September 19, 2005
Damn It, Jerome!
Boy, the Withteethity 2.0 tour sure got off to an awesome start on Friday! Oh wait, no it didn't. I must be thinking of the Rolling Stones, whose drummer, Charlie Watts, is still able to play through an entire setlist despite being 97 years old. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for NIN drummer Jerome "Chest Pains" Dillon, who apparently thought a heart attack scare was a reasonable excuse to cut short the first show of the fall tour. As if. Did Def Leppard's drummer stop playing after a pack of wildebeests stampeded on stage and gnawed his arm off? No, he kept right on going, because he's that committed to the music. Not that I'm insinuating that NIN is as important as Def Leppard, but I think the same principle still applies. At the very least, he could have stuck it out through "Eraser", the coolest NIN song ever. Like the beat is that hard to play. Dun dun DUNdun dun DUNdundun dun dun DUNdun. Even Chris Vrenna can do it.
Seriously, though, it would have kinda sucked if Jerome had died, since he's the most important member of the band. As INXS has proven, lead singers are easy to replace via reality TV. Alessandro just hangs out in the back and pushes buttons that could probably just as easily push themselves. Aaron spends more time spazzing out and kicking things than actually playing guitar, and I seriously doubt anyone would notice if a vagrant meth addict took his place. But everyone knows that the drummer is the glue that holds the band together, and not just because he's sticky and smells funny.
Speaking of sniffing glue, I couldn't help but notice that somebody put "Deep" on the setlist for that night. I guess if there is an upside to Jerome's little hospital excursion, it's that it happened before they made it to this song. Can you imagine how bad it would have been if the concert had been cut short and they'd played "Deep"? Forget Jerome, think of the poor fans!
Let's take a peek at the whole setlist for Friday's ill-fated performance:
The Line Begins To Blur
March of the Pigs
The Frail / The Wretched
Right Where It Belongs
Beside You In Time
You Know What You Are?
Not So Pretty Now
Down In It
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole
"Deep" and "Starfuckers, Inc." aside, they obviously put all the good stuff in the second half of the show. In bands that have drummers with stamina equal to or greater than the average chain-smoking centenarian, this wouldn't be a problem, but in the case of Mr. I Can't Even Make It Through Eraser here, this clearly isn't a good idea. Therefore, I've created an appropriately adjusted setlist for the band to play every single night with no changes or surprises whatsoever:
Not So Pretty Now (whatever the fuck that is)
Help Me I Am In Hell
Right Where It Belongs
Beside You In Time
A Warm Place
The Great Below
Pinion (for 45 minutes)
As you can see, this new arrangement gets "Eraser" out of the way first, then that new song which hopefully doesn't suck ass, and then "Only". With the possible exception of the second song, none of these are particularly demanding, drumwise. After the third song is over, Jerome can go backstage where EMT's will be waiting to check his blood pressure and heart rate, then he can take have some milk and cookies and take a nap while the rest of the band and Jeordie play the drumless songs (a.k.a. "pussy songs") from NIN's catalog. If he's feeling up to it by then, Jerome may come out and hit the drums three times at the end of "Hurt", but if not, Alessandro can just scoot over and do it. See how easy that is? Why I'm not the band's tour manager is completely beyond me.
Anyway, the tour will again attempt to kick off tonight in Phoenix (sorry Tucson! LOL!), assuming Jerome doesn't suddenly have an aneurysm, catch leprosy, get run over by the tour bus, fall into the Grand Canyon, or get an Excedrin headache this big. While I normally wouldn't care since I won't be at that show anyway, I would like to hear a recording of how bad they butcher "Only" live, so it would be great if Jerome could hang in there long enough for that.
I know, I know, I must be sounding like an insensitive jerk right now, and I apologize. "Deep" probably isn't that bad live.