Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Went to the NIN concert at Hammerstein Ballroom last night, but more important than how the show was... I met David Bowie.
There are few people I would be very excited to meet, and he is near the top of that list. I happened to position myself on the right side of the floor, right next to the staircase that led to the VIP box, not to gawk at celebrities but because it allowed me to get a better, unimpeded view of the stage than being in the center. A few minutes before the show started, I saw Bowie slip up the staircase, unnoticed by everyone except me. I kept an eye out to make sure he didn't sneak away mid-set (he did not, nor did other guests David Byrne and Chris Rock). When the house lights came up, I hung back by the staircase as people filed out. After a couple minutes, he climbed down the stairs. I extended my hand and said, "Mr. Bowie, I'm sorry to bother you but I just had to tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours." He smiled, politely shook my hand, and said "Thank you very much" before slipping out a side exit. A brief encounter, but sweet nonetheless.
As for the concert, it was a relentless, 90-minute set of pure, unadulterated rock, eaten up by a sea of angry fans wearing black. No pauses, no chats with the audience... in fact, Trent said 10 words the entire night: thank you, here's a new one, thank you, thank you. 20 songs, no encore... you can find check out the setlist here. Trent has relentless energy and is in incredible shape (although I've never seen a performer sweat quite like him)... not bad for a guy who turns 40 today.
The musical highlight? It actually came during opener Dresden Dolls' set: a jaw-dropping cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." You'd think that replacing the guitar riffs with keyboards would cause the song to lose some of its luster, but exactly the opposite is true. I found this download, but the quality is about 10% of how it sounded last night. Overall their set was pretty good... "Coin-Operated Boy," the only song of theirs I'd heard before last night, does not accurately represent their music. They have a weird 1970's-Elton-John-meets-Bauhaus-meets-Courtney-Love sound. I don't they'll ever gain mainstream success, but last night's audience loved them.
Oh, one more thing...


Tommy Himself said...

Right on! Great hero meeting. Definitely ALL CAPS worthy.

NIN gives good show. I saw them at about a dozen Lollas and some club shows. Always impressive.

kc said...
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Anonymous said...

It must have been a very thrilling experience to meet David Bowie in person.
I wonder what he looks like when he is off stage for so long. Is he still so good looking as he was during the Reality tour? Is it true he gained weight?