21:10. Saturday, October 4. Darkness descended upon Santiago’s Movistar Arena. The pushing crowd, like cows being herded to an abattoir with eyes full of fear and anticipation, ominously roared as the intro "999,999" to the band’s latest album, The Slip, began to sound out, gritty and live. Welcome to Nine Inch Nails' powerful debut in Chile.
The band took the stage. Josh Freese hammered violently at the drums. The first guitar riffs of "1000000" sonically resonated from Justin Meldan-Johnson and Robin Finck, unifying with Alessandro Cortini’s galvanizing keyboard. The pugnacious voice of Trent Reznor emerged, as energized as if he wasn't one year older than he was when NIN began back in 1989. The electrifying, edgy, industrial coalescence commenced.
(itemId=6923 Photo by Rebecca Novell)
Exuberant fans could not hide their sincere excitement when the band played its anthems, "March Of The Pigs" and "Wish," euphoniously and intoxicatingly. Reznor even launched the microphone into the audience for a jubilant fan to sing the last words: "And everything is all right."
Reminiscent of The Fragile (NIN’s comeback album in the late '90s) came the industrial brutal "The Wretched" and the enrapturing "The Frail," which captivated the audience with a nostalgic aura.
The show was an emotional and political journey. The non-stop beat of "Closer" began violently, and the blunt and profane sexual content sounded out in the lyrics; the crowd noticeably became aroused. This contrasted with "Hurt," a very poignant and vulnerable song to Reznor that everyone can easily relate to, as lighters were raised and the arena sang with him, faces full of admiration.
(itemId=6926 Photo by Rebecca Novell)
Unnecessary hostility was created when "The Hand That Feeds" was accompanied by a backdrop of George W. Bush’s face and introduced with a stab from Reznor: "I would like to apologize for our country – it has appeared to have lost its mind. I would also like to apologize for the leader of our country – he is a f**king cunt!" Some faces were gleeful, others horrified.
Despite this, Nine Inch Nails played a fast, punchy, fluid and invigorating two-and-a-half hour set of songs both old and new, exhilarating and tenebrific. The visuals and light show were mind-blowing. Blending valiant colors with eerie stark movements elevated the whole experience to a level of nirvana.
The Chilean crowd was most certainly satisfied with this injection of the addictive band.
The wait was worth it.
05.March of the Pigs
19.The Big Come Down
20.31 Ghosts IV
22.The Hand That Feeds
23.Head Like a Hole
29.In This Twilight