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[WTC_Field_Report: Chicago_07_01_06]

[Because Iris and I both went to the recent Chicago show at the awkwardly named First Midwest Bank Amphitheater, we thought we'd combine our thoughts into one review. Iris will give you the view from the pit, and I will comment in italics from...much further back.]

Before the Show
Maise: Before we begin, I'd like to give y'all some perspective on my mental state before the show. My husband and I thought that we had plenty of time to get our new house painted and moved into before the end of the month, but as we learned...nothing quite goes according to plan in matters of real estate and home improvement. When I found myself, after having been awake for 24 hours, making yet another trip hauling our shit to our new house with my crabbed-out husband in the seat next to me, the prospect of this very concert was the only thing keeping me from deliberately driving off the road to certain doom. By the time my friend Sam and I finally arrived at the venue, I had had three hours of sleep in 36 hours.

Iris: This time there was no freezing rain to hold us up so we got there plenty early, but a M&G just isn’t in the stars for me. The radio show apparently went the exclusive route for contest winners only. We were actually inside the venue during the time it should have been airing, but the Q101 booth playing their station showed no sign of it.

Maise: The Q101 thing was strange...by the time Sam and I got out of the car at 6:40 or so, they still hadn't played it. If any lurkers happened to be at any of these radio performances, you should all dish the dirt!

The Venue

Iris: Snagged a pretty awesome spot about three people from the rail in what would become halfway between Trent and Jeordie later.

Maise: Sam and I were in the pavilion seats, where we were safe from being trampled and molested, but unfortunately we were very, very far away and kind of at a weird angle, so that we couldn't even see the big screens terribly well. Have I ever told you how I hate this venue?

As an example, my view during Bauhaus vs. Iris's view during Bauhaus:

Myview2 Bauhaus1

We'll stick with Iris's pics from hereon, m'kay?


Iris: Anyhoo, on with Peaches. Don’t really know her songs so I can’t say what was played, but it was at least entertaining. Peaches got up on the rail in front of us several times and walked back and forth. She eventually ditched the little leather ensemble and crowd surfed in a pink bra and hot pants. And WTCers, I’m afraid I got caught up in the moment, and I grabbed her ass when she came overhead. Yeah.

Maise: I know that I have dissed Peaches in the past. I must say that now that she's over her "gangsta rap/Andy Warhol film" phase, her work is much more enjoyable. She's definitely got an '80s power rock parody style going on, and her band plays the part--with keytars, no less! You can't argue with her "Impeach Bush" sentiments, and when she's crowd-surfing and climbing up on tall amps, her sense of fun is infectious. I'm not entirely sure why she has to get naked, though.



Iris: Bauhaus was up next, and that performance is going to transform me into a fan. On its own, the music makes me giggle, but watching it be performed by Mr. Murphy is great. Did you know the motherfucker can moonwalk?!?! Two or three tunes into the set, Peter tossed a couple roses out into the crowd. I came incredibly close to one but didn’t catch it. When he had first unbuttoned his shirt, I can’t say I was real impressed with what looked to be a man girdle, but it turns out it serves another purpose, which was to hold his mic and all the rose petals that he used to “bleed” during the next song. Marvelous performers.

Maise: Er...ha ha. Bauhaus is a bit of a blur for me, for reasons explained above. I second Iris's opinion that they are marvelous performers, and I love that Peter Murphy is still slinking sexily onstage and filling up an entire monstrous outdoor venue with that gorgeous voice of his. The one quibble I had was that I feel that they were put onstage too early--not that I needed to stay awake any longer that night, but the not-quite-setting sun really detracted from their stage show. There's something about Peter Murphy and sunlight that seems to clash.

Nine Inch Someone or Other...

Iris: Trent and Co. came out and kicked it off with “Somewhat Damaged." (See setlist here) I was pretty caught up in the crush, especially during “March of the Pigs” when Trent threw the mic out into the audience. There were a few times throughout I thought I should bail or risk passing out, but then I would think of you guys who weren’t able to attend and would kill to be there so I took a deep breath and held on. The security guards were pretty cool and would either throw some water or pass cups back. In any other situation, communal water cups would be disgusting, but there it was completely necessary for survival.

Maise: I don't know if I can speak for Sam, but I couldn't see shit for this entire show. Every possible obstacle stood between me and Trent--enormous columns, eight-foot-tall men with mullets and trucker caps, soccer parents reliving their college days and grabbing each other's asses during "Closer." This was an almost entirely aural experience for me. Although if you can't see the performers, it's important to find enjoyment in your immediate surroundings--like the hot black guy with the well-toned arms a couple of rows in front of me who was dancing to every song. Yum! However, I did see that for a good portion of the show, Trent hid himself behind what looked like the front of my chinchilla's cage. I guess that's better than the gauzy curtain, although I'm not sure why he won't let us get a good look at him for such long stretches. Maybe it's because he knows that too much exposure to his Trent-ness could be deadly, especially for the poor souls up front.

Iris: During “Closer,” just one of the metal curtain sections came down. Trent used that thing to its full and unknown potential. He hung from it, pulled it around, and shoved his bulgy arm through it. And the best part of the ENTIRE FUCKING SHOW was when he came around front and danced like the filthiest go-go dancer you’ve ever seen (which was the absolute clincher for me that TRENT READS WTC). I shit you not! Hands all over himself, he posed and gyrated against the grate and worked that ass for all it’s worth! Ladies, this image will be forever burned in my fucking brain! Seriously, swoon bitches!


Iris: And then there was that guitar-holding thing during the beginning of “Burn” that I love. It’s all about balance with Trent. Just when I thought my head would explode from checking out his guns wrapped lovingly around that guitar as he seethes into the microphone about rejection and revenge, my flame was put out with a totally mood-killing giggle as my eyes ventured to the man-capris that he's now fond of wearing. Don’t get me wrong, girls, I love this look, and I don’t think many other men could pull it off, but just as you’re getting ready to hit that spot, think man-capris and see what that does for ya.

Maise: A couple of notes:

1) Trent, I invite you to think of me as a friend of sorts. You don't really know me and would probably go out of your way to avoid me in real life, but I want you to know that I'm always cheering for you, and I want the best for you. And just as a real friend tells you when you have something stuck in your teeth, I will tell you this: LOSE THE MAN-PRIS.

2) "Burn" is like miso soup to me. Every time I go to a Japanese restaurant, I'm served unsolicited miso soup, and I try to eat it and enjoy it, hoping that some day I will develop a taste for it, and I'm sure it's very good for me, and everyone else just loves it, but in the end, I really don't like miso soup. I have to be honest, folks.

3) But lest you think I didn't enjoy myself or am just an incorrigible whiny bitch, I just want to point out that this performance elicited feelings of pure joy for me, and I sang along like a dork to every word of every fucking song. And I was very pleased to hear "Something I Can Never Have" live for the first time as well as "La Mer" and "The Big Comedown."

Iris: Jeordie does the strangest vacant staring thing up on stage that he did for most of the show. It made me want to do rude gestures just to see if he would grin. At some point he busted a move and danced, but I think it was just to let us know he was still alive. After all the cooing I’ve done over Alessandro, I didn’t get to see him for most of the show. The winds were not in my favor and kept him shrouded in fog/smoke.

Maise: Non ho visto Alessandro. Non ho visto niente.

Iris: I got some video too, which turned out to not be too bad. First clip is “Down In It,” and I was stunned as hell they played it. After watching that, don’t think that the irony was lost on me that I was being tipped over when he sings “but now I’m down in it.” I may have been falling, but I was laughing on the way down.

Iris: The other two clips are from the surprise guest appearance of Peter Murphy singing “Final Solution” alongside Mr. Reznor. First clip is just after Trent announced Peter would be joining and the first few seconds of the song. The second one is part way into the song during the refrain. Absolutely brilliant performance.

Maise: You know, Trent and Peter Murphy seem awfully besotted with each other, which is ADORABLE, but does Saul Williams know about this? Just asking.

Iris: After the last song the brand came out. I think Trent devised this little lighting ploy just as bragging rights. You know, kind of like a “bitches you just got pwned by NIN,” which shows his inner-gamer maturity.

Maise: Actually, it reminded me of a Lite-Brite picture.

Iris: Met up with Maise after the show, swapped stories, and gushed, much to my husband’s dismay, about Mr. Reznor’s hotness.

Maise: Sam and I said "Oooooh" in unison when we saw this one:


Iris: Who knew the hotel we stayed at would let a dog in the lobby? **shrugs** This was such an amazing weekend that I’m battling some serious depression (tears and all) knowing that it’s over. D, we gotta find some way to get you over here for the next round.

Maise: And Sam and I had a blast too! You never quite know if online friendships will translate well in the real world, but Iris and her husband are a lot of fun. This concert was definitely the best part of last weekend, except for the moment when I finally got to go to sleep.

By the way, you can see the rest of Iris's fabulous pictures here.

Posted by maise in maise_bites, wtc_guest_contributions | Permalink


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Go-go dancing? Oh, Trent! You dirty little bitch! I am so envious. I am crying.

Posted by: Dierdre | Jul 7, 2006 7:22:04 AM

If it's any consolation, D, I had no idea go-go dancing was going on. And I was there.

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 7:24:54 AM

I must agree with you, Maise, about the man-pris. Trent worked them, but really, just no.

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 7:31:50 AM

One of the highlights of the concert for me was Bauhaus covering Joy Division's "Transmission." Hearing Peter Murphy sing it was absolutely phenomenal. He's one of the few artists who can do Ian Curtis's songs justice.

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 7:39:03 AM

That was an unexpected highlight of that set. What was really nice was that even though everyone's been on tour for at least a couple of months now, no one was "punching the clock." And nothing about any of the performances felt like, "Oh Christ, here we go again."

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 7:51:16 AM

Yeah, both Bauhaus and NIN definitely gave it their all, which is nice. I'm so sick of paying top dollar for a concert only to have the band look bored to death by being there.

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 7:55:11 AM

I thought there would be problems getting my camera in the show (which turned out to be a **ahem** personal experience all its own) and then being able to keep it once I started snapping pictures, but security seemed pretty cool with it. It wasn’t until “The Hand That Feeds” started playing (and I was being pretty obvious about having it) that a security guy made his way through the crowd and told me to put it away. But you can see that only lasted for about the length of that song.

I was also impressed when Peter Murphy decided to sing and entire song directly under this 10 billion watt spot light that was dangling just a foot over his head. His face had to be getting ready to melt off. I’d almost bet that he got one of those bad sun glasses outline tans around his eyes after that.

In regards to the dancing…I was stunned. I think at one point when Trent was getting down and dirty with that grate I even turned to my husband and said “are you fucking watching this? Just look at him go!” to which I received an unenthused expression. I don’t think he was overly impressed. In hindsight I realize I was preaching to the wrong choir. The entire go-go part of the dance probably only lasted about 15 seconds, ‘cause Trent was actually all over the stage during that song, but I swear ,in my disbelief of what I was seeing, time slowed down.

Posted by: Iris | Jul 7, 2006 9:23:13 AM

I find it to be considerate that you gave us these delicious pictures of dear sparklepants.

I watched the Indianapolis concert on my computer. His man-pris are not so sexy anymore. I really enjoyed his dancing though. Ironic that Trent with clothes on is sexier than a porno?

Posted by: Hannah | Jul 7, 2006 9:23:28 AM

Glad you enjoyed them, Hannah. To be clear, the manpris were never sexy. Trent doesn't have to roast in laminated denim, nor does he have to cover up those delicious meaty calves. The obvious solution? Shorts. (I'd personally skip the black socks and sketchers in combination with said shorts, but it's kind of endearingly dorky.)

Oh, and one detail I forgot to mention:

After the show, as Sam and I walked all the way around the world from our seats to our parking spot, we saw some guy swimming half-naked in *the retention pond*. Gross, gross, gross!

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 11:08:03 AM

No doubt that dumb bastard is suffering with some flesh-eating skin fungus now....

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 11:11:30 AM

Yeah Maise, while we were waiting to meet up with you in the parking lot there was a dude that decided the dumpster next to us was the perfect place to relieve himself. Since he didn't seem to be bashful, I thought about taking his picture just to see if it would make him pee on his shoes but I decided against it. You just don’t want to misjudge the distance between yourself and the individual they decided to turn on you. EEW!

Posted by: Iris | Jul 7, 2006 11:20:39 AM

Can we just come out and say that 98.6% of men are barely house-trained? Because it's true.

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 11:26:26 AM

Can I just say how jealous I am that you have all met and hung out at a NIN show? Fucking hell.


Posted by: Dierdre | Jul 7, 2006 11:30:32 AM

I don’t know how much hanging out we did. Mostly it was trying to find the damned pub, which turns out they changed their name and are located in a warp hole that apparently only yahoo.com can map. So even though they never found the pub, I can say this to the girls…

Maise, Sam I Am. We’ll always have Speedway.

And D, it might take some more creative planning and convincing to get my husband to attend a NIN in Paris, but should the opportunity ever present itself, we’ll totally be there with ya!

Posted by: Iris | Jul 7, 2006 11:48:44 AM

Speedway is definietly the place to meet in Bumblefuck Tinley Park, IL! Oh, and I would be ALL over a European vacation to see Trent.

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 11:52:44 AM

Well, as long as our bank accounts are intact, my husband and I were thinking a trip to Paris may be in the cards soon... ;)

OMG, that fucking pub. I probably shouldn't have been trying to take directions in that state anyway (I hope your husband doesn't think I'm totally retarded, Iris!), but first they changed its name, then it was located on a street that apparently only exists for 200 feet that no one in the area has ever heard of...what a nightmare! (This is why I don't hang out in Tinley Park.)

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 11:56:06 AM

And the map made it look deceptively easy to find....

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 11:59:27 AM

Oh, and as a side note, Maise and Iris, I spoke with a coworker who has actually lived in Tinley Park for all her life, and she'd never heard of the street either. I think it's in a blackhole....

Posted by: Sam I Am | Jul 7, 2006 12:02:11 PM

Maise, do you mean a trip to "Paris" or a trip to Paris? If you mean a trip to "Paris" I am so stoked!! Look to me for free lodging!

Posted by: Dierdre | Jul 7, 2006 12:02:28 PM

Bah, the south(ish) side. If Trent had only made his way back to Rosemont, we would have had a much better view, and we could have kicked back at Gino's afterwards for a 100,000-calorie slice of deep-dish pizza--no muss, no fuss.

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 12:06:15 PM

Well, we were definitely thinking of a trip to "Paris." You know...where you are. We'll have to see how things are looking in a couple of months...we had a credit card bill yesterday that took my breath away, but we're not broke yet!

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 12:07:40 PM

Uuhhh, I wanna go! While I may not be able to fit myself in a suitcase, Maise you can probably fit in a carry on bag and I’ll just let you out once we get on board. =P

Posted by: Iris | Jul 7, 2006 12:19:23 PM

//In any other situation, communal water cups would be disgusting, but there it was completely necessary for survival.//

dudes, i have so, so, SO been there.

trent is definitely shakin' what his momma gave him a lot more on this tour, i have noticed. esp. in recent shows.

i, for one, love the LED curtains. and "burn" but to each his own. i'm sorry the view sucked for you, maise. i think i've been fortunate in this regard.

w/r/t the man-pris, i was wearing almost an identical outfit to trent's at the last show i went to (plus, of course, boobs and ponytail rather than monstrous pecs and lieutenant reznor buzz-cut), and i complained to my best friend that i looked like i played softball in it, if you know what i mean. so are khaki capris manly or not? i'd feel better if they're not...:-) but maybe they're a "don't" for both sexes?

also, nice nice nice pics!

Posted by: beth | Jul 7, 2006 12:29:48 PM

Just as long as I don't get stuck in the cargo hold...

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 12:29:56 PM

Capris are certainly not manly, regardless of the color. I think they're fine on women...and look, I'm hardly one to be issuing fashion "don't"s, especially since at this moment my fashion choices are limited to "what's on top of the huge pile of clean, but unhung, clothes in my bedroom" (not to be confused with "the scattered dirty clothes in various locations in the house").

I'm just saying that we all know that, as hot as Trent is, sometimes he could use just a smidge of guidance in these matters. Not that he asked my opinion, but still.

Posted by: maise | Jul 7, 2006 12:40:29 PM

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