at Arena - Vienna 





live report  by Mina



Ever since I caught Nine Inch Nails live on their “The Fragile” tour in Vienna in 1999, I’ve been spending every upcoming year with the thought how maybe next album won’t take so long and they’ll be back soon to tour again, having in mind a bit of a gap (5 years) in between “Downward Spiral” and “The Fragile”. But well, all the good things come to those who wait, so this time after six years we lived to see the new NIN album “With Teeth”, which is masterpiece, by the way together with the band playing the world tour this year. So when it comes to me, this June 14th was a date marked in red ever since the first rumours about the Vienna gig came to my ears.

This months before sold out gig was about to be visited after spending few days in mud and on the very cold wind and rain on Nova Rock festival, so I was obviously delighted to see I will be watching NIN at open air concert in a very open-airish sunny, warm and dry weather. 


As usual I was pretty late to the gig, which meant I came in time to catch last few songs from the support band, in this case The Dresden Dolls. Having in mind that I spent considerable amount of time waiting for my passes and then in the line at the entrance, all I caught from The Dresden Dolls while standing outside was an interesting glam/punk/rock/cabaret mixture with female vocals almost identical to Siouxsie Sioux, but nevertheless great sounding. Not long after I was finally inside the venue, finding with my friend a place considerably close to the stage. I mean, it’s a NIN gig, hello???, you just don’t stand somewhere in the back not hearing or seeing anything, humming the songs to yourself. Barely fifteen minutes have passed and we see Nine Inch Nails emerging on stage, completely normal, without any concept like first this member, than that one…. Or similar. Line up is somewhat changed since the last tour (no more Danny Lohner, pfffff), so NIN live these days are including: Trent Reznor of course, Jerome Dillon on drums, Jeordie White (a.k.a Twiggy Ramirez, formerly Marilyn Manson bassist and now also playing with A Perfect Circle), keyboarder Alessandro Cortini and Aaron North (formerly of The Icarus Line) like guitarist. And then it began….. I say that at the beginning, definitely one of the best gigs these years or in the last few years, as you wish, in either way a blast! Trent Reznor is full of energy, apparently body building helps, and still one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen. He’s equally good at jumping around the stage and letting his temper out on the equipment, screaming (“Terrible Lie”, “Starfuckers Inc”, “The March Of The Pigs”, “Head Like A Hole”, just to name a few) and singing (“Hurt”, “Something I Can Never Have”). The whole band seems perfectly rehearsed (what a wonder) and they interact really well in between each other. Jeordie White is a really good bassist and a guitarist when needed, which I already noticed at the A Perfect Circle gig last year. He seems to enjoy playing of every number and in my humble opinion, it’s much easier to take him seriously in this normal-dressed-in-black outfit, which also suits him much better than in the “I Hate My Parents And Everyone Around Me” look from the MManson times. But a person who was really jumping out of the whole picture was the drummer Jerome Dillon, a really exceptional player by any terms. Baring in mind that this was a NIN gig, which understands a perfect sound as a pre-condition, the drums were really great sounding. Keyboarder was a bit hidden in the background, but the guitarist Aaron North was everywhere around the stage instead, playing like a crazy. Did I already say sound was perfect? It doesn’t matter, I’ll do it again, every instrument and part was to be heard distinctively there was absolutely no unnecessary noise whatsoever, everything sounding clear and warm.

Nine Inch Nails gave us good two and a half hours of performance concentrated more on the rockier songs, which added to the great atmosphere, but not forgetting more atmospheric stuff like “Hurt” and “Closer”, for example. They also played considerable amount from the new album songs, great single “The Hand That Feeds” and “Love Is Not Enough”, to mention a few. 

There was no classical encore, but the “Hurt” was a kind of a breaking point in the gig, starting with Trent playing and singing solo at the keyboard and slowly the whole band joining and developing the song. Some keyboard and mic throwing from Trent where also added to the song, but it’s all rock’n’roll anyway.  Hurt” was enough to blew me completely away, together with “Closer”, “Head Like A Hole” as the last song, “Burn”, but especially Joy Division cover “Dead Souls” available on the now ancient “The Crow” soundtrack.


What to add except that NIN proved one more time they are really up to their cult status on alternative scene (OK on industrial/ electro scene, if I have to label) and their great live band reputation is totally earned.

Great music, great band, great gig, catch them anywhere if you have the chance, you won’t be sorry.




Set list:


The Frail

The Wretched



The Line Begins To Blur

March Of The Pigs

Something I Can Never Have

Hand That Feeds

Terrible Lie


Love Is Not Enough




You Know What You Are?


Gave Up


Dead Souls

Starfuckers Inc.

Head Like A Hole

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