On this date in history, Bankers Life Fieldhouse (which was Conseco Fieldhouse at the time) set the stage for an incredible pair of performances from Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle.
The year was 2000, and my son Luke and I joined a rabidly fierce crowd to witness the debut of Maynard James Keenan’s new band as the opener for the magnificent NIN.
The album Mer de Noms from A Perfect Circle was still a month away from release at the time of this concert. Consequently, we (the audience) hadn’t heard a single note of their music prior to the show. This probably dampened the reaction somewhat, but I found it to be fascinating to hear this fresh band obviously holding their own with such a major headliner. Of course, having Tool’s singer helped get them across. Maynard’s voice is a force of nature; add Billy Howerdel’s distinctive guitar sound and some great songs and it is a recipe for success.
A Perfect Circle – Judith Live (Pro-Shot)
The one familiar but totally inventive thing they did was to do a mashup of Ozzy’s Diary Of A Madman and The Cure’s Love Song. They somehow played the music of Love Song while Maynard sang the lyrics of Diary and then midway through the performance they flipped it and it was mesmerizing!
As good as they were, we were still more than ready for Trent Reznor and his current incarnation of NIN to take the stage. They did not disappoint! The entire first song, “Somewhat Damaged”, was performed behind a black curtain, but seemingly every strobe light in the universe was going ballistic throughout, resulting in this magnificent tension as we kept expecting the curtain to be pulled away. Immediately as the song ended, the curtain was removed and the band hit us with titanic force and never let up for the duration of their set.
Nine Inch Nails – 2000-04-20 – Indianapolis
I may be somewhat biased when it comes to Trent Reznor, because I believe he brings excellence to every facet of his career. Considering the reaction of the rest of the people in attendance that night, I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone in that belief!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic