Saturday, May 16, 2009

NIN/Jane's Addiction with Street Sweeper Social Club - 5/15/09 - Phoenix,AZ

I'm countin' down to the day deservin'
Fittin' for a king
I'm waitin' for the time when I can
Get to Arizona
'Cause my money's spent on
The goddamn rent
Neither party is mine not the
Jackass or the elephant ...

By the Time I Get to Arizona -- Public Enemy

Street Sweeper Social Club comes on stage to the sounds of Public Enemy. The song is By the Time I Get to Arizona, written during a time in AZ history that disgraced and impeached Governor Evan Mecham impeded the establishment of a holiday honoring Martin Luther King. Mecham's gone and the holiday restored, but the need for bands with a political message is still there. There was plenty of that in guitarist Tom Morello's previous band, Rage Against the Machine. Street Sweeper is his latest band. A similar sound to Rage, with a rapper as frontman, but with an extra guitarist and perhaps a bit funkier. They were high energy. Morello's guitar playing was incredible. And I'm looking forward to their debut album when it comes out.

Next up was Nine Inch Nails. Though I've been a fan since I bought Pretty Hate Machine in college, this was my first time to see the "band". "Band", of course, signifying Trent Reznor and whatever group of touring musicians he might be using on that tour. I was not disappointed. This is supposedly his last tour as Nine Inch Nails. Whatever that means, who knows. If it is, then I'm glad I had the chance to catch them.

With no current album to pimp, played all the major songs from most of the albums, plus some more obscure stuff like Dead Souls from the Crow soundtrack. The show was fairly simple, with no pyro, but with plenty of lights. The band played great on all songs, but highlights for me were Heresy and Survivalism, probably because of the lyrical content:

... he dreamed a God up,
and called it Christianity.

God is dead,
and no one cares,
if there is a hell,
I'll see you there.

... his perfect kingdom,
of killing, suffering and pain.
demands devotion
atrocities done in his name.

Heresy by Nine Inch Nails

An outside concert in Phoenix during an unseasonably warm May day might be some people's idea of hell. But the large, sweaty, dirty sea of humanity seemed oddly fitting to the music.

I should have listened to her,
so hard to keep control.
We kept on eating but our
bloated bellies still not full.
She gave us all she had but
we went and took some more.
Can't seem to shut her legs our
mother nature is a whore.

I got my propaganda I got revisionism.
I got my violence in hi-def ultra-realism.
I'm a part of this great nation.
I got my fist I got my plan I got survivalism.

Hypnotic sound of siren
echoing through the street.
The cocking of the rifles,
the marching of the feet.
You see your world on fire,
don't try to act surprised.
We did just what you told us.
Lost our faith along the way and found ourselves believing your lies ...

Survivalism by Nine Inch Nails

You don't usually think of NIN as political, but Trent has definitely skewed that way with his last couple of albums. Survivalism imagines a future where Bush has been President for 20 years.

Wish off of the Broken EP and Hurt off The Downward Spiral also were standout performances. Hurt, of course, was covered by Johnny Cash to much acclaim.

Click this picture for some photos (not mine ... I wasn't that close) from tonight's show:

Last up was Jane's Addiction. It was also the first time that I had seen them. One of my top 10 albums of all-time, Nothing's Shocking. They looked and sounded great, but I don't have a huge review of them because I was mostly standing off to the side having a few beers with my friend Jeremy during their set. With only two real albums, Jane's Addiction doesn't have the amount of songs to choose from that NIN does. As a result, they pretty much played all of those two albums.

Overall, great show. Glad I went.


Laura said...

NIN is just fantastic live. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to seeing Jane's Addiction @ Lollapalooza this year since I'll likely be a volunteer again.

dbackdad said...

Lollapalooza looks like another fantastic lineup. Have you seen Tool or the Beasties before? Tool is incredible.

Jeff said...

I definitely want to see this show when it comes around to my neck of the woods in early June. The last time I saw Janes was back in 03' I believe, at Lollapalooza. They put on an awesome show.

By any chance did they play "Ted, Just Admit It"?

Sadie Lou said...

While I enjoy the sounds NIN makes, Trent Reznor's lyrics are startling.
I remember when "Closer" was released...
"You get me closer to god..."
The man is a little on the sick side, mentally.

dbackdad said...

Jeff - Yep. Here's the entire set list:

Phoenix May 15 '09
Sadie - I'd certainly grant you that some of his lyrics would be offensive to Christians.

Laura said...

Sadie: You might like Year Zero and The Slip - his two newest albums. They're more political (still angry, but nowhere near the level of Downward Spiral).

dbackdad said...

Cool video of Trent playing with Street Sweeper doing the MC5's Kick out the Jams:

Kick Out the Jams

Sadie Lou said...

Thanks Laura!

shrimplate said...

I'm glad these folks are still around.

I've never seen Rage perform, but one of the early Lollopaloozas had NIN and Jane in the line-up. They were great then, and I believe they still are.