wave goodbye

so a couple of weeks ago one of my friends asked me if i liked nine inch nails.

i started shaking a little bit. yeah, i like nine inch nails.

he said they were playing a concert in a couple of weeks in seoul and would i like to go.

yeah. . . hell yeah.

i’ve missed them any other time the opportunity arose. . . i’ve been busy, been broke. . . never got to see them and only heard from others about how amazing the shows are.

it was a festival, so the tickets were ridiculously priced. . . but bruce (the friend) and i started looking into it, and realized that they were planning on not touring much anymore. . . this may be their last tour for a while.

neither of us had seen them live, so we buckled down and forked over the cash.

during the few weeks in between bruce helped me get up to date on their albums. . . seems i was lacking a few. i do like them, but i really hadn’t listened to them much since college, when i listened almost non stop (downward spiral and pretty hate machine was so great to work to on late night work calls. . . or just on paperwork when i needed to stay awake). . . but that was 10 years ago. . . there has been a lot of music in the meantime.

now that i’ve listened to a bunch of it, i’m not sure how i survived without ‘the fragile’ in my life. i’m still catching up, and really enjoying getting back into them.

so saturday rolled around. i thought maybe a month ago that the hottest part of summer would be over by mid august. i was wrong. it wasn’t terribly humid- good news-. . . but it was the hottest day so far. at least that’s what my teaching partner told me today at work when i talked to her about the concert. maybe in the mid to high 90’s.

the numbers don’t matter at a certain point. . . all you need to know is. . . it was fuckity fucking hot.

sweat was pouring from my head. . .but i wasn’t alone. . . everyone there was soaked. it started at 11am. . . since we didn’t know the earlier bands, we decided to go a little later in the day. so we rolled in around 1:30pm. we got to walk through the olympic stadium on the way to the festival field. kinda cool.

the tunnels between the olympic stadium and the field were mobbed with people trying to stay out of the heat. everyone went there for cover in between sets. luckily cold drinks weren’t overpriced, like i remember in the US. and there was lots of little carts with water, beer, kimbap. . . etc. they even set up a couple of water spray areas where people could douse themselves with water whenever. smart. i walked through about 3 times. i don’t think my sunscreen stayed on long. . . luckily i didn’t burn too much.

limp bizkit went on before nine inch nails, which you may find surprising and odd if you know anything about their past feud. both bruce and i were worried that durst might say something stupid and insight sometime further. but we lucked out. . . both kept their mouths shut. we really were only checking out limp bizkit to see wes borland’s get up. he didn’t disappoint. painted black and red chest with a mexican ‘day of the dead’ type skull painted on his face, and a wild red and black mohawk.

we both expected to see some more foreigners- like maybe the army base would unload to see limp bizkit.- not so much i guess. there were a couple of guys who i pinned as limp bizkit fans before i even saw their fan shirts. later bruce and i saw them up on stage when fred durst brought a number of fans up- pretty cool. in between sets we saw them and asked how they felt. limp bizkit was their favorite band, they were over the moon about it. way amusing.

we took regular water/ beer breaks in the tunnel. . . but came out early to scope a spot for nine inch nails. we didn’t get all the way to the front, but it wouldn’t have been too hard. where we were we had a good view of the stage and the video screens.

two problems with festival concerts. . . sometimes the sun isn’t down when you’d really like it to be, and sometimes your favorite band doesn’t get to play their encore. it didn’t get dark till half way through nine inch nails’ set. . . and they didn’t get to play their encore, since a korean band was actually the headliner.

however, all that aside. i am in awe. bruce told me that live they really ramp up the guitar. i thought that it sounded amazing, and that it sounded fuller. . .it wasn’t till after i came home and started listening to a live album vs. a studio that i realized how different. man, i thought the studio albums were edgy. . . . the live stuff blows it away.

they played 18 songs:
1-somewhat damaged
2-terrible lies
3- heresy
4- march of the pigs
5- reptile
6- I’m afraid of americans (david bowie cover)
7- the becoming
8- burn
9- gave up
10- la mer
11- the fragile
12- non-entity
13- the downward spiral
14- wish
15- survivalism
16- the hand that feeds
17- head like a hole
18- hurt

reznor didn’t say much, in fact, he just walked up to the mike and started to sing which almost caught the crowd off guard. the whole band was amazing. . . . and all of them were pouring sweat. it was a little before the last song that reznor thanked the crowd and announced that that would be their last concert as nine inch nails in asia.

my heart sank. to finally get to see them live, and then find out it would be the last time most likely. then they played hurt. . . and i started crying enough to match the sweat pouring off me.

i really didn’t expect them to sound better live. . . i was blown away. now i’m a little depressed. but man, i was lucky to get it in.

the korean guy who i guess is really big here had a whole lot more pyro and bells and whistles going on. we really only stayed to see, if by some chance, nine inch nails would play an encore. no such luck. both of us really only missed hearing ‘closer’ and ‘starfucker’. . . other than that. . . i can’t complain. . . and even with that, i’m not complaining.

if they really are calling it quits, i’m sad to see them go. . .

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