Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dave Mustaine Stalks The Earth

So, a wee bit later than planned (we've been at the dust bunnies), here's a little note on the Nine Inch Nails show we saw at Madison Square Garden. And what we have to say concerns more our tortured relationship with industrial music than any eternal truths about the chops of the band at live performance.

See, this was the first show we ever saw at a stadium*, the reasons having entirely to do with our rock snobbery and the fact that earlier in our rock appreciation career we had no money. We ended up buying pretty ropey tickets from the b*stards, fairly high up and exactly level with the stage. The advantages of the perch would be immediately apparent to anyone wanting to smoke anything. We didn't, although we were very taken by the gourmet hotdog stand outside.

Missed Death From Above 79, which was a pity based on the tune of theirs we downloaded. Queens Of The Stone Age were fine, although the only song worth losing one's sh*t to remains "I Think I Lost My Headache">

NIN came on to "Pinion", as was their wont when we saw them back in Brixton in 1999. Otherwise they opened with the incoherent squally ones from the new album, With Teeth, perked up for the older ones, and persisted with the whole prog rock curtain interlude in the middle of the show. It served only to highlight the strengths of "Beside You In Time".

But got damn were we tired, too tired almost to endure the prog interlude, and certainly too tired to endure the parade of ballads that persisted beyond then. Listening to "Hurt" was the final straw - we probably left a good ten minutes before the end, which means we probably missed "The Hand That Feeds", "Head Like A Hole" and maybe "We're In This Together". No, we haven't googled the setlist. We've been sleeping.

And watching Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster. The film has been hailed as some kind of psychological triumph, an unflinching look at the group dynamic and the ennui that afflicts the very rich. It's simpler than that, and one look at the final scene, a blistering reappearance at a festival, confirms this. How do you make incredibly savage metal when you're more successful and content than you ever imagined?

The answer is, you make Reload recruit Marianne Faithfull on vocals and get roundly mocked. And then sit down and think how to keep your fans happy around trips to rehab and funk-metal gigs. Top appearance from ginger and whiny former guitarist Dave Mustaine, after whom this post is titled.

Tonight, we rock Prohibition and Floyd. We'll be the blonde ones in crushed velvet.

*As long as one doesn't count seeing Sarah Maclachlan in a corporate box, as well as the two shows we saw down at Keyspan Park in Coney Island.


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