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LIVE REVIEW: Nine Inch Nails, Queens on The Stone Age + Brody Dalle, Perth 11 March 2014

| 19 March 2014 | Reply

LIVE REVIEW: Nine Inch Nails, Queens on The Stone Age + Brody Dalle, Perth 11 March 2014
Perth Arena
Tuesday 11th March 2014
Reviewed by Star Wiggam
Photography by Maree King

Nine Inch Nails Live Perth 11 March 2014 by Maree King  (1)
When opener Brody Dalle took the stage, at first I thought it was a band name and I was listening to a man sing – but soon realised I was in for some rock chick booby-treataliciousness.

By the 3rd song I took a liking to this singer-songwriter who really needed to take more stage ownership. I had NO idea who she was or what she was – she seemed to assume everyone was familiar with her history, leaving the rest of us wondering and she didn’t exhibit the power or misfit-like control one would normally expect from a lead singer.

Whilst Dalle was happy to announce she was ‘having a great fucking time tonight Perth’. I would have liked to have seen her introduce herself and not just continually tell us that everything was ‘fucking great, Perth’ or ‘you look great and you sound great too’. On the night the sound quality was poor, which didn’t help – in fact it was shithouse, but she did have a rip-roaring kick-ass rock voice that made me reminisce of my personal love for rock music new and old.

Dalle played several of her old band’s songs in the setlist. I don’t want to hear cover songs or regurgitations of past efforts – unless you are household name and known for it – at an original concert, and whilst I did appreciate her heavier-than-Courtney Love vocals, it was missing a punch I was seeking for full appreciation. It was like drinking a non-alcoholic whiskey: it had a little flavour but was lacking the tasty, alluring poison. I expect more from someone opening for the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails.

Apparently a coin toss determines which of the headliners goes on first. Tails QOTSA lose, but mighty dicks, you’re miles ahead with a glorified musical junk fest. It’s was like having a delicious chocolatey dessert before the main meal.

These guys hit the stage to impress, and their onstage visual set up was colour matching – how pretty. There were no video screens, and at first I didn’t mind because it was NIN I wanted to see mostly up close and personal, even though the screens help everyone in an arena feel the show a bit more personally. Although I am not necessarily a hardcore fan, I was able to sing along comfortably to some of the songs, showing true atonement to the mind of the listener.

Josh Homme showed stage presence and strength, and informed the security that it was ‘ok for the guys to sit on each others shoulders if they wanted to’ and ‘the chicks to sit on the guys shoulders’. ‘You paid for your ticket so you can do what you want,’ he said, ‘coincidentally you can also tell the band to fuck off if you want to’. There is massive respect for this band’s stoner rock performance.

Make It Wit Chu was a clear crowd pleasure teaser – a down right rock n’ roll diseaser! Homme performed well, singing all the right notes and bellowing out those precisely divine guitar solos.

During the performance Homme spots a dude in the mosh and asks him if he is Irish and asks the audience to be quiet so he can hear the man’s accent. Once confirming that the man was in fact a man named Gary he excitedly told us the interesting story of discovering Gary, in Dublin, in the back of their gig van, drunk, eating McDonalds by himself. They kicked him out of the van. He excused them for doing this by stating that Gary was nuts.

‘Do you wanna hang out with us tonight Gary? This songs for you Gary. It’s called “Go fuck yourself Gary!”’ The song? Go With The Flow, and with our encouraging applause of approval he throws a ‘fuck you, Gary’ at the end of the song.

The end was near and Homme announces ‘Perth WA, you guys are really messed up, in a really good way.’ Whilst most are amused by the announcement, the lady behind me is clearly offended and insistently asks her boyfriend ‘what the fuck does that mean? That’s a stupid thing to say’. Some people don’t get out nearly enough.
The crowd didn’t let up between performances, hustling and bustling with evictions of crowd surfers after Queens’ standing ovation and a crescendo build-up to Nine Inch Nails.
If all the crowd surfing was anything to go by during QOTSA, I knew we could expect a full blown metal avalanche during the NIN set, and my happy-assed mental industrialised rock swan-dive into the massive cyber strobed mosh probably showed on my face, like a little kid in a candy store and I’m quite sure onlookers thought I was some kind of sideshow freak rave alert.

Nine Inch Nails were all that one could expect, with Reznor – whilst slightly aged – wearing black of course, but visibly stronger physically than he has ever been. His onstage vigour and stamina was magically intense enough to make you want to jolt like an epileptic fitting from a 24 hour metal strobe colour infused gameathon.

It was very obvious, very quickly that NIN had better sound than the previous 2 bands – phenomenal, in fact.

They delivered a fantastic performance, but after such a diverse and humorous mix from QOTSA it was slightly disappointing to see little inspiration verbally. I agree, they are there to play a show, to play music, but a little more genuine talked-up connectivity would not have gone astray, in fact it would have ignited the show into some kind of dirty hellfire.

However, we had an arena full of hungry wolves who wanted a little more than blood: they wanted the veins, the tissue and wanted to know how it all fitted in together.

The mosh area was almost silenced as song after song was played that few people seemed to know, and there was a feeling of a little bit of disheartenment in the realisation that many were not going to hear some of their favourite songs. In the moshpit they still wanted to believe, so they kept jumping a little, but it had slowed down noticably.

New songs On The Wing and Parasite were performed with Mariqueen Maandig, and again it would have been nice to get some history or introduction other than it just being something new. The personal alternative metal connection is sometimes required for a fuller inert connection.
We eagerly suffocated even from afar in the mass of smoke before 1,000,000, and when Reznor – the big ass musical Messiah – commands you clap above your head – you follow suit.

March of the Pigs, Letting You, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole, Hurt – they’re all laced with the sonic boom boo baaaa. I’ve heard this before, I’ve been waiting and love it, boom ba boom ba ya – we hunger heartedly deserved, and we were given a taste, a sampling of what once was, but we wanted the entire smorgasbord god damn it!

Regardless of these minor disappointments it was not really a lack of their performance or skill but just that mad hunger and greed. A selfish musical-memory-want. Ultimately it’s not necessarily about what we want and often we don’t have the same wants. But many of their common songs were missing from the set, for the most part, for me and those around me.
I don’t think we can compare the bands because, put simply, they are not of the same genre, calibre or musical strength. Both had their strong and weak points and whilst as a strong NIN supporter I was only disappointed that I didn’t hear all my fave songs from all my fave albums and that they didn’t play longer and interact more with the crowd. On the whole, it seemed QOTSA fans preferred their set, whilst NIN fans preferred theirs – which was as it should be, really.

Reznor did mention they had been off doing various things with their time from music film scores and other bands. This was as much as we were to get out of him for the nights musical proceedings.

Just a simple ‘thank you’ and off stage Reznor strode. No encore. And that’s ok but usually with more ‘this is our last song and thank you blah blah blah’. But at the end of the day this is a gig. It’s not about who got the most laughs or best interactions – it’s about who performed well, who embraced you as much as you embraced them, who played the music and who made you feel special, even momentarily
I did have someone stop me and ask “No Encore?”

“Nope” as I pointed to the lights. “The lights are on. No encore.”

They were great. Dynamic. And even though part of me was left wanting so much more, akin to having sex and not yet being able to climax, it was a blazing light show with hard hitting beats and an exquisite timeless vocal pitch. I’m happy. The end.
Nine Inch Nails Setlist:
Copy of A
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
The Line Begins To Blur
The Frail
The Wretched
All Time Low
Gave Up
On The Wing (How to Destroy Angels cover) (with Mariqueen Maandig)
Parasite (How to Destroy Angels cover) (with Mariqueen Maandig)
Letting You
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Queens Of The Stone Age setlist:
You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
No One Knows
My God Is the Sun
Burn the Witch
Smooth Sailing
Misfit Love
…Like Clockwork
If I Had a Tail
Little Sister
The Vampyre of Time and Memory
I Appear Missing
Make It Wit Chu
I Sat by the Ocean
Go With the Flow
A Song for the Dead

Brody Dalle Setlist:
Die on a Rope (The Distillers song)
Dismantle Me (The Distillers song)
Rat Race
Don’t Mess With Me
Coral Fang (The Distillers song)
Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy
Ghetto Love (Spinnerette song)



Category: Live Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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