Review: Nine Inch Nails and QOTSA
Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Brody Dalle at CBS Canterbury Arena, Saturday, March 22. Review by Vicki Anderson.
This was the feel good gig of the year.
A rare double bill of not one but two top acts heralded the long-awaited return of international rock to the city.
The night started early and loud with ex-Spinnerette and wife of Josh Homme, Brody Dalle, and band. Her voice reminded me of Courtney Love circa the good Hole years. Dalle's solo album is released next month and I'll be in the front of the queue.
The last night of NIN's and QOTSA's tour, headline duties were decided by the toss of a coin.
Screaming with delight, the moshpit kicked off immediately with the start of NIN's opening song, A Warm Place.
Drummer Ilan Rubin was relentless as the band ploughed through Terrible Lie, March Of The Pigs, Piggy, a favourite from 1994 album Downward Spiral, and Sanctified, all accompanied by an epic light show.
"Trent Reznor's sweat hit me," a fan said exhuberantly, making his way out of the heaving mass of fans.
It was utterly exhilarating.
Reznor was in great form vocally and the setlist was perfect. From Copy of A off latest album Hesitation Marks to the Reznor and Atticus Ross' cover of Hand Covers Bruise but for me the highlight was the final one, two, three, four punch of The Great Destroyer, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like a Hole and a painfully beautiful version of Hurt.
Tough act to follow. Some fans wondered if they should leave the night on a high.
But to leave before QOTSA would have been a big mistake.
After a countdown projected on a big screen behind them, Josh Homme and band opened with You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire and then No One Knows off 2002 album Songs for the Deaf.
But this was no backwards looking nostalgia trip. The band's latest album, ...Like Clockwork was well covered beginning with My God Is The Sun, which saw brilliant guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen shine.
"We are here because we love you Christchurch," Homme said.
These were not empty words. These are not Fairweather Friends. These major international artists can play any massive stadium around the world but they choose to include Christchurch on this tour.
The crowd was feeling it, rocking out to the massive riffs and singing along to Little Sister, Sick, Sick, Sick and a rapturous Go With the Flow before holding hands high throughout the extended band jam of Better Living Through Chemistry, with many fans apparently taking the lyrics a bit too literally.
Things got sweetly gentle for encore The Vampyre Of Time And Memory with Homme taking to a keyboard.
The 90 minute set ended with Feel Good Hit of the Summer and an ecstatic but poignant A Song For the Dead, a fitting tribute which made me simultaneously tear up and extremely happy.
I want something good to die for to make it beautiful to live.
The band left the stage with feedback still coming from the guitar for at least a minute before one of the stage crew strolled on stage and unceremoniously kicked it to a stop.
The sound mix wasn't 100% perfect. Some intoxicated people were forcibly removed. A man sat slumped on the grass chanting "nothing can stop me now, cause I don't care any more" as police vans littered the carpark outside the arena and sales of blue Powerade no doubt tripled overnight.
But this gig was epic and I loved every single sweaty, thrashy minute of it.
Like many fans I waited three years for this gig and it was worth waiting for.
Both bands excelled but the long-awaited return of top international rock meant Christchurch was the real winner last night.