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As you may have heard, there's been some information floating around about Nine Inch Nails... well it's been floating around for a few months actually. Supposedly Trent Reznor is planning on celebrating the band's 20th anniversary with a new tour before taking a bit of a break from the famous industrial band... or something like that. Rumor, now since confirmed, suggests that there would be a special guest to open for NIN on this tour, a band that toured with them way back when things first started... Jane's Addiction... and not just any incarnation of Jane's Addiction, but the original lineup and everything... cool.
That's quite some exciting news if you're a fan of both these bands, and as you can expect I'm already looking for ways to attend a show on this tour.
What really made this tour even more interesting to me though was a few comments Reznor made about the tour format and how the band would be performing. Apparently towards the end of their last tour, the band was able to play a few shows with their more theatrical equipment... like the massively impressive light show I think... stripped away. Apparently the way the band was interacting and coming together in this more spontaneous and looser format struck a chord with Trent as this new tour is supposed to be much more stripped down and straightforward compared to past NIN productions, or so I've heard... also cool.
I've been a NIN fan for years and years... although I've never seen them live. I'll admit in the past that a band that creates such an almost mechanical, industrial precision didn't hold much interest in a live format for me. I guess I didn't know how they would be able to "up the intensity" to make seeing a live show worth while. After seeing various video clips over the years though, I now think that NIN puts on a great show, more than worth seeing. At the same time though, the thought of seeing them in a more flexible format is even more appealing and so the format Reznor has planned for this tour sounds really interesting to me and I'm pretty psyched to see how it turns out.
I can't say for certain, but I wouldn't be disappointed if it ended up looking like the videos I'm presenting today. I stumbled upon these clips at random actually... I don't remember how I found them... but when I did, the first thing that came to mind is how although the songs were the same, and delivered tight and together, the vibe is totally different from other NIN clips. I started to wonder if maybe this was a bit of a preview of what this up coming tour might be like.
Taken from the DVD that comes with the CD/DVD version of The Slip, these two clips are actually rehearsal footage for the 2008 tour. The songs from The Slip, "1000000" and "Letting You"
Check these out.
As you can see... stripped down to the minimal, no lights, no fancy setups, etc. Now yes, these were the rehearsals and not the tour, but the band sounds ridiculously tight and together in these clips, so much so that it's easy to see how they might really thrive in a more stripped down concert setup.
What I find most shocking though (ok maybe not shocking) is how much of a different vibe these songs give off compared to the album versions as well as other live versions. I think it has to do with Nine Inch Nail''s style of music. Industrial is almost by definition very mechanical sounding and so when you listen to a NIN album, it can be sucked into it and actually forget that so many of those songs were written, recorded and performed with real people and regular instruments like drums, guitar and synths. Let me rephrase. It's as if the style of music itself doesn't lend itself particularly well to sounding... organic... if that makes better sense. To see the band actually playing these songs though, well that changes everything... changes the entire impact.
With all the NIN live footage I've seen, their songs almost always sound more organic live, without a doubt, but I guess it's also very dependent on the visuals as well. Seeing the band surrounded by lasers and crazy light shows doesn't really lend itself to sounding organic either, and so that can once again get lost.
In these clips though, at rehearsal, rockin' out with a very minimal, hazy setup the vibe is completely different though. The songs are the same, but seeing the band perform it in this minimalist setting makes them starkly, almost shockingly more visceral... again, really cool.
I don't know what this new tour will hold for Nine Inch Nails, but if they can capture some of the raw, stripped down, guttural energy that they demonstrate in these minimalist rehearsal clips, I think a lot of people, myself included, will be thrilled. And even if they had chosen to stick with the more theatrical and "light heavy" version of their stage show... well, have you seen some of the live footage from their recent tour? Insane... ridiculous... groundbreaking... yeah... very cool.
Anyways, if you're interested in checking out one of these upcoming Nine Inch Nails shows, (remember, Jane's Addiction will be opening if you need more incentive) you can find the tour dates here, some already even have tickets on sale: http://tour.nin.com/
You can find out a lot more about Nine Inch Nails, and check out The Slip and a ton of other media, videos etc... here: http://nin.com/
And if you want to find the DVD that contains this footage (it includes a couple other rehearsal tracks too, including a killer version of "Discipline") it can be found on the Limited Edition of the album, directly from Amazon, here: Nine Inch Nails "The Slip" /Limited Edition CD-DVD