Despite kids camping out in the rain on Manhattans Delancey Street, and a flurry of complaints online about the inefficiency of ticket sales, Nine Inch Nails first show of their Wave Goodbye tour on Saturday -- at the 500-capacity Bowery Ballroom -- was a fairly workmanlike affair.
Playing 27 songs in just over two hours, Trent Reznor (above) and crew jammed a tractor trailers worth of gear onto the relatively small Bowery stage, including several towers of strobes, and bludgeoned the fist-pumping faithful into gleeful submission. Highlights included a refreshingly chaotic thrash through early hip-hop-influenced track Down in It and a dramatic reading of Something I Can Never Have, with Justin Meldal-Johnsen on upright bass, as fans chanted along with every word. -- Charles Aaron
Halfway through Ruban Nielson’s explorative third LP, Multi-Love, the bipolar “Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty” fractures momentarily into reverberating shards, creaking like a bridge collapsing as a murky guitar yowls in the background. Coming so soon after a silky smooth, Steely Dan-referencing guitar solo courtesy of his equally musical father Chris Nielson, it’s a tonally… More »