Chicago – Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave – 6pm Tonight. Live Q&A Event with Nine Inch Nails.

Details below.

Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Jawbreaker, M.I.A., Wu-Tang Clan, New Order, and many more to play Chicago festival

Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, and a reunion of seminal punk band Jawbreaker top this year’s bill. Other notable acts include M.I.A., Wu-Tang Clan, New Order, Prophets of Rage, Paramore, Beastie Boys’ Mike D (spinning a DJ set), and TV on the Radio.

Among the other confirmed acts: Ministry, Death From Above 1979, Dinosaur Jr., Built to Spill, Peaches, Action Bronson, Vic Mensa, Hot Water Music, Liars, Shabazz Palaces, Gogol Bordello, the Mike Patton-led Dead Cross, The Cribs, Beach Slang, FIDLAR, The Hotelier, and The Orwells.

Also of note is the inclusion of Bad Brains, which marks the band’s first announced performance since it was revealed that frontman HR needed brain surgery.

As always, Riot Fest will wax nostalgic with 90’s and early aughts-era punk, ska, and emo band like New Found Glory, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Lawrence Arms, The Menzingers, Buzzcocks, Fishbone, and The Story So Far.

There are 25 acts still to be announced in May. Plus, on Thursday, April 20th, organizers will reveal which select artists will be performing their seminal albums in full.

General admission and VIP passes go on sale today at Noon CST through the festival’s website.

Nine Inch Nails – Less Than

Live Q & A With Nine Inch Nails Tonight!

On the seventh track of industrial rock pioneers Nine Inch Nails’ album Year Zero, there’s a despondent yet dance-y track called ‘Capital G’, which opens with the lyrics, “I pushed a button and elected him to office and a/He pushed a button and it dropped a bomb.”
And just like that the project’s founder and mainman Trent Reznor made a centrepiece to one of American music’s most relevant, prophetic concept albums to date. Released on 17 April 2007, the meticulously crafted, sonically insane Year Zero completed a decade last month and remains ever-so important a listen.

The dystopian future shown in the year 2022 was created by Reznor as the main concept for Year Zero, something that was born out of the George W Bush presidency (which many fans pointed out was the subject of ‘Capital G’) in some ways. Reznor noted in a preface to the album, “If you imagine a world where greed and power continue to run their likely course, you’ll have an idea of the backdrop. The world has reached the breaking point — politically, spiritually and ecologically.”
The 16-track album arrived two years after With Teeth, which was widely regarded as the NIN comeback album. While With Teeth had songs like ‘Every Day Is Exactly The Same’ and ‘The Hand That Feeds’ that radio stations readily threw into heavy rotation, you could tell that Year Zero was one of his most thought-out, intricately promoted albums.

Reznor and his team, which included Rob Sheridan, created an alternate reality game that tied in with the music of Year Zero, sending fans on a treasure hunt of sorts with cryptic messages hidden on websites, phone numbers, lithographs and stashed away USB drives at venues on tour. They all linked to some music or the other, and there were codes and hints aplenty on the album itself, leading (attentive and nerdy) listeners into a world that includes organisations, a church, pharmaceutical conglomerates and a lot more to wrap one’s head around.
Teaming up with 42 Entertainment, who created an alternate reality game to preface the release of the hotly anticipated Halo 2 video game, Reznor intended this Year Zero universe to be anything but a marketing move to promote the music. There’s obvious influence from the earliest creators of dystopian fiction – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – especially in the use of institutions such as the “Bureau of Morality” and “First Evangelical Churhc of Plano” in Year 0, named to indicate that America has been reborn. The only people fighting the powers that be are the “Solutions Backwards Initiative”, who find a way to send information back in time.

Presumably a vehicle and a soundtrack to that bleak future is NIN’s elastic beats, spectral synth, whirring noises and so much more littered, taped and stuck together on Year Zero, which barely has a dull moment. It’s robotic, but it’s angry – a juxtaposition that only Reznor knows how to perfectly present. From the hard-hitting lead single ‘Survivalism’ to the haunting, seething ‘Me, I’m Not’ and the more pumped-up ‘God Given’ and ‘Meet Your Master’, the album traverses dark territory but through NIN’s highly polished production filters.
So when you’ve got an hour and three minutes and a mind that’s ready to attentively listen to music, revisit Year Zero today and you’ll still hear something you probably didn’t hear before. We may not have got the Year Zero TV series or the movie that Reznor had apparently pitched (and presumably failed to convince studio suits about), but the fiction year of 2022 is just five years away and with Donald Trump in power, we might just see something very close.

Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Year Zero’: 10 years on, Trent Reznor’s fictitious dystopian world seems real

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!

3931228577_9d4edee8be_zAs 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



On This Date in History