MEW/NIN Gig – July 9th 2009
Another day, another gig. This time it’s in Luxembourg.
I had no expectations of the venue but I must say I was surprised to see it wasn’t all that big. My guess would be a 5k capacity tops. But then I reminded myself of where I was and let’s be honest, Luxembourg is tiny! With that in mind it came as a surprise to me that the venue wasn’t packed. My estimate would be that it was at half of its capacity, if that! During the gig one could easily walk around from side to side and as you’ll see by the photos, one was able to get very close to the stage. So, it wasn’t a sold out gig. Hmm…
As it normally happens when I go to NIN gigs, I was expecting the usual depressed and/or angry teens, some older Goths, the always present emo crowd and the typical arse licking psychofans. But not here! People looked pretty non-descript and lots of smiling faces everywhere. This confused me somewhat and got me thinking…Has Trent Reznor`s friendly advice to cutters on how better to do it for bigger pay-offs has finally had an impact and diminished his fan base?
Let us move on to what matters: Mew. For those of you who don’t know Mew, they are a 5 piece alternative prog-rockish band from Copenhagen and have been around for 15yrs or so. Mew has seen members come and go and their style has evolved (like it should) but they always had a very distinctive sound which they like to describe as “pretentious arty rock”.
Mew’s set was very good. Not once did they drop the ball. They were and looked very professional, passionate and as though they were having a good time, not to mention they were as tight as a rat’s arse. The punters obviously picked up on that because everybody (after their gig) was in total awe of them. My personal opinion is that their set was too short. We could have all done with a few more tunes from them. All in all Mew is full of WIN
Not sure if there were technical difficulties or if TR couldn’t find the right shade of black T-shirt to wear but NIN had us waiting for about 45 minutes. Obviously by then the punters were not amused and started to get restless, to boo and whistle…Pretty much like what happened at Southside festival in Germany minus the cold & rain.
So after the long wait NIN finally showed up. With not a single word to the crowd, NIN played song after song, like they were doing a 9 to 5 job. Reznor looked even more tired than he has done recently and was doing his part of the “routine”, nothing more. Once again he was a let down as a showman and most disappointing of all, as a singer. This “bad vibe” he so strongly transmitted to us must have been picked up but the rest of the band because they all seemed a bit bored.
Having said that, bored or not the rest of the band delivered what was expected of them. They are extremely good musicians. To me the obvious centre stage, the one who carries NIN on his back is Robin Finck. The dude is just bloody awesome! Hard not to ask oneself what Robin could/would achieve if he had a band of his own. He is front-man material, he can sing (and hit the notes) and is just an amazing bundle of pure energy combined with incredible talent and feeling. WIN to Robin Finck and the rest of the band (minus Fatznor)
Going quickly back to the gig as a whole, I recall Reznor mumbling “thank you” once but even that wasn’t audible. I am positive those present would have appreciated a bit more than a mumbled, almost begrudging “thank you”. It is possible he could have mumbled something else and I just didn’t hear it because apart from paying a lot more attention to the others onstage, I can also almost completely block out Reznor`s voice. He also seemed a bit pissed off because the audience wasn’t as quiet as he obviously had wished for during the last song (Hurt) and there was no encore. So, again, Reznor was/is FAIL in my books.
Check out the photos HERE