Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nine Inch Nails - Wave Goodbye

Saw Nine Inch Nails last night, maybe their last ever New York show. They’re not my usual sort of topic here, but you have to love a rowdy “industrial” band that uses an incredibly cool modular synthesizer, has keyboards played live by all four band members and releases synth-heavy albums. Supposedly, they’re going to stop touring but still record new albums.

It was a great show, though. They played for almost two and a half hours, rocking hard the whole time although they did slow down for some tender moments as well. There were a few synth interludes, many of them sequences and rhythms to provide backgrounds for the rowdy guitars. It’s great to see a modular synth used live, and they actually tweak knobs and change sounds from time to time. It’s not just thrown in, they actually make good use of it, which is refreshing in a hard rocking band.

There are other bands I like who use synths for a bit flavoring. Dishwalla comes to mind right away, though they’re much more mainstream than NIN. Also Stabbing Westward, another industrial band from some years ago, had some great synth textures behind them. There are plenty of others out there as well, but those two are particular favorites of mine.

I probably shouldn’t write these at 2:00 am after getting home from a concert, but I just couldn’t help myself. I have more concerts coming up in the near future as well. There’s Todd Rundgren doing the A Wizard/A True Star album in its entirety, with Roger Powell and Greg Hawkes on synths. That’s in a week and a half. A couple of weeks after that is U2, although probably not so synth-heavy. I’ll most likely have things to say about both of those shows.

Update: I just posted some photos from the show on Flickr

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