Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NIN Las Vegas - April 1, 2006 @ Aladdin Theater

Warning: THIS IS A LONG POST! And, no, I'm not going to mention Tom DeLay even though he's from my home town.

I'll put up my general Vegas musings once I get all my pics resized, but first, some lines from one of the most bizarre reviews I have ever laid my eyes on. This collection may even beat out the line chalice of Reznor, which was an analogy for a microphone believe it or not, from several months back. The gems below are all from blatantly taken out of context, of course:

There was terrible anger growing in the air matched with reminiscent melancholy. Reznor led us into anger and hate. Just when the crowd was losing its mind in despair, tearing at hair and skin....(I'm sure it is because a frat boy spilled beer on a goth kid.)

The projections of ambient landscapes along with sinister looking bugs was natural selection in action. (This sentence is problematic for me.)

It was so hypnotic Reznor could have gotten us to do anything he wanted us to. (I get the feeling the writer has the hots for Trent.)

Guitarist Aaron North was like some starved animal feeding off his guitar. (okay...I'll watch for him noshing on his Stratocaster next time)

Reznor, himself, was a demon of song. (I now have the mental image of Satan singing show tunes. Thanks.)

His movements were alluring and abrasive at the same time. The stomp of his feet (yee haw!) and the scowl on his face along with the sweat on his body commanded the respect he deserves. Singing, he was living, breathing sex. (Ewww. Alright, I am utterly convinced the writer has the hots for Trent.)

Now that your brain has been tainted, lets go back to NIN in Vegas.

Alphabetically "Nine Inch Nails" comes after "Newton, Wayne"

So, here's the hotel we stayed at--the Aladdin (which will soon be torn down and replaced with the Planet Hollywood hotel and Casino). Huge screens were lined up and down the strip advertsing the various shows that were going on. I'm not sure why it was a suprise to me, but it was when NIN came on and I saw Trent's face in lights from miles away. "Boy, that lounge singer sure looks like Trent...oh wait. It's Trent!" Naturally, it is to be expected that things in Vegas are always over the top, but goodness, I did not realize I would be mingling with so many NIN logos all over the place. My freaking hotel key card had the NIN logo on it! Here's a fine poster someone managed to discretely steal right after the concert:

If I were a recovering NIN addict, I'd be screwed. There were chotchskies in the form of posters, fliers, pins and as Visage13 pointed out, even poker chips (originally from then Joint show at the Hard Rock Hotel from last year):

A kind cashier at the Aladdin buffet gave me her pin the morning after the concert when I stared a little too longingly at it. Actually, it was more like the employee next to her went "Look at her shirt. It says NIN on it...quick, give her your pin!"

NIN fans

I make it a point to take a picture with whoever is at the front of the line for each concert I go to. Nine times out of ten it's usually some combination of my friends Jen, HaloAenima_Dan and Shibby_Travis with an average time of 4:30am the day of. Since this was Vegas, person #1 happened to be this nice gal named Riot who pretty much got a free night's stay at the Aladdin because she arrived at, get this, 3:30pm the day before the concert. Anyone this dedicated ought to get a group hug from the entire NIN crew or at least a free buffet, but that's my opinion. She was incredibly friendly, easy to talk to, and obviously creative. In fact, when I approached her, she was sketching a picture to pass the time and she made the crown she's wearing on the top of her head. Person #2 next to her was dead asleep (you can see him in the back):

I met a lot of interesting people during the trip, plenty of drunks, but for the most part, everyone was nice. Here are some obligatory buddy pics of people I barely know and yet bizarely felt compelled to pose with. Must be the Mooby shirt or maybe it's the fact that they're old like me.

BTW, Mistakeablyme is the sweetest bubbliest thing in the world off and on line. That would be the gal in the blue NIN shirt. She also bought the last NIN chrome pin. Hmph!

This is when I should remind folks once again that peoples online personas rarely match their real personalities. Don't get me wrong, everyone was lovely to my face, but one does forget every now and then. More often than not, I hear from someone: OMG. I met user #1546678 and he called me a cunt online the other day and I called him an asshole, but he's nice in person and *supah* fine and we're gonna go get a drink later. How weird is that? Not all that weird, actually.

The Concert

I like being in the pit right up against the barricades because I'm really short, it's more intense and I want to get close enough to take good pictures. Although I accomplish the above goals, I usually end up coming out with scratches, bruises, loss of hearing (usually only on the left side) and beer, sweat, blood and/or vomit (occasionally piss) dried and caked onto some part of my body and none of those fluids usually belong to me, I might add. I am exaggerating, but just little...Anyhow, another drawback of being that up close is that one doesn't get to take in the big picture and careful design of the stage show. In fact up until now, all the various projections Trent used simply looked like beautiful pools of pixelated colored light from my vantage point.

Because, I was in reserved seating, I did get to view the projections and light show in all of its glory for the first time. My goodness, was it beautiful! I filmed two small video clips from the concert showing a little bit of what went on. You can view both of them here: THe most stunning is during "Beside You in Time" where during the climax of the piece, Trent throws his mike stand into the projection curtain and it looks like he's smashing a glass wall. Anyway, just watch the video clip and you'll see what I'm talking about. It's difficult to explain.

Even though our seats were great and one felt close enough to the stage, good pictures were hard to capture with my dinky digital cam. The link to the entire photostream is:

But, here are my favorites that I consider worth looking at (and no flash on any of these. It helps with color saturation.)

Audience shot:

Trent (while Josh is about to get teleported to space):

During "Beside You in Time:"

A nice study in teal:

A nice red during "Closer:"

Obligatory set list:
1 Mr. Self Destruct
2 You Know What You Are? (one of my favorite concert songs)
3 Terrible Lie
4 The Line Begins to Blur
5 March of the Pigs
6 Something I Can Never Have (I hate this song)
7 Closer (Trent sang this one atop a platform in the beginning. I'll admit it was sexy...)
8 Burn
9 Gave Up
10 Eraser (always gives me the chills when the audience chants "kill me")
11 Right Where it Belongs
12 Beside you in Time (best visuals)
13 With Teeth
14 Wish
15 Only (the live version is quite different)
16 Everyday is Exactly the Same (Trent plays tambourine here)
17 Even Deeper (oh boy was I giddy when he did this one. I have never heard it live.)
18 Suck
19 Hurt (this is where a drunken brawl started and ended)
20 The Hand that Feeds
21 Head Like a Hole (classic)

By the way, Saul William opened for NIN. The disappointing thing is that the theater was only half full when he began and I think many missed out on a good performer. "List of demands" is fun to dance to. At one point he threw out cookies to the audience saying "who wants NIN cookies?" I really have no idea what that was about.

After the Concert

For a good 10-15 mintes after the concert ended (maybe even longer) the cheering and yelling of thousands of jubilant fans could still be heard from the hotel lobby. NIN! Hell Yeah. Unfortuantely, Trav and I were super exhausted and about to collapse due to the 5 hour Hoover Dam tour prior, so we went straight to bed. Boy, do we need Visine:

Lucky fan:

Can you tell which one is the spent and exhausted guitarist who really wants a drink (or to go to the bathroom) and which one is the excited fan boy? Quite gracious of Aaron to pose for a picture at that hour and I have to thank Jesus on ETS for providing this picture.

Speaking of bathrooms, there aren't that many in Las Vegas since real estate is at a premium there. For every collection of toilets, once could put up the same number of slot machines or perhaps a retail store in that space and rake in tons of money. I also found the lack of clocks somewhat frustrating as well, but I digress. Vegas ramblings are for the next post.


Blogger sarah said...

i'm amused that there are a lack of clocks in vegas--guess they don't want you to know just how long you've been gambling. :)

and yes--that review is bizarre, but it cracked me up. especially this: The projections of ambient landscapes along with sinister looking bugs was natural selection in action. whaaa?

some people shouldn't be allowed to write. ever.

Friday, April 07, 2006  
Blogger sarah said...

btw, the length of your post is pretty amazing.

Friday, April 07, 2006  
Blogger cchang said...

I'd like to think it was the pictures that made it really long, but record for me!

Friday, April 07, 2006  
Blogger Monica said...

Awesome post, C - very thorough!

I hope you can get the vomit and piss
smell out of your clothes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006  
Blogger Monica said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006  
Blogger cchang said...

Very funny. Actually, I didn't get any vomit or piss on me this time since I was seated, but yeah, it has happened before.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006  
Blogger morgan said...

So, so bummed I didn't get to meet you. I saw you too, and was about to come over, but the husband wasn't feeling very social that night.

Great post and review! Makes me want to do it all over again ...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006  
Blogger cchang said...

I totally understand the whole being shy thing. I wish I was better at recognizing people. Anyhow, we'll meet one of these days, M. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006  

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