Nine Inch Nails - Panorama Music Festival, New York City

by paul_guyet Rating: Release Date:
When you can silence tens of thousands of sweaty, drunken people with your music at age 52, you know you’re still relevant. When you do it four times in 90 minutes, you know you’re Trent fucking Reznor. Nine Inch Nails' set, which closed out the three day music and technology festival, began with intensifying, ominous noise while the “NIN" logo slowly formed on two massive screens flanking the stage, then, just as the panic-inducing cacophony was about to overwhelm the crowd, it cut out and a voice spoke: “yes, everyone seems to be asleep”. Suddenly, Reznor was storming his way to the microphone, dressed in aviators and a leather jacket, set to burn the world down.
The band, with new addition, Atticus Ross on bass and synths, perfectly captured the fury and chaos of "Burning Bright”, lyrical clarity be damned; you didn’t need to understand the words, you just needed to know that whatever Reznor was screaming through that megaphone was absolutely fucking venomous. "Less Than”, the lead single from their most recent EP Add Violence, came off very strong, but not as towering and powerful as the album version. “Reptile" was as loud and destructive as always, transporting the entire audience of thousands back to 1994 for about seven minutes. It was also great to see "Gave Up" back on the roster, the live performances of that have always been some of the most bladed moments of the NIN live experience. And anyone not weeping openly when Bowie's vocals joined Reznor's on “I Can’t Give Everything Away" was either not human, just that, not human. Sadly, Reznor still relies on his “The Show Is Almost Over” trio of “The Hand That Feeds” into “Head Like A Hole” into “Hurt”, three songs that mean nothing to me anymore and can’t possibly mean anything to him at this point.
This was the third of a small handful of dates Nine Inch Nails are playing this year before embarking on a world tour in early 2018 and, if this was any indication, whatever they come up with in the new year is going to be more than worth the wait.