Nine Inch Nails - SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Tue 20 May 2014
A perfect symbiosis of technology, sound and visuals from Trent Reznor's industrial/electronica project
Nine Inch Nails exist in a world of shadows, the vast Hydro auditorium plunged into darkness, Trent Reznor and co swimming into view amongst the inky black. The deceptively simplistic set pulsing muted primary colours as they launch into the stripped down electronica of 'Me, I'm Not.'
As the night progresses the lighting and effects reveal how complex they are. A perfect symbiosis of technology, sound and visuals. The screens creating rippling three dimensional imagery while the lighting rig descends and rotates. A barrage of searing blue and red phosphorescence burning into the back of your brain during the pummelling assault of 'Gave Up'. It's a brutal shock to the system, hypnotic in its strobbing intensity.
The current touring line-up prove their power and versatility regularly switching instruments. Reznor himself sometimes stalking the stage unencumbered at others adding synths or strapping on a guitar. Robin Finck (Guns N' Roses) is a truly phenomenal guitarist on his third tour of duty with NIN; Alessandro Cortini focusses on the electronics while Ilan Rubin’s (Angles & Airwaves/Paramore) plays bass, keys or pounds at the drum kit positioned behind the opaque backdrop.
'Closer' is perhaps the most honest track about lust and desire ever written, a vicious, dirty antithesis of syrupy sentimentality. And that's why NIN's fans are so devoted, they revel in the naked emotion as Reznor lyrically strips himself raw, baring the darks and depths of the human soul. 'The Great Destroyer' ends with a squealing, chirruping electronic section accompanied by flashing subliminal images of politicians, flags and symbols. The brooding instrumental intensity of 'Eraser' is perfectly complimented by the thrash guitar riffs of 'Wish' and another strobe onslaught. The main set judders to a close with growling dancefloor filler 'Bite the Hands that Feeds' followed by the massive 'Head Like a Hole'. Fittingly it all ends with the achingly fragile 'Hurt' a hugely emotional group catharsis, purging the souls of all gathered before them.
'Me, I'm Not'
'Copy of A'
'March of the Pigs'
'Find My Way'
'Came Back Haunted'
'The Great Destroyer'
'The Hand That Feeds'
'Head Like a Hole'
'The Day the World Went Away'