TV on the Radio’s set at Sasquatch earlier today? Fabulous, befitting a band that will, deservedly, be headlining arenas next couple of years. “Young Liars” was transcendent absolutely transcendent. And it was fun seeing comedian Aziz Ansaris (and a couple of other celebs I couldn’t identify from where I was standing) helping out with percussion on “A Method.”
“I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage self that I would be playing music on the same stage as Jane’s Addiction,” shaggy bearded singer-guitarist Kyp Malone early in the set, after “Wolf Like Me.” “It’s pretty sweet.”
“It’s pretty f—– sweet,” agreed singer and “Rachel Getting Married” star Tunde Adebimpe before the band launched into “Blue Down Here” from the “Return to Cookie Mountain” CD.
Apologies to Jane’s Addiction, though. But Nine Inch Nails set should have topped the bill today. I am covered in sweat and beer and probably bruises after jumping around in the pit. And I’d have to rate it one of my favorite concert experiences ever, all the more memorable for being Nails’ final Washington tour stop, if Trent Reznor’s declared intent to quit touring is to be believed. Let’s hope not.
"This is one of my favorite places in the world to play. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than here right now," said Reznor, one of several artists (also Mos Def, TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone) to shout out the Gorge’s majestic beauty.
Nails’ set was equally gorgeous. Reznor and company shed the mind-blowing special effects from last year’s tour and, through the haze of faux fog, let the music do the talking.
During a set list that focused a little more than usual on 1999 double album “The Fragile,” the songs spoke volumes. Nails’ set featured heaviest version of “Terrible Lie” I’ve heard the band; a reverent cover of “Metal,” an underrated cult classic by Reznor’s idol, Gary Numan; Nails rarity “Burn,” from the “Natural Born Killers” soundtrack; and intense performances of “The Becoming” and the title cut from the aforementioned “Fragile” disc. Before making way for tour mates, Jane’s Addiction, the band capped things off with a cathartic encore that consisted of just about the only track Reznor could say good-bye with – signature ballad “Hurt.”
Not sure I can give you the entire set list considering how badly the ink in my note pad is smudged. But here’s most of it, anyway. Anyone else who witnessed this happening feel free to chime in on the cuts the cuts I’m missing here.
Nine Inch Nails set list *
Sasquatch Festival, Gorge Amphitheatre
May 24, 2009
March of the Pigs
Metal (Gary Numan)
I Do Not Want This
“Ghosts” instrumental/ The Way Out Is Through
Hand that Feeds
Head Like a Hole
* Props to reader Aaron K who helped fill in a couple of gaps in my soggy notes.