Nine Inch Nails

writeup by kathy
March 10, 2006, Mullins Center, Amherst MA

Chris and I were so impressed from the last NIN concert we saw (please read the review), that when we heard that Trent was playing in Amherst at the Mullins center, well, we just HAD to go!

This time Saul Williams opened for Trent-only one opening act.
When we arrived at the Mullins center we were told that if our ticket said “G.A” that we needed to enter at a different point than anyone else. Chris had bought the tickets assuming that “G.A” meant Row G, section A. He didn’t realize that it meant general admission; translation: Mosh Pit Center Stage.
We were slightly anxious to be in this situation as we didn’t know what to expect.

The Mullins center was decidedly smaller than the Fleet center, seating almost 1/3rd of what Fleet could handle. A number of seats were empty possibly due to the fact that the concert had been postponed from a week earlier (Trent was sick) and Friday night was the beginning of Spring break, meaning many Umass students were headed home. That said, even though there were empty seats there was still enough of a crowd to make it a wild night!

Saul Williams and his D.J (a diminutive fella who looked like Mr. T and had something like “Tronix” in his name) came on stage promptly at 7:30 with a great-but short-set. He wowed us with his poetry/music but we were saddened to see that his performance was only about 20 minutes long. I felt bad for him because a lot of his poems/songs dealt with issues of his race—and the entire front section was full of pasty white college kids who seemed to have no idea what he was talking about (nor did they seem to care-perhaps thats why he had such a short set?).

About an hour later, Trent came on and rocked the house! He played a similar set to the one at Fleet with a few variations, including more songs from “With Teeth”. He still knows how to put on one hell of a concert and Friday night was no exception. The guitar players were wilder than ever and threw a number of things into the audience-a shirt, a few water bottles, some glow sticks, a microphone, a keyboard, and at the very end, both of their guitars! (Thank God they didn’t hit anyone). They were prancing all over the stage kicking over everything. I’m not sure if Trent was annoyed or amused.

Highlights of the show were the perfomance of “Hurt” (not a lighter was unlit), “Only”, “the Hand that Feeds”, “Head like a Hole”, and “Terrible Lie”. Everyone sang long and there was surpisingly little moshpit danger—(alas no adventure for us wild and crazy kids!) It appeared to be more like “the text messaging” pit as most of the college kids would be standing there text messaging their friends on their cell phones throughout the concert—it got a bit annoying. I think as far as injuries the paramedics came twice-a pretty good record for this kind of concert.

We were happy we got to see the “With Teeth” tour one more time before it was on its way out. It was great to feel the energy of one of the original alternative masters who have been around since the early 80’s and is still alive, kicking and edgy as ever.