March 30, 2005
Feara and Loathinga in Fresno, Reno, and Davis
As a couple of you bastards might have noticed, I've been "AFK" for a little while, and therefore have been unable to do really important things like reading the impossibly stupid emails people send me, performing random Google image searches, and hanging out on personals websites pretending to be a "F SEEKING F." Oh, and updating this piece of shit website, of course. You're probably wondering what I could possibly have been doing during this past week, since it's not like I have a life or anything. You're thinking, "How come Meathead isn't writing about all this dumb NIN crap going on? Is he dead? Oh please God let him be dead. I'd give anything if he would just be gone from our lives forever."
Here's what happened. Occasionally I find myself in random places in the western United States, and somehow I ended up in picturesque Fresno, California last Tuesday. I'd always wanted to go there, and finally, after years of saving up my hard-earned money, I was able to see this place with my own eyes. My common-law wife, "Mrs. Head" and I met up with some friends who I will refer to under the assumed names of "Ffilc", "Ydnew" and "Kcirtap" to protect their identities, and we decided to spend the day there and take in the
Because I'm a total fucking retard, I thought I'd try and take notes during the show. I thought it might make for a semi-interesting Meathead Perspective, since there's not much of anything else going on to write about. Unfortunately, my handwriting looks like I was holding the Sharpie with my butt cheeks (I wasn't, I swear), but I'll try to make some sense of my notes here. I forgot to write down a few of the songs because I was distracted by that stupid girl in the next row who was dancing like she was being attacked by bees. Seriously, why is that girl at every single show I go to? Do her parents know where she is?
"LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH"
They opened with this new little ditty about... love, I guess. Whatever. I don't want to hear them open with a new song even though I've been bitching about there being no new songs for the last three years! Wah, wah, I'm never happy!
"DON'T YOU FUCKING KNOW WHAT YOU FUCKING ARE, YOU FUCKING FUCK?"
Another new song! Stop punishing us! We just want to hear the same songs you've played a million times before, in exactly the same way you played them before! If we can't obnoxiously sing along to it off-key, it's just not worth hearing! Trunk Razor screamed a lot, and repeatedly asked me (personally) if I was currently aware of what I was. I kept shouting out "No, I do not know what I am, please inform me!" but he must not have heard me because he never gave me a satisfactory answer. I really didn't appreciate that.
"MARCH OF THE PIGS"
Yeah, this song again. In case you haven't heard it, you are dumb please go away. Shockingly enough, he managed to survive the entire song without TOTALLY FUCKING UP the words. I was pleased by this and therefore forgave him for his previous faux pas. I like using the term "faux pas" because it makes me look like I actually went to college.
"THE LINE BEGINS TO BLUR"
I'd already listened to this song a few (63,205) times since it bizarrely materialized on my computer's hard drive a few weeks ago. So when I heard the soothing opening bars of this tune at the show, I squealed loudly and informed the gentleman beside me how excited I was to be hearing it live. He kicked me a few times in the groin, but I was still totally psyched to be finally hearing this song outside of my computer and portable mp3 device. I'd better act like I don't know the words, though, just in case the band can see me all the way back here in Row T.
For people who thought "hey mother fucking pig" sounded stupid, good news! For people who thought "hey mother fucking pig" was the single coolest thing that has ever happened in the history of time, horrible news! Can you guess what the news is? That's right, the drum part at the end still sounds cool! Thank you Jerome Dillon, both for the killer drumming and for validating my parking!
I guess it was at this point that Trunk realized he had forgotten to open with "Terrible Lie," so he ran to the back of the stage, pressed the "Terrible Lie" button, and then fired the roadie whose job it was to remind him to open with "Terrible Lie." Anyway, it sounded just as "Terrible Lie"-y as ever. Hey God, indeed (Whatever that's supposed to mean).
"THE STAMP COLLECTION"
I totally don't even remember anything about this song, other than the lyrics pertained to collecting something or other, which I assume was stamps. I myself dabbled in philately briefly as a child, but then stopped once I discovered other things.
OMG OMG They're playing my song! Trent must have received the psychic messages I was sending him while I was out in the car! Note to self: send psychic message "Funky Cold Medina" tomorrow. Actually, as soon as I heard the beginning of this song, I was overcome with an overpowering urge to roll my eyes so far back into my head that they'd get sucked into a parallel universe. Fortunately, I managed to resist this urge, because I like my eyes (they see things). But at the end, something weird happened. The band was clearly too wasted to remember what song they were playing at the time, and started playing "The Only Time" instead. Way to go, guys! But Trunk smoothly mixed it into the end of "Closer" and I am certain he would insist they totally meant to do that. AS IF!
I wonder what "Awitha teetha" means anyway. Maybe it's Latin for "I'm a goddamn hippie." Nice tambourine there, Bob.
Note to self: Be sure to make some hilarious joke about this being a Johnny Cash cover, because that hasn't been done yet.
"THE HAND THAT FEEDS"
I guess this sounds a little better than the radio rip. Not quite as gay.
"HEAD LIKE A HOLE"
Man, I feel about 10 pounds lighter now. I wonder what they're going to play in the encore?
As you can tell, I enjoyed the show. The stage setup was pretty wacky. I wasn't really expecting it, but they decided to go with a Hungry Hungry Hippos visual theme for this show. I guess that kind of makes sense, you know, since Hungry Hungry Hippos have teeth, and are always biting... It was a little weird, and one might even think such a concept would come off as a little tacky, but they actually managed to make it work. I don't care what my uncle says, Trent is a genius.
Of course, the band was as energetic as ever. Guitarist Aaron North, whom I shall henceforth occasionally refer to as "Jumpy McJumperson," made a habit of constantly threatening drummer Jerome Dillon by jumping and kicking and throwing things in his general direction. Trent is in remarkably good shape for a 50-year-old, and is still quite able to do the official Nine Inch Nails fist-pump motion during the line "shove it up inside, surprise!" (this had been a major concern of mine). Italian Alessandro Cortini wowed me with his ability to not only stand there and play keyboards, but also stand there and play backing guitar. Take that Charlie Clouser! Jeordie White gave me $50 to mention his mind-blowing bass skills on here, because he thought it might help him get laid.
After the lights came back on, Mrs. Head and I tracked down the other members of our party. Once it was assessed that most of us had not been destroyed to death (R.I.P. Kcirtap), we whipped out our passes and made our way past some intimidating bald men to the backstage area so that we could annoy the band for a little bit before our obligatory Denny's visit. We wandered around the labyrinth the building's architects had cleverly built to keep annoying fans away, but in spite of their best efforts, we eventually found ourselves in Nine Inch Nails' dressing room. But before any of us could form the thought "Wow we are in Nine Inch Nails' dressing room," we were all overpowered by the intense, crushing odor of something that resembled burnt cat food (it didn't take us long to identify the source as being Jordie). Of course, being that this was a Nine Inch Nails concert, there was already a massive drug and sex orgy in full swing. We'd already had enough of those the previous week, so we just hung out in the corner and drank some puregrain liquor. I was hoping for just a glass of water, or maybe a really disgusting protein shake, but apparently Trent doesn't want any of that pussy shit at his parties.
After Jeordie left and the smell began to clear out of the room, Trent finally stumbled in with the obligatory Jose Cuervo bottle in hand. "What the hell are you fucking people doing in my room?" inquired Trent, who then proceeded to hurl the half-empty bottle at the closest mirror. He screamed at his assistant for a couple minutes until finally forgetting what he was mad about, and then started to mingle with the group of now terrified people while we desperately tried to avoid eye contact. But sure enough, he ended up approaching us.
"Who the motherfuck are you fucks?" asked Trent.
"Just some fans," I replied. "Please don't hit us, sir."
"Hey, you're that guy who knew the words to The Line Begins to Blur!" screamed Trent.
"He also writes the Meathead Perspective!" interjected Ffilc, in a stunning display of ineptitude.
I don't really want to talk about what happened after that.
The next morning, while we were counting our bruises, Ydnew noticed a television advertisement for a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament that was to take place that very night in Reno, Nevada. I had always wanted to go to Reno anyway, after seeing the fabulous Fred Savage film The Wizard, so we all dropped what we were doing (drugs) and jumped in the car. It wasn't until we were about halfway there that we realized that none of us give a flying fuck about Yu-Gi-Oh!, but at that point we figured since we'd already gone that far, we might as well get drunk and gamble at the Reno Hilton.
It was the damnedest thing, though. Not long after we checked into the hotel and hit the slot machines, I noticed an unusually long line of goth kids forming near one end of the casino floor. Obviously this could only mean one thing, but just to be sure, I asked the nice old lady next to me if she knew what the fuck was going on, and she said that Nine Inch Nails was playing right there at the Hilton tonight. Then she died, so I grabbed her purse and ran upstairs. Turns out she had four tickets and aftershow passes for the show! Well, that and three rolls of quarters, a tube of Icy Hot, and a coupon for a free breakfast buffet. Score!
We arrived at the Hilton Theater just in time to catch the last couple songs of Wayne Newton's opening act. Then it was time to rock! This time, for some reason they ditched the Hungry Hungry Hippos concept, and everyone wore Gary Busey masks instead. Trent Reznor never ceases to amaze me! Well, whenever he's not punching me repeatedly in the stomach, that is. This show was even more exciting than the first show, since they played my favorite songs: "Reptile," "Brass Monkey" and "Professor Booty." Aaron North was even more hyperactive than last time, and endangered the life of everyone within a 30-foot radius of the stage. And to top it all off, Jeordie must have taken a shower, since I couldn't smell him anymore. Good times all around.
After the show ended, Jerome "I Have Many Extra Drumsticks" Dillon threw his drumsticks into the audience, causing a riot of epic proportions, because apparently Jerome's drumsticks are the cure for cancer (I was previously unaware of this). Ffilc and I just happen to be masters of the art of kung fu, as it turns out, so we quickly put a stop to the melee, and did the right thing by selling the drumsticks the next day to some kid for 80 bucks. See, we're really nice people.
We figured the dead old lady wouldn't have wanted her backstage passes to go to waste, so we soon found ourselves in a swanky little back room, where the band (sans Reznor) was deeply engrossed in that night's episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I don't want to give away too much, but did you know Alessandro can breathe smoke out of any hole in his body? I too used to be unaware of this little fun fact, and I think life was better back then. All things considered, this night's backstage experience was a lot more subdued than the previous night's (in spite of all the wanton ass-signing going on) and I guess Trent figured there was no point in showing up. Understandable. I stuffed my pockets with finger sandwiches and drank a whole bunch of beer while conversing with Aaron North about... trucks, or architecture, or something. I don't remember.
Eventually, the Hilton's management got tired of us good-for-nothing stoners hanging around, so they kicked everyone out. Fortunately, the nin.com webmaster, Roy something-or-other (I forget his last name) was inebriated enough to invite the party upstairs, and that's when things really got kicked up a notch. Seriously, you haven't lived until you've stood in a hotel hallway at 4 in the morning, drunk, and talking about glitches in Super Mario Bros. Did you know that if you beat World 3-2 in under 1 minute 20 seconds while eating LSD and standing on your head, Satan will jump out of the castle and start rapping the Fresh Prince theme song? I saw it with my own eyes!
By the next morning, I think my friends and I were all "ninned out." After two straight nights of Nine Inch Nails, we really just wanted to take it easy. We were sitting around in the casino trying to think of someplace to go to spend the day, when Mrs. Head suggested we visit Davis, California. Why this choice wasn't immediately obvious, I'll never know. But we all wholeheartedly agreed that Davis would be just the place to go to get away from it all, considering that it wasn't tourist season and it wouldn't likely be too crowded. So we packed up our things, hauled ass to Davis, and checked into the Holiday Inn.
While relaxing by the pool and reading the paper to look for things to do that night, Ffilc saw that Harry Connick Jr. was playing at Freeborn Hall. He's a huge Harry Connick Jr. fan, and we think he's a total choad because of it, but we figured there wasn't anything better to do, and it would at least be a change of pace from the past two days. We had a wonderful lobster dinner and then headed out to catch the show. You'll never guess what happened next! As it turns out, Ffilc was looking at the wrong date. Harry Connick Jr. wasn't playing that night after all. Instead, it was Nine Inch Nails. Goddamn it. This was starting to get pretty ridiculous.
Just then, Ffilc spied another dead hooker behind some bushes across the street. For a second, I thought we were in Fresno all over again. He ran over to check it out, and what do you know, he found a gold necklace, an 8-ball of crack cocaine, and four tickets and backstage passes to the NIN show! Who would have thought we'd have such luck? Do you know how much an 8-ball costs these days? Without wasting any time, we burned through half the 8-ball in under ten minutes, and made it inside just in time to watch Reznor and Pals open with "The Frail." I tell you, you haven't heard "The Frail" until you've heard it on crack. It's like a totally different song.
This time the band decided on a shark theme for the show. It would have worked out pretty well, had Jeordie not forgotten to show up for rehearsal. The band moped their way through their setlist, which was shockingly different from that of the other two shows. Unfortunately, they never did play "Down In It (Singe)", but aside from that, it was a pretty solid performance. One of my main complaints up to this point, however, was that no annoying douchebags had jumped up onto the stage yet. I would have been quite let down if I had gone to three NIN shows in a row and not seen an annoying douchebag jump up on stage so he could touch Trent. Fortunately, fate intervened at the last minute, and an annoying douchebag made his way onto the stage during "Head Like A Hole," the very last song. At first I was confused since I didn't remember some moron in a Fixed t-shirt being in the band, but then my heart lept with joy upon realizing that this person wasn't a band member, he was the long-awaited annoying douchebag! What a relief that was.
After the annoying douchebag was ejected from the stage by the friendly security guard and the song finished, the lights came back on and we headed backstage. But we all came right back out upon realizing that everyone was totally naked back there. After waiting a few minutes so they could put their goddamned clothes on, we returned to the backstage area, along with some other people who had apparently won backstage passes from some Nickelodeon contest. One girl, who appeared to be about twelve years old, was apparently very distraught to be there, since she was on the verge of tears. After a few minutes of this, Jeordie decided to grace the room with his presence, I guess because he was looking for the bathroom. Upon seeing Crying Girl sitting there on the couch, he decided to sit down beside her to cheer her up (God I hope that was the reason). Unfortunately, Jeordie's presence only caused Crying Girl to cry even more (can you blame her?), so he went back downstairs to do whatever it is he does.
This "party" was getting more and more sad by the minute, what with all the goth kids, Jeordie, and the only thing to drink being tepid water. We were getting ready to split when, miraculously, some beer showed up, along with Jerome, Atticus Ross and Roy Sheraton (I finally remembered that guy's name). But they were only there for a couple of minutes, and once they sensed how lame it was, they started to leave. Fortunately, however, they were pretty drunk by this point, and must have mistaken my friends and me for somebody else. "We're going out to the tour bus," said Roy. "You guys should come hang out with us and eat some hot, delicious KFC." None of us were stupid enough to turn down free KFC, so we followed the gang out to the bus.
Thankfully, Trent had passed out long before we arrived, otherwise there's no way we would have gotten to stay long enough to eat all their food. After we eradicated all their chicken pot pies, I checked the freezer and, I shit you not, it was completely stocked with Hot Pockets. Needless to say, those were history within fifteen minutes. As an added "bonus," our dinner music, provided by none other than Jeordie, consisted of Hanson's "Mmbop" and other fabulous 90's pop hits. I always knew he was into that shit. It just goes to show what I'm willing to put up with in order to get some free food.
We stuck around for a little while longer, raiding Nine Inch Nails' fridge, using their bathroom, and poking Trent with a stick, until it started looking like he was about to regain consciousness. At that point we decided it would be a good time to leave. I grabbed as much as I could from the fridge, Ffilc stole Trent's wallet, and Yndew distracted the bus driver while Mrs. Head removed the hubcaps. All in all, I think we made off pretty good. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry, we'll have the hubcaps up on eBay as soon as possible. We're not selfish!
And that concludes the story of my Nine Inch Nails week. Sure, some of you may think it's just a little too hard to believe, that this stuff couldn't possibly be for real. You may think I'm totally full of shit. But you know, that really hurts my feelings. I try really hard to keep this website as accurate and free of disinformation as possible, and I'd appreciate it if you would try and trust me a little more. I don't think that's too much to ask.