Nine Inch Nails: Tension 2013
December 5, 2013 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Now available, Nine Inch Nails: Tension 2013 [~90m], a concert film at Staples Center, Los Angeles on November 8, 2013. Also, Nine Inch Nails 2013, Pt 2, a behind the scenes look at preparation for the tour.

Previous live NIN on MetaFilter:

Lollapalloza 2013 [an entirely different production and concert]
Another Version Of The Truth: Las Vegas (2008)
This One Is On Us -- The Gift (2008) [YouTube playlist, for online viewing]
The Downward Spiral Live
Closure Part One: Self Destruct (1997)
posted by hippybear (28 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Saw NIN at Barclays. One of the tightest concerts I've ever been to.

Hesitation Marks is also NIN's best album in years.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:28 PM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites] someone who does lighting and staging for a living, we all salivate at every new NIN tour....he/they have the most amazing shows.

For a look at what's behind all that awesome light, here's the designers page. Awesome stuff.

A little more background.

I'm so psyched to see this. Thanks for posting!
posted by nevercalm at 5:29 PM on December 5, 2013

Impressive (based on what I've watched so far). Now, imagine Belew added to the mix. Damn.
posted by davebush at 5:48 PM on December 5, 2013

Thanks for this!

I was at the 9/28 show in St. Paul which was apparently their first run through of this show... there were glitches (that only made it more endearing). I'm looking to reliving that night!

Also, releases like this just make the people who spend the entire concert holding up cellphones seem that much more silly, don't they?
posted by sparklemotion at 5:53 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

On Reddit right now: I'm Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Ask me anything.
posted by Houstonian at 5:58 PM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

Too funny:

[–]mathryn 1921 points 5 hours ago
Not a question, but I just wanted to say that my friend and I met you once in Oakland and you were the nicest, most humble rock star ever. Thanks.

[–]trent-reznor[S] 4043 points 5 hours ago
I thought you were an asshole but didn't say anything.

posted by mannequito at 6:06 PM on December 5, 2013 [10 favorites]

Just what I needed tonight. Thank you!
posted by The World Famous at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2013

I went to the Seattle show a couple of weeks ago and I am STILL thinking about it. Amazing - in spite of seeing so, so many couples grinding, sexy-dancing and hair-pulling each other to songs like March of the Pigs. That part I could have done without.
posted by joan_holloway at 7:00 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had no idea they were releasing a full concert show, I thought it was just a "behind the scenes" thing they were going to put out. Thanks for the heads up! Looking forward to seeing how this show differs from their recent festival appearances. My understanding is that the arena shows are an entirely different production.

I got to see them on their Lights in the Sky tour, which was a singular experience. Easily the most impressive stage effects I've ever seen at a live show, by a wide margin.
posted by kryptondog at 7:25 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Man, this is so much better than actually being in a concert crowd.

Pretty Hate Machine was one of the first CDs I bought. I'm always going to give Trent a chance to get a few more bucks, or hours, from me. I've only regretted parting with a very few of them.
posted by DigDoug at 7:53 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Woah! We were up front, stage right for this. Lighting was stunning. Was wondering if/when they were going to release the footage they were filming.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:24 PM on December 5, 2013

i was at this show and i might actually prefer this video to the actual gig... had no idea that this was gonna be posted for free on the internet. i love the future.
posted by raihan_ at 8:55 PM on December 5, 2013

This makes some great background music while I clean up my apartment, and re-living the concert I went to in Toronto is just fantastic.

I missed the chance to see NIN when they did the farewell tour years back and thought I'd never be able to go to a NIN concert live. I was so happy when Trent announced the comeback tour.

Was right up front in the second row in the mosh pit for this and goddamn was it an amazing experience. I'm loving re-living this.
posted by Imperfect at 9:22 PM on December 5, 2013

Awesome, but they cut out some of the more visually-amazing songs (e.g. "Disappointed", "Running"). Gotta leave something for the Blu-ray, I suppose.

Same production company (Moment Factory) and lighting designer (Roy Bennett) from Lights in the Sky, too.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 11:35 PM on December 5, 2013

I so badly want to see this next tour up, except for being surrounded by people who'll talk and make out and film it on their phones. I HATE PEOPLE (and NIN was one of the first things that made me feel that way, it's all come full circle!)
posted by opsin at 8:27 AM on December 6, 2013

Thanks Hippybear, I was at the show in Raleigh on 10/21 and it was stunning. I went in with high expectations and was still blown away. How you can have such a tightly choreographed, technology heavy setup and still feel full of heart and spontaneous is beyond me. Intense doesn't quite describe it.

My only complaint was the ass-hats a couple of rows in front of me who stood for the entire show. If you want to stand at a concert get down on the floor! Banging my cane and screaming, "you kids and your e-cigs need to sit the fuck down!!!" didn't seem to help my cause.
posted by skepticbill at 12:05 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love Trent Reznor. Not because of his music, necessarily, but because he was someone who I effectively grew up with for most of the 90s. I was able to watch him grow up. Really. He wasn't the same emo schtick for his entire career, like Korn or somesuch. He was a real human being, dealing with the same problems that I was dealing with, but he eventually succeeded.

One of the most touching moments for me was his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, where he admitted that he had "tried everything" and "broken every rule" but that nothing had changed. Even where he talked about how singing songs from the bad old days of his depression left a mark on him and lent an indelible mark to his day. It was something I could relate to. This wasn't someone who was willing to keep flogging the same drama-horse for the rest of his life, he was really trying to get better.

So watching this, I had the unshakable sense of a real human being, trying to put on a show with artistic and musical integrity, while at the same time trying to keep from riding too close to the ragged edge of obsession. So many shots of his wedding ring, reminding us of his wife and son, hovering in the back of his mind. And it seems like he puts on a kick-ass show, so hats off to Trent.
posted by jpolchlopek at 6:34 PM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I spent the Nov 19 show in Spokane about 25-30 feet from Trent, front and center, amongst the the throbbing throngs in the GA section. It was a really great show (and Explosions In The Sky was a revelation to me -- utterly breathtaking!).

I was glad to get a bit more perspective on the actual technology presentation through this video. Being up so close, it was great to watch the band that way, but was difficult at times to see what the Big Picture might be. I'm very much looking forward to the DVD to see the show in its entirety.

A couple of observations about the show:

The way Trent was extending some of the songs, subverting the audiences expectations, really helped the show live up to its name of Tension. (The tension was actually being ramped up during the switchover from opening act to start of NIN with this audio loop playing that was a bit creepy without being actually creepy, and which increased in volume over the 30 minutes it played. Very effective!)

The new material is very EDM, very danceable. Trent did a lot to rework the older material to fit together with the newer stuff, but there was still a strong contrast.

One of the things which makes dance music work is the build and release of tension. This was made very obvious during the concert (warm-up act included, although EITS is entirely not EDM, but they certainly knew how to build tension to a point of ecstatic release).

If there was any lesson to be learned by being in the thick of things during this show, and I think there was one, perhaps even being very consciously taught by Trent, it is the marked difference between how a dance groove effects a crowd vs. the older, more industrial NIN material. During the older songs, the vibe in the crowd would change to very aggressive. Never quite mosh pit elbows-being-thrown levels of violence, but certainly not necessarily entirely pleasant to be in the middle of. But during the newer, more dance-oriented material, the crowd would start to bob and weave and move as a single organism. Same people, same sardine-like proximity, even perhaps the same sort of body movements... Only unified and feeling more... entirely pleasant and fun.

The addition of the backup singers was brilliant. It made me raise my eyebrow when I heard about it, but it works oh so very very well... In fact, the expanded band works really well. Easily the best NIN show I've seen as far as the music goes.

Anyway, I'm excited to read in the Reddit AMA that NIN will be back in North America sometime in 2014, possibly with an entirely new production. That would make THREE entirely different shows coming from a single album release. Surely that has to be a record someplace.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM on December 6, 2013

The reddit thread lead me to this video of young Trent with the band Slam Bamboo. Look at him, playing his Prophet 5 in black leather amidst all the 80s pastel...
posted by atoxyl at 9:25 PM on December 6, 2013

Yep. That lighting design is amazing.
I wonder what it's like to perform in the light cage?
posted by Mezentian at 5:50 AM on December 7, 2013

I didn't think I could love NIN more, but there's a saxophone!
Popular music has really missed the sax.

(And I am sure I saw a tuba on stage during Head Like A Hole).

Other fun facts I discovered about the live band:
The drummer used to be in Lostprophets, that band with the baby rapist lead singer.
The guitarist with the silly hair was in Guns'n'Roses and Circe De Solei
The bassist (who has that soul/funk headnod thing) has played with David Gilmour, Tears for Fears, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Joan Armatrading, Phil Collins, Chaka Khan and Don Henley and that's his base in Paul Young's Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) and Love of the Common People, and he replaced John Entwistle in The Who.
posted by Mezentian at 6:50 AM on December 7, 2013

The drummer Ilan Rubin also has his own project, The New Regime.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 AM on December 7, 2013

Other fun facts:

Ilan Rubin is only 25 (he joined NIN when he was 20).

On the opposite end of the scale, Pino Palladino (on bass) is 56.

One of the two backup singers, Lisa Fischer, has been touring with the Rolling Stones as backup singer since 1989.

NIN is currently rehearsing for their Australian / European 2014 tour, and Trent has stripped the band back down to a 4-piece (himself, Ilan Rubin, Robin Finck, and Alessandro Cortini).
posted by Bluecoat93 at 8:32 PM on December 7, 2013

I cannot tell you how many times I have watched (or more usually listened) to the Tension video. It's awesome. It turns out I have been listening to NIN for 22 years, which is a bit shocking, and it seems as if the songs become so awesome live. Even ones I hate.
posted by Mezentian at 6:28 AM on December 12, 2013

They sound better on this tour than they ever have. The "All That Could Have Been" live album is not NEARLY this good, neither is the Beside You In Time DVD (although I love that tour for other reasons). I really do like the Lights In The Sky filmings that This One Is On Us edited (which you can get in a groovy, low-cost DVD format if you don't want to have to deal with torrents and burning), but that still isn't nearly as good SOUNDING as this tour is.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on December 12, 2013

Trent Reznor and Alessandro Cortini talk about synthesizers and what interests them about electronic instruments [12m30s], in an extended interview from an upcoming documentary, I Dream Of Wires.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

The bassist (who has that soul/funk headnod thing) has played with David Gilmour, Tears for Fears, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Joan Armatrading, Phil Collins, Chaka Khan and Don Henley and that's his base in Paul Young's Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) and Love of the Common People, and he replaced John Entwistle in The Who.

And, though many will poo-pooh this just because they don't like the guy's public persona, Pino Palladino is the bassist in the frankly amazing John Mayer Trio (seriously, watch and listen to his bass playing on this and have your mind blown). It makes me so happy to see him playing with NIN. That he can step into basically any band of any genre and not only fit in but elevate the whole ensemble is a testament to not only his raw ability and craft, but his musical sense and collaborative ability. He's probably the best bassist in the world.
posted by The World Famous at 9:45 AM on December 13, 2013

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