Nine Inch Nails – Lights Over North America 2008

Witness the epic tale of my Nine Inch Nails at Copps Colliseum adventure.

Along with my friends and colleagues Dave and Richard, I’d planned on leaving work at 4 o’clock so as to miss the traffic leaving the city. Needless to say, this didn’t happen. We didn’t get out ’til nearly 5, and wound up hitting all kinds of westbound traffic. Nearly an hour and a half later, we’re just getting to the edge of Hamilton when we suffered an EPIC navigation fail. Richard, who’s lived in Hamilton for a year, led us wildly astray, and we wound up driving all over Hell’s half-acre (‘cuz Hamilton is the outermost ring of Hell) for nearly another hour and a half before finally getting into Hamilton to Richard’s house. if not for the aid of my lovely friend Amanda, we’d still be driving in circles even now, I’m sure.

So, after this drastic misadventure, we finally met up with Amanda and our sixth, Elliott, and made our way into the stadium at about 8:15. The doors opened at 7:00 so we thought we weren’t too late, but we’d managed to miss the opening act, Japanese stoner-rock trio Boris, which was somewhat disappointing. Still, we were in, we had our seats, and we hadn’t missed any of NIN’s set.

NIN hits the stage, and they’re flat out amazing. The light show and visual effects accompanying them are the best I’ve ever seen. Real time effects that match the music, live video manipulation of camera footage and even some real-time interactive drum-sequencing using the video display, it was all really impressive. They played most of “The Slip”, and, to my surprise and great pleasure, a few songs off “Ghosts I-IV”. The rest of the show was a fairly even-handed representation of all the previous albums. The show would have been one of the best shows I’d ever attended, had it not been marred by the crowd.

The crowd at the show was everything I hate about Hamilton. I’d never seen so many people too drunk to even stand. The three guys in the row immediately behind me were astonishingly intoxicated – we could smell the booze on them – and loud and utterly obnoxious. One of them was so drunk he fell out of his row and landed right on Dave – a 250lb sack of turd from the sky. We pushed the guy into the aisle and he went back to his row, but after he antagonized Dave with his drunken fumblings a few more times Dave went to call security (who, conveniently, promised to show up but never did). While Dave was gone, drunken prick came into my row looking for the hat that fell off his head in his initial fall. He promptly fell onto the row in front of me, where the two guys he landed on were visibly restraining themselves from throttling him. The drunken idiot then fell on me, so I shoved him into the aisle with a fair bit of force. I should have thrown the jackass down the stairs, because he then stood behind us playing “air keyboard”, smacking me in the back of my head a good three or four times before I turned around and threatened to kill him if he didn’t back the fsck up. Amanda wasn’t actually antagonized by those guys, so she found them entertaining, but I was really worried that the drunk prick would fall onto her – if he had, he’d surely have done her serious injury, so I spent a good part of the show keeping an eye on him whenever he wandered behind her. In fact, it wasn’t until he got just a little too close to her that I actually turned to threaten him. He left a short time later and the show was much better for it. The worst part is that there were a LOT of drunken jerks like those guys. I don’t understand how people can spend $70 to see a band and then get so drunk they’ll never remember the show. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

I don’t want to sound like I had a bad time, because I didn’t. The concert was amazing, and the friends I was with are the best – I love hanging out with them. It’s just sad that the rest of the crowd left a black mark on an otherwise amazing experience.