first night in chicago with NIN

This blog was originally posted to The Dresden Dolls Diary.


the set in st. loius was rough. i’m having a “aliens invading my brain” experience with the new in-ear moniters i’m using.
not only that, we hadn’t played a dresden dolls-only (no NIN) show in a week, and i hadn’t taken into account how rusty we would be without having practiced our other material. but the crowd seemed to love it. brian and i have been struggling with these mindfucks lately. what makes a good show? brian can play the shit out of those drums some nights and then go lock himslef in a closet after the gig, banging his head against a wall sobbing “i’m a bad drummer” (well, i exaggerate, but it can get dramatic.). sometimes i will feel like i played like total shit and, nonetheless, will get the most tear-jerked-you-changed-my-life-tonight comments from people after the set. one thing we’ve definitely determined (and this supports an overall theroy of mine) is that where brian has more musician in his blood, i have more performer. if i feel that the audience has gotten off, even if i’ve had a rough show for any number of reasons, i leave stage satisfied. if brian feels he didn’t perform his absolute best, he feels he has let the audience down. Even if the audience is none the wiser and loves the show and his drumming, he leaves stage frustrated and unfulfilled. i only made this connection tonight as we were talking about this on the bus; it’s like two schools of thought about acting. One school (the method acting camp) says that if you’re “acting” and not directly experiencing the drama, tears and pain of your character, then it’s fucking fake and you’re phoning it in. The other school would say that only a true perfomer/actor/entertainer can fake it and convince you that the experience is real. I suppose, like gayness, everyone falls somewhere in the middle, but generally towards one side or the other.

the show tonight in Chicago (night 1 with NIN) was as dramatic as all get out. We had no soundcheck (not even a quick one), so we hit stage cold and the audience was THE most hardcore NIN-fanatic bunch we’ve seen yet. They warmed up, but they were a distant bunch. NIN hit the stage and two songs into their set, the house PA cut out and they halted the show for half and hour while the problem was figured out. The natives got restless. People started a sing-song-y “BUUULLLLLL-SHIIIIIIIT, BUUULLLLLL-SHIIIIIIIT, BUUULLLLLL-SHIIIIIIIT” chant and Brian and I, who were eating our dinner on the floor right above the stage, said

“bad fans.

poor trent and nails, this isn’t their fault.

thank fucking god this didn’t happen during our set.”

it was amazing to see the Evil Trent that came back out on stage. finally i got a taste (or so i was told by the tech guys) of what NIN tours used to be like every night. jeepers, that guy was pissed (or maybe he was just acting pissed very convincingly. see above). lights kicked in, mic stands hari-kari’d into submission, instruments flung, mr. reznor writhing on the floor. the audience that had been forced to wait a half an hour was rewarded well with the most balls-out show i’ve yet seen on the tour.

in news:
and if you haven’t seen, we’ve just announced a contest to win tickets to any of our shows between May 18th and June 2nd (yes, including NIN shows). All you have to do is send us a picture of a living statue in front of your local Police Station.
details at:
deadline is May 9.

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