Suffering bastards

Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus at the Tweeter Center
By VICKI G. SIOLOS  |  June 27, 2006

Nine Inch Nails
with Bauhaus and Peaches
June 23 at the Tweeter Center, Mansfield

TRENT REZNOR: The eye of the hurricane.
Departure time for last night’s NIN show, 3:15 pm. Arrival time, 5:10. If you tried to get anywhere on I-93 yesterday, you know what I’m talking about. For most commuters, the highway mayhem probably meant a cold dinner with the missus. But yesterday afternoon it also meant that I, like you, missed the once-in-a-gothtime experience of seeing Trent Reznor and Peter Murphy performing a mid-afternoon acoustic set in the bowels of the Tweeter Center to an audience of radio contest winners. Sigh.

It was odd enough that Bauhaus, the godfathers of goth themselves, performed while the sun was still out. Their hour-long set functioned as the evening’s compulsory history lesson, reminding a new generation of Nails devotees that there was darkness before Pretty Hate Machine. But while Murphy still has the stage presence to command an audience, their set was stuck in the past, evoking a nostalgia for dank London alleyways.

NIN’s audience now spans demographics and subcultures: their fans include everyone from tech-metal geeks Dillinger Escape Plan, who last week released a cover of "Wish," to Taking Back Sunday’s Matt Rubano, who called the most recent NIN tour "one of the best concerts I’ve seen in my life." Returning to Boston in support of the year-old With Teeth, Reznor and his current line-up were typically grand. There was less focus this time around on the newer material: only two Teeth songs made the set list (see below), with an emphasis instead on rarities and hits. "Closer" capped a mid-set climax, amid a massive stage production: banks of lights and laser beams backgrounded and foregrounded projected images of water, blood, and movement. In Bauhaus, Peter Murphy is the focal point: in NIN, Trent’s merely the eye of a multimedia hurricane. Sweat-soaked, water-drenched, Reznor made his performance a physical effort, a metaphor for suffering and overcoming -- echoing, in units of flesh and calories, his own struggles with alcoholism and loss.

Nine Inch Nails setlist:

Something Damaged
You Know What You Are?
Terrible Lie
March Of The Pigs
Something I Can Never Have
Gave Up
Help Me I Am In Hell
La Mer
In The Void
The Big Come Down
Dead Souls
Down In It
Head Like A Hole

Related: Nine-inch-nailed, Mega-deluxe edition, The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 34, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Peter Murphy,  More more >
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