>NY, NIN, WTF and everything else

>Heh heh… Ok, so I was in New York last week, the first time in over two years, and now that I’m back in the confines of hell, I can fully appreciate what a fucking wonderful time I had. I know it took a stupid rock show to go back to this wonderful city, but hey, at least I went back. I’m not a bad person, I haven’t neglected anyone… I’m just too busy these days. But yes, I had the fucking time of my life, shitty weather and all. Hey, did I tell you I got the swine flu from walking in the rain? Yup, I feel like shit right now, but it was fucking worth it. I bet everyone wants to read what an amazing time I had, right? Well, right now I’m not in a particularly telling mood so I won’t.

Oh fuck it, I’ll tell.

Thursday, June 4th
Trip starts. Shopping spree starts at the Duty Free shop, where I spend about $30 on chai tea and chocolate. Plane that’s supposed to leave at 6:30 PM ends up leaving at 7:00. Dude sitting next to me cannot stop staring at my iPod, and I can hardly control the desire to punch him in the gut.

I arrive in Bogota about two hours later, and am deeply amazed at the airport’s sheer ugliness.

Friday, June 5th
I arrive at JFK airport at 5:30 AM. The people at Customs ask me all sorts of shit, and I can’t help wondering how bad I must look that they’re taking me for a terrorist. I get picked up and as soon as I exit the terminal, I encounter the drizzle that will not abandon me at all today. Hey, drizzle. After a long drive, I get home, and exactly three minutes later, I leave for IHOP to get some nourishment, but since I don’t eat, I just order mozzarella sticks. Long walk starts in Harlem (120th St.) at about 3:30 PM down Park Avenue and ends on 32nd St. and Broadway. Three umbrellas malfunction, and in the end, I give up on my quest to find a good one and get wet. Then dry up in Forever 21. Then get wet again. Then get dried up again on the train. I arrive home at 11 PM, but get immediately dragged to a house party, where I get completely trashed on Coors and Bacardi shots — seriously, what is it with people and drinking games? I never see the exact point of them. Then again, that’s a gringo thing and I’m exotic.

Saturday, June 6th
After passing out at God knows what time, I wake up at 8 with no recollection of any events occurred after 1 AM. I visit family, and am forced to eat as much as I’m served (trust me, a LOT) because apparently, I look like I just got back from Africa. Shopping continues that afternoon at a mall, and I find the meaning of love in a wonderful pair of skinny jeans from Pacific Sun… and get reacquainted with an old lover: Starbucks. I get home and chill for an hour, until I am taken back outside to Applebee’s, because I just haven’t been fed enough.

Sunday, June 7th
On Long Island. Friend and I attend the horrible, heinous fashion crime that is the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade, and I get a tan from being out in the sun for one hour. Get back home to change into my super spectacular rock outfit…

… and get driven to the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach (!!!), where none other than Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction happen to be playing. Huh, what a coincidence.

(more on that later)

Me and bro Bryan hang out until the show starts.

Day ends with Taco Bell at midnight, and I don’t regret it.

Monday, June 8th
Last official day in New York. Another long journey that starts early on 32nd St. and finishes on Lafayette in Chinatown. The last of my money is spent on chocolate, Charlotte Russe and the MTA.

I overdose on Cherry Coke Zero and regret both wearing a sweater and scarf that day, and not wearing anything under the sweater. Result: I sweat like a MOTHERFUCKING PIG!!! Buy muffins that get squashed under the pile of chocolate, and take in the musky essence of New York and its dirty, crowded streets one last time. Get home to find blisters on my feet and feel a horrible backache that reminds me of how my grandma must feel on a regular basis. As I am preparing to go to bed, I get picked up and taken to Checkers for more fast food galore, and then to the movies to see the worst film in the history of the world, and I mean worse than White Chicks: The Hangover. Movie over, I’m back home at midnight, and start stuffing my shit into my suitcase and sitting on it so I can close it packing. Finally pass out at 1:30, after a long, relaxing bath.

Tuesday, June 10th
Wake up at 4 AM and find drizzle back around saying goodbye, but this time, thanks to Totes, I HAVE A FUCKING UMBRELLA, SUCKERS! I check in, blah blah blah, and board the plane at 8 and I immediately pass out on my seat. Plane remains unmoving for hours, though I don’t notice it as I’m fucking out of it. I wake up to the smell of gasoline and find out the dumbass pilot is refueling with us still inside the aircraft. Plane finally leaves with a four-hour delay, and arrives in Bogota late enough for me to miss the connecting flight. I, along with some other unfortunate bastards, am forced to remain in the fugly Bogota airport for six hours.

iPod battery is in agony and I see the end nearer by the minute. In order to remain sane, I make the rushed decision to check out my luggage so I can take out the iPod charger, and check it back in. People at baggage claim go through hell and beyond to help me, but succeed in the end. iPod charges normally and my world is stable again.

Flight is delayed with a half hour again, and when I finally board, I encounter some belligerant drunk seated next to where I go. Exhausted, angry, hungry and out of patience at the time, I cannot help calling him out and telling him to SHUT THE FUCK UP, please! Get home past twelve, and hit the sack, hoping to never ever wake up.

… And that was my trip.

Oh right, the show.

This is how it went: FUCKING BRILLIANT!!!

Street Sweeper Social Club
Very energetic, excellent opening act. Too bad most people missed them.

Now, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy their set, but the fuck I did. Tom Morello’s guitar playing skills are SICK! Their set was short but hard! Their cover of Paper Planes was amazing! Definitely enjoyed watching them.

Nine Inch Nails
Well, they were incredible. Nine Inch Nails is an undeniable monster live, and every song they played was done to perfection. I froze myself, yes, but I did have lots and lots of fun. However, I don’t know why I was left wanting more. Maybe I was looking forward to seeing a different setlist, or maybe I was expecting a longer set. I don’t know, I was satisfied, but it could have been so much better. I was surprised at how terribly calm the audience was. There was no pit, no assaults, no monkey business — only pure rock & roll. That was kind of good. Now, what wasn’t so good was Trent’s demeanor onstage. For a man who usually engages in interaction with the audience, or gives a small speech at the least, his behavior that day was not normal. He just introduced the band, said ‘thank you’ a couple times and played the show. His dryness was sort of a turn-off, but whatever. Oh, his voice was flawless, he could carry the notes, do all the screams and didn’t fuck up any song. Good for you, Trent. Still, the highlight of the show for me: Robin smashing that guitar. Fuck yeah.
Overall, I enjoyed the show a lot. A LOT.

This is the setlist I got:

(from EchoingTheSound.org)

Wantagh, NY
Nikon at Jones Beach Music Theater

The Wretched
Banged And Blown Through

Somewhat Damaged
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
The Frail
I’m Afraid of Americans
The Becoming
Gave Up
The Fragile
I Do Not Want This
The Downward Spiral
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

I arrived at the venue just as they were soundchecking The Wretched, so I could hear it all from outside. I was surprised to hear them do Saul Williams’ Banged and Blown Through, though. I remember thinking… What? Is that…? For some reason I thought it was Ladytron at first. Yeah, I’m dumb. But yeah, nice!

Now, I ADORED Somewhat Damaged as the opening song! I wish they’d played more from The Fragile, but this, The Frail and the title track did it for me. I totally squealed as I heard the opening bars, and had a complete fangirl moment that went kind of like: OMGWTFBBQSOMEWTAHFUCKINGDAMAGEDHOLYSHITTT!!! Wow… That was the most awesome opening ever.

My second fangirl moment came when Trent started playing The Frail. I have so many memories involving that song, some not as good as others, so watching the audience go into a complete halt and revel in the fragile notes nearly brought me to tears. The Frail was such a wonderful song.

Too bad it didn’t end in The Wretched, but rather in Metal. This is when I started to dislike the setlist. I’m not huge about this song, I admit it, so I was kind of bummed that I got it. I mean, I do like the NIN version ten million times better than the Gary Numan original, but still, it’s about seven minutes of an okay song, which could have been two amazing songs, or one fucking amazing one like Eraser or Reptile. I got kind of bored here. I thought I’d still be bored when I heard the next song, but weirdly, I’m Afraid of Americans, which I’m also not a huge fan of, was a cool, sexy experience. Yeah, sexy.

What followed was probably the best part of the whole set: pure Nine Inch Nails power with The Becoming and Burn. The former is one of my favorite songs from The Downward Spiral, and I sure as hell enjoyed it. Then Burn brought out the animal in me. Rawr. There was this lady and her husband next to me and we all went batshit when Burn started, screaming and tossing around and pretending we were in the pit, lol. Haha, thank goodness no one was paying enough attention to me and my moronic antics. BURN!

The raucous came to a climax with The Fragile, which was particularly beautiful. My second favorite song from my favorite album, and one of the songs I looked forward to that night, it was raw and emotional, every bit as touching as the studio version. It was so nice to see it played in its original form, and not the Still version played during the Performance ’07 tour.

After a mindblowing rendition of an odd choice for a live song, The Downward Spiral, it was the turn of all the live staples. Songs like Wish, Survivalism, The Hand that Feeds, Head Like a Hole and Hurt were as flawless as always. They also played Echoplex after Survivalism, and it was okay, but I wish they’d played 1.000.000 instead. That song DESTROYS live!

Finally, the show ended with Hurt. At first I thought they wouldn’t play it, as the band retreated after HLAH and the stage went completely dark, but it took them a few minutes to start this epic closer. You just can’t have a NIN show without Hurt. I mean, it’s not possible. They already left out Closer on this tour, and quite rightfully so, but Hurt? Nope, can’t do without it. However, it could possibly be replaced by a similarly, yet not equally emotional tune like Home, Right Where It Belongs or In This Twilight. Only then I would forgive the absence of Hurt.

Jane’s Addiction
Wow… I mean, seriously. Hell… wow. I certainly didn’t expect them to be that good live. I wasn’t planning on staying for them at first, but once I got there I decided it’d be cool to see them as well, and goddammit, it was beautiful. The stage looked really cool, much better than the NIN one. Perry Farrell is such a wonderful showman with great command of his audience. Sure, his voice wasn’t top-notch, but he made up for it with his charm and humor. Starting with the epic Three Days, a fierce eleven-minute guitar track, everyone in the band showed exactly why they were one of the best alt-rock bands of the nineties.

(sorry, this is the only half decent Jane’s pic I took before the camera died).

Everyone in the band knew exactly what they were doing. Navarro’s guitar playing was so riveting it gave me goosebumps, and Eric Avery’s bass playing was simply out of this world, most clearly on display on Mountain Song, my favorite Jane’s song. The band played old favorites such as Been Caught Stealing, Pigs in Zen, Had a Dad, Stop!, etc., new live favorite Whores, and many other classics in the JA catalog. It’s such a shame I couldn’t see their whole set, thought now checking out their setlist, I realize I didn’t miss all that much. I left as they were playing Stop!, and that was the second-to-last song, so basically, I only missed Jane Says, which ain’t that bad. Still, I left the venue in absolute love with them. Yeah… wow.

And that was my shitty concert review. I will miss NIN, since this was the Wave Goodbye tour and now they’re going on a hiatus or whatever, but mostly, I will miss looking forward to seeing NIN in NY. It certainly gave me a nice thought to wake up to every day. Now I have some serious unpacking to do. Fuck. So ok, I’m off. Work again tomorrow, Saturday, cause I have nothing better to do anymore.

Now playing: Atari Teenage Riot – Speed
via FoxyTunes


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