Nine Inch Nails in Wichita

By Newsferatu, Writer
Thursday, March 30, 2006 @ 8:33 AM

At the Kansas Coliseum, March

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Reviewed by Justin Smith.

My friends and I showed up to the concert a little late. In fact we had missed the opening act completely. According to a friend who was already there we hadn't missed much. I'll take his word for it. He's never steered me wrong before. No sooner had we found our early friend the lights went down. A rush of noise filled the Kansas Coliseum as Trent and the boys took the stage.

We drove into the crowd head first pushing our way as close to the front as possible. This is usually a tactic I avoid, being more familiar with heavy metal shows where the floor is rampant with testosterone bullshit. But this was NIN, not Slayer, so I plunged in. Before the show my f riends and I readied ourselves for the event, so I was in a pretty fair mood when the sweat began to take over. The crowd pulsated and moved to the industrial drive of drummer Jerome Dillons solid timing, while Twiggy Ramierez shook our fillings with a steady punding from his bass. Trent picked up a guitar every now and then, but the majority of the axe effect went to Aaron North.

Trent sounded great as he belted out his time-tested tracks as well as the newer material. Wichita is, unfortunately, a "radio hits!" kinda town, so when the band grooved into more obscure material, the crowd amused itself with pushing and pulling at each other. Quite distracting, I must say. But when a "hit" was played the place came alive again, the screams and singing almost deafening.

I won't bore you with a set list. You can find that elsewhere. What I went f or was the ambiance. The pure "rave-vibe" I've always associated with NIN. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the music Trent has put out over the years, but I've never thought about attending one of his shows for the "vibe" reason. It's just not my bag, normally. But I thought, hey, why not? Just fucking go with it. Release the groove within me. So I did. And you know what? It was pretty awesome. I let myself drift with the sway of the crowd and I breathed in the air around me. Bad idea. It seemed that no one had bothered to shower before coming to the show. Ditto on dental hygiene. But that's ok. I ignored that shit. I was flowing through a mist of depression and angst too thick to be overtaken by a thing like lack of oxygen. I felt bad especially for the shorter people, though. I honestly don't know how they maintained conscious ness let alone their sanity.

Trent spoke to the crowd directly only once. He said, "Thanks for coming out," or something like that. I was too busy keeping people from hitting me in the head with their arms, legs, asses and whatever else came crashing in from behind to really hear exactly what he said. I understood the setiment, though. I'm sure he was glad to be here, in the Heartland. And a Red state to boot. During a small interlude in which the screen was pulled back up at the front of the stage, images were displayed larger than life. Trent began to sing "Eraser," and the images switched from bugs and shit to current event type stuff. The crowd let out an enormous bellow when a shot of President G. W. was flashed upon the screen. It was terrifying to see Bush's head the size of a monster truck tire. The crowd jeered loudly, but they did that when the flamethrower guy wa s up on the screen too. I wonder what Trent made of the noise. Was it a cheer, or the disenchanted youth of the plains that he was hearing?

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