|concert reviews||cd reviews||interviews||features||ticket swap||music news|
Still kings of the alt
Nine Inch Nails - Live: Beside You In Time
Story by Andy ArgyrakisIndustrial rockers Nine Inch Nails have never risked irrelevance since debuting in the late 1980s, but the band's popularity has surged and steadied throughout the past two decades. However, Trent Reznor and company had an incredible run over the past two years since the release of the exceptional With Teeth (Interscope) and its subsequent marathon, cross continental tour. Between the sheer quantity of times the band hit each town, the lengthy list of sellouts and overwhelming fan approval, this period is arguably as visible as The Downward Spiral era, which originally catapulted NIN to an international platform.
Regardless of the barometers for success and its current ranking, the group is in fine form throughout this exhaustive concert offering from the 2006 North American winter tour, culling together the most beloved With Teeth tracks, along with a career spanning set list of key hits and album cuts. The project leads with the menacing "Love Is Not Enough," showcasing a head shaven, muscular Reznor and a sea of blinding spotlights that continue into technological overload throughout the entire program. "Terrible Lie" soon surges with eerie electronics and a strobe light attack, while "March of the Pigs" pummels with back breaking industrial overtones and bellowing screams.
Obvious points of captivation also include the groove oriented "Closer" (carried by an especially charismatic Reznor) and "Hurt" (which turns out to be incredibly poignant in the wake of Johnny Cash's passing). However, the mood turns back to brooding for the jarring "The Hand That Feeds" and the show stopping finale "Head Like a Hole," respectively serving as present and past examples of NIN's ability to weave a wide range of lush sonic textures with delightfully dark imagery.
In terms of extras, the disc isn't overloaded, but does contain an ample amount for fans to sink their teeth (no pun intended) into. For starters, five tunes from the band's summer 06 outing are added with a completely different light show and a slightly varied stage set up. Though "Somewhat Damaged," "Help Me I Am In Hell," "Non-Entity" and "Only" are all compelling in this context, "Closer" is especially explosive thanks to Reznor's downward climb from a lighting scaffold. Studio rehearsals of "The Collector," "Every Day Is Exactly The Same" and "Love Is Not Enough," along with music videos for "The Hand That Feeds" and "Only," not only help round out this segment, but reaffirm NIN's prized place within the current alternative rock community.
Return to Reviews
Return to Menu