oh danny boy Toronto, ontario

claire paterson (claire@the-wire.com):

Let me tell you, it was a weird event. I missed Prick completely because of my friends -- but I saw NIN right from the start and it was awesome. I couldn't see very well, but Trent gave me my money's worth of live energy and good emotion. I tried to be charitable to the screaming 14-year-olds in front of me but it was hard -- if they scream, they can't hear the music. (If they just wanted to see Trent, they should have stayed home with a picture and...well...whatever.)

Trent and Bowie play together, and it works really well. Reznor doesn't have the same style as Bowie, but they make a great pair.

I am sad to say that the rest of Bowie's set wasn't that good. I know it's a concept album, so maybe it makes more sense when you can put it in context.

mike de eyre (md@io.org):

I don't know what some people were smoking when they said that NIN's gone a little soft, but it must have been harsh....

...I've been to the Dome tons of times for baseball, football, and one concert -- but this "SkyTent" setup was totally different. The whole 500 level was covered, and there was a huge curtain cutting the dome in half, so it was a semi circle. There was a tent-style roof at the 500 level. And the best thing was, the floor was SO small. Now I knew why I didn't get tickets despite being second in line: The floor was the size of a living room. (I am totally serious -- no exaggeration!) There weren't even too many people there, so I moved right to what would be second row, in the center.

Prick (one of my favourite bands) came on. They did "Communique" (incredible live), then "Riverhead," followed by an amazing version of "Other People," during which a small slam pit started.... Prick played three more songs, and "Animal" was the only one anyone knew. It was an amazing performance, and when it was over the Dome was starting to fill up.

During the break, I was going mad because they were playing the prerecorded tape for some NIN songs. They were only playing them over the monitor amps, but I could hear it because I was really close. They played the whole tape backup of "burn," and it sounded really cool without the live stuff. Finally, they filled the entire stage up with smoke so you couldn't see shit, and the lights went out. The two opening chords of "terrible lie" started, and out of the smoke came Trent wearing black leather pants and a black T-shirt. His hair was also really wet -- I could see it dripping! I thought they were incredible. Some highlights: "sanctified," which was really slow but got heavy at the end; "piggy" (FDtS version), which was amazing live; "burn," which Trent did a really good job on (and said "fuck" for the first time in the entire show -- amazing!); "wish," where the strobe lights made me lose my sense of direction (and when they got turned off I was on the floor with some guy on top of me); and my personal favourite part of the show, "eraser," where they had an amazing movie -- when you watched it, it was like you were on LSD. Maybe it's just because I was close, but there would be bees, then there would be flowers, but I didn't see the change....

Than Bowie came on, everyone cheered, and Trent played sax, which was a mind-defying experience. He's actually really good. "Hurt" was pretty good (the arrangement), but I wish Trent had sung the whole thing. Some girl fainted on me and I was helping her out, so I missed a bit. Trent was playing keyboard, but I don't think he was really doing anything, because he just kept banging it over and over with his palm. One last high point -- when they played "closer to god" and everyone was so confused!

...It looked to me that for about half the songs, Charlie Clouser was playing drums. Weird. The pit wasn't too wild, but it was there. It's probably because a good portion of the people were there to see Bowie. Except for a couple of crowdsurfing assholes, everything was pretty cool.

Bowie's set...I didn't think it was that great. I have nothing against Bowie, I'm just not really into his stuff. The best part was during "Man Who Sold the World," when someone threw a cigarette at Bowie, and he caught it and smoked it. The concert ended at around 11:15, and I got home thinking it was incredible, even though I couldn't move my neck. Even the Toronto Star gave the show a good review, which is a rare event.

michael fiegel (mikel@buffnet.net):

I thought NIN's stripped-down show, with less of the throwing things around and overdone lights, was great. I'm glad Trent decided to come out full force and play music like we all know he can. He's pretty good on a sax, too.

Trent and Bowie singing "hurt" was the highlight of the show, and I'm glad I was there to witness it. The rest of their five-song set was okay, but "hurt" was the highlight....

Highlight of the NIN set was "burn," which I hadn't heard live before. And I finally got to hear BOWIE sing "The Man who Sold the World"...too bad half of the kids there thought he was covering a Nirvana song.

As for the SkyDome -- the seating arrangement sucked. There were only maybe a quarter of the seats that were in front of the stage, so three-quarters of the people got a nice side view of a bunch of smoke and speakers (I was one). I don't know how many of you have been to the SkyDome before...they cut it by a third and put up cloth to make a tent. The acoustics were okay, considering what it was -- but everyone near me was bitching about the seats, and I have to admit it's probably the worst seat I've ever had for any concert.... To get an idea what this was like, draw a circle and cut it into thirds with parallel lines. Take the bottom chunk of that circle, and put a tiny square along the flat part, in the center. That was the stage. The movie screen was impossible to see unless you were right in front of it, and because of the smoke, 75 percent of the people couldn't even tell when Trent was on stage.

Oh...someone was commenting about those "weird stars" and "symbols" NIN have on their new T-shirts. I'd have thought you could figure it out...the eight-pointed star is a Chaos rune.

maura daffern (3mcd3@qlink.queensu.ca):

Trent is AWESOME on sax. That was the most beautiful moment of the concert. It was so subtle and blended in so well with the rest of the music ... peaceful, and floaty, and just beautiful. His playing took my breath away.

I really didn't want to hear "hurt" in concert, because, well, I just don't like listening to that anymore. But it was nice. Trent's and Bowie's voices harmonized really well together.

Oh...and it cracked me up to hear Bowie singing "reptile." He has a really nice voice, but he sounds, well, a little too highbrow and British to be singing that song. I like Trent's snarling contempt much better.

I thought Prick was great! I had "Tough" running through my head for the rest of the night.

I had a problem [with Bowie's set]...what it really was is that I did not know any of the songs he played. I think he played three old ones (or was it two?), and the only other song I recognized was "The Heart's Filthy Lesson." The rest of the songs were off his new album, and I hadn't heard any of them yet. I can't get into a concert when I haven't heard the music before.

"Burn" was fucking awesome. I went absolutely nuts. Ditto "wish," "gave up," and MotP. And I did hear some kid behind me say, "Isn't this a Nirvana song?" Hah.

robert a. bailey (rbailey@uoguelph.ca):

The two of them click so fucking well! "Reptile" was the best song of the entire show!

james mcgarry (jmcgarry@uoguelph.ca):

Hmmm. I would have said it was "wish" for NIN and that sorta ragga-deathmetal version of "Andy Warhol" for Bowie. The "hurt" duet was nice, though. I was actually hoping for a nice industrial version of "The Bewlay Brothers."

mr. jupiter 6 (synthboy@teleport.com):

...Or maybe one of these reasons:

jerry lawrence (jerry@csh.rit.edu):

Let me start by saying that Prick was not too bad. "Animal" was the only decent song they played, as would be expected....

NIN's set started quite abruptly. The lights in the SkyTent went off, then within five seconds, "terrible lie" started. No "pinion." It was also kinda weird, as there was an intense amount of smoke on the stage...it looked as though something had exploded. You couldn't see anything until about the third song or so. We were wondering if Trent and his gang were actually on stage ... hehe.

During Trent's songs, there were himself and two other guitarists playing. He also had two drummers. Another difference between this show and other NINcerts I've been to was that this one seemed much less computer-based. There still was a tape track being played, but it seems to have much less stuff on it.

Another thing I noticed was that it felt like Trent was in a good mood. He just didn't seem to be pissed off at anyone.... The most damaging thing he did was knock over his keyboard and stand when he finished playing one of Bowie's tunes.

Amazingly enough, the acoustics were friggin' awesome. There was, for the most part, no echo at all. The bass was impressive, and the highs were there, but not overpowering. Aurally, it was the best concert I've ever been to....

"the becoming" -- Yes...Trent finally plays this song in concert, and yes, it is as good as would be expected.

"sanctified" -- No kidding. It was amazing. They played an intro to it, as you'd hear on the purest feeling boot, but it was completely different. The arrangement of "sanctified" was very reminiscent of the '90 tour, but a tad modernized. Great song.

"piggy" -- I personally don't like the Rubin mix all that much, but being that all of the rhythm and guitar tracks were performed live, it gave it a whole new depth. It was impressive.

"burn" -- Yes! I finally got to hear this one live, and I now understand all the lyrics. Great tune, great performance.

"eraser" -- new film, new arrangement. It started with the traditional sounds, but it was...different.

"hurt" -- WOW! It was like a new song. There was a new rhythm behind the whole song, and the meter was changed a bit in the song for Bowie's singing style. The harmonizing in the "you could have it all" section was amazing. WOW.

"reptile" -- Equally amazing. The switchoff between Bowie and Trent was awesome.

Yes, that's right...no "head like a hole." No "happiness in slavery." I only wish that Bowie would put out a CD of him singing NIN songs with Trent's band (or that Trent or Bowie would put out a live CD of this concert).

All in all, this was by far the best concert I've ever been to. Bowie's set was great as well.

the dragon reborn (rbipma@inforamp.net):

WHAT THE FUCK?!? Forgive me, but have you taken leave of your FUCKING senses? Prick was fucking fantastic, abso-fucking-lutely in-your-fucking-face jean-creaming exciting. "Animal" was the only good song they played?!? What on earth! What concert were you at, man? Sort yourself out.

blair mcbride (deviant@realm.tdkcs.waterloo.on.ca):

I paid $40 to see half an hour of Alvin and the Chipmunks dressed up in NIN costumes playing NIN music.

What's with the mosh pit, people? Ever heard of energy? Wake up, we're at a concert!

By the way, anyone have any boots of this yet? Let me know if ya do....

aaron hardwick (hardwick@vaxxine.com):

From what I could see, the mosh pit wasn't fucking moving at all! By the way, after about the third song by Bowie, did you see that guy who tried crowdsurfing in the stands? He was in around Section 127 or so -- just wondering if he landed without a broken back.

Prick was great; it's just too bad they were opening and could only do five songs.

I was kind of surprised at how little throwing of equipment there was on stage. I only saw Trent slam the keyboard down once and didn't see anything else fly.

the happy slave (macaroni@interlog.com):

Well, it's Thursday afternoon, I'm awake and sober...the show last night was absolutely fucking brilliant. What else can I say? There is nothing else to say (except somehow I've gotta write a review).

I thought Prick was amazing, much better live than in studio -- harsher, more crunchy sound. (They shoulda gotten Prick involved with the duets!) They played a few songs off the album -- "Animal," "Tough," "Communique," etc. Then, after 20 minutes of wonderful greatness the lights began to glow once again and the smoke began to clear...

Then, Mr. Darkness himself appears in a cloud of smoke, and the opening notes to "terrible lie" echo around the huge baseball stadium. The crowd jumps to their feet, and the party begins.... Trent and his team of crazy musicians totally rocked the SkyDome out of its foundations. The songs were a little toned down as he promised and linked together with a few new sounds (new tunes in the works maybe?) ... before winding down with the smooth but dirty vibrations of Mr. Reznor's saxophone.

Now, it was time for Mr. Shiny-Suited Bowie to grace the stage. Out he strolled, looking very comfortable with the situation. [They did] a not-so-good version of "hurt" (that song is only meant for Trent to sing).... Slowly the Nails filtered off the stage and were replaced by the Duke's band. It was strange not to be able to say goodbye to NIN, because no one really knew they were finished with their performance....

Bowie, now left alone to entertain the city for the first time in five years, went on to play a variety of good and not-so-good tunes -- but for the most part it was very, very good. The songs I kinda knew, like "Heart's Filthy Lesson," "Scary Monsters," and "Breaking Glass (In Your Room Again)," were great....

The fans were the thing I had the most problem with. For some strange reason, Toronto was dead that night. I was in Section 128, and as soon as Bowie started doing his own songs everyone started to sit down. What the hell was that all about? There were about five of us still standing and I wasn't planning on parking my ass on any seat just yet. It's a fucking concert! Not a bloody Blue Jays game. So then, about five songs later, this asshole tapped me on the shoulder and pointed at my seat. I sat, briefly, then we (me and my fellow concertgoer) thought, "why should we?" So, we stood up and continued to move to the grooves of the Thin White Duke. About three songs after that the usher comes up, blinding us with her flashlight, and asks us to sit down. SHE TOLD US TO SIT DOWN! Since when was standing up at a concert the wrong thing to do?... We reluctantly sat down (after giving the asshole a very long death stare). So, if this sounds familiar to you -- you bastard in Section 128, Row 27, Seat 8, with curly hair and the "ninedavidinchbowienails" T-shirt on -- FUCK YOU!

It wasn't just this dickhead, the whole SkyDome was kinda subdued. And I heard someone say that the mosh pit was totally dead. Oh well.

Nevertheless, it was a fantastic show. I just hope Trent doesn't get pissed off at Toronto. GREAT PERFORMANCE!

stephane giroux (sgiroux@interlink.net):

I travelled to Toronto to see the Serious Moonlight and Never Let Me Down shows. It seems Bowie fans in Toronto enjoy their shows on their comfortable asses. Bummer, it seems they haven't changed. I didn't go Wednesday because I live under the illusion that the tour will eventually stop here in Montreal....

into the pit