Stunning Set of Superb Singles
The Nine Inch Nails sound has grown and changed considerably since 1989's album 'Pretty Hate Machine', and tonights main stage set reflects this. For one, the crowd is almost non-existent and many of those who are in attendance are old enough to not be taken in by the deluge of indie-disco bands who have sprung up across this years line-up. It's just a shame more people didn't decide to see a band that has quietly been shaping the music world over the past 18 years.
It's a shame, for Trent Reznor and co pull off a set that takes in some of their greatest tracks all the way from their first album through to their last. Beginning with 'Hyperpower', the intro from Reznor's 2007 release 'Year Zero', the mood is set and when 'The Beginning of the End' kicks in, it is clear that tonights set will be a treat.
Next up, the crowd is treated to 'Sin'. One of the classic NIN singles, the crowd gleefully sing along. 1994's album 'The Downward Spiral' is also visited, with standout tracks 'March of the Pigs' and 'Eraser' being performed with as much venom as Reznor can muster.
Perhaps Reznor knew that the crowd gathered for him tonight would be small, for the setlist seems tailored for a smaller crowd of die-hard fans rather than a broader audience in need of winning over. This is evident with songs such as 'Wish' from the 'Broken' EP making an appearance, alongside the rage-infused 'Burn' from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack.
Many have said that Reznor's post-'The Fragile' work has been far weaker, but the argument falls flat on its face when tracks from the two most recent albums are played live. 'Survivalism' has the kind of bite that so few modern bands are able to recreate without the use of heavy guitars and growling vocals. Other Year Zero tracks played include the anthemic 'The Great Destroyer' and 'Me, I'm Not'. Crowd pleaser 'The Hand That Feeds' represents 'With Teeth' alongside the highly catchy song 'Only'.
Overall, It's a set balanced in favour of the electronica element running through Reznor's work- 'Gave Up' is performed on synthesizers and all the tracks are spiced up to give them extra kick. The young scamps currently performing across the other stages could learn a thing or two from the diversity of Nine Inch Nail's sound. Even the indie kids who turned up halfway through the set complaining about "dance acts" on the main stage (to the horror of the people surrounding them) have changed their tune by the end of the set and by the time the haunting sound of 'Hurt' peals across the main stage audience, it has been well and truly proven that there is life in Trent Reznor's music yet.