasing people were middle class American Heavy Metal fans. There were a few Ziggy Stardust wannabee's around, but most people came to scream "I wanna fuck you like an animal."


Not letting anybody down, even without his huge staging, Trent and the rest of the NIN players took the stage and let loose what is probably the loudest set since AC-DC fired of cannons and made people go deaf. Even with earplugs jammed in tight the sonic booms and syntho-loops made your body feel like it was vibrating apart.

Trent stalked the stage for "Terrible Lie," pacing around and lunging towards his microphone when it was time to sing. Head to toe in requisite black leather, half screaming, and obviously enraged, his message is clear. Underneath the obvious messages, the subtext is still murky, which makes Trent the interesting character that he is.

What most critics don't understand about NIN is the cleansing effect Trent's music seems to have. In concert it works particularly well. People get their aggressions out, then end up walking away, well, happier, almost. It's not the answer to societies woes, but NIN music can help you cope.

While it was hard to most inside the pavilion, most people did most in their rows, bashing back and forth between their friends. Pierced college kids got into it the most, as did the drunker of the metal heads, who did the watch-me-slam-my-girlfriend-dance.

Even though Trent said on Mtv that he was sick of doing the same songs night after night, I didn't notice any really out of the ordinary songs. Almost every song was recognizable . They did do a remixed version of "Closer", but people still chanted the animal fucking thing anyway.

The smoke and strobe lights really did work overtime the whole set, so it was hard to notice if the NIN players were really playing, or using tapes and synthesizers to make the music. The Phoenix reviewer claims in his review that since there was no noise when they smashed a guitar they must have faked alot of it, but who cares. If Trent played alone, with a big tape system, and a mini keyboard to orchestrate the thing, people would still pack the place.

After a spacy jam, complete with a movie (they had a projector set up at the soundboard), David Bowie joined NIN for four songs. They did "Scary Monsters", a Bowie tune, and finished trading vocals of Trent's "Reptile."

Bowie began his set with five of six tunes from his new album, "Outside." "Outside" is the story of "Art Detective", Nathan Adler, who is investigating an art murder somewhere in a future where murder on canvas, or as are, works for people's aesthetic sense.

There was a steady stream for the door. I don't think it was Bowie's fault, except he didn't do anything people could really connect with for a long time. I give him credit though, he can still sing, and he's still "suave," and his back up band could really play. The jolt from NIN's noise level was like switching from a huge stereo to an AM only 9volt portable cranked up in some shitty Ford. You could actually sit.

Eventually Bowie got around to some recognizable songs, including a cover of Nirvana's cover of his own "The Man Who Sold the World." Only those with the balls to stick it out and try listening to a different version of nihilistic rock got to see it. All the NIN-only people missed out on a suaver, more stylized version of NIN's music. Trent could be Bowie's angry fucking kid, and he came out looking just like that. He sells more records than dear old dad, but they get along well enough these days to share the stage together.