On this date in history, 1/21/1995, I saw Nine Inch Nails for the second time in just 4 months. This one was at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis, a venue primarily used as a hockey arena.
Instead of the chill of winter and the ice of the sport played on skates, this night featured the incinerating heat of Trent Reznor’s industrial juggernaut at the height of their powers. Touring on the strength of their masterpiece, 1994’s The Downward Spiral, Reznor led his live band through a dizzying set of shifting moods, both visual and visceral.
The opening act was called Pop Will Eat Itself and I kind of remember wishing they would have.
Next up was the ever entertaining Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, perfectly suited to open for NIN.
Nine Inch Nails was supreme in every aspect that night. The light show was staggering, the sound was pulverizing and the band was ferociously focused. Trent made a speech after the first encore and told us he was actually enjoying the performance so much that he decided to double up on the encores, so they wound up playing my all time favorite song of theirs, “Something I Can Never Have.” Other stellar songs included “Wish”, “Closer” (a capacity crowd singing “I want to fuck you like an animal” was definitely memorable), and “Hurt”, complete with some exceptional back screen projection work that was hauntingly intense.
One of the bands that made the ’90’s a special time for music, in my humble opinion.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”
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