It is approximately 1:20pm Toronto time when we finally get to the Air Canada Center to line up to pick up our Spiral Tickets, which we were told would be given out at 1:30. After about an hour of waiting, the line of previously discouraged and rather confused members of the fanclub begins to move and spirits are high again as we systematically present our IDs and receive our envelopes containing the tickets. Upon receiving said envelope, we head outside to line up yet again, although not for as long, to head inside the venue which contains almost no one outside of security and the bands yet. Getting inside was great as it was getting cold outside and people were getting restless, although it ended up in waiting in another line.

About 10 minutes of waiting inside the venue, loud bass and drum sounds are heard through the walls which lead up to the album title track With Teeth. We stand around rather ornery as we are expecting to be inside seeing the soundcheck (one of the few perks of paying the extra money to be premium members), but our patience is soon rewarded as we are lead in like cattle into the main auditorium to the main floor as the end of The Frail breaks into The Wretched and pulls everyone in with its march-like drum beat. The fans are now in full force on the main floor and begin to really get excited, as no one is further than ten feet from Trent Reznor on the mic. The song ends, people clap, Trent makes a comment about how large the group of premium members are and the band breaks out into Deep, which REALLY gets the adrenaline going and ends the soundcheck with Wish. The band walks to the back of the stage, but not before the screams of one stupid fan echoes throughout the are “Trent I want you to steal my virginity”. Some people just need to shut the fuck up.

So now we are led up to the stands to wait while the stage is set-up to easily accomodate the band changes throughout the show, which starts in about an hour and a half. After waiting around a bit, I and two others with me of the group of 4 decide to get up and look for some food and merchandise. Since the merch stands and food weren’t ready yet, as people have not been let into the venue, we wait around a bit and finally are able to buy some shirts and hot dogs after the main doors are open and the flood of people come in. We eat hurridly in order to make it down to the floor to stand and wait for Death From Above 1979 to start…

[19_00] – [19_30]: DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
The band starts two minutes early and get the show on the road with their innovative and entertaining musis that only a bassist and a drummer could think up. The crowd is not very settled in yet, and people are still being led into their seats, but the duo put on a hell of a show with lots of energy for an opening act who just, unfortunately, seemed to give energy rather than circulate it. I cannot remember (or find) the exact setlist, but my favorite songs were probably Turn it Out, Romantic Rights, Black History Month and Little Girl.

[19_45] – [20_45]: QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
Feel Good Hit of the Summer
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Everybody Knows That You’re Insane
Regular John
Broken Box
Little Sister
Long Slow Goodbye
Burn the Witch
The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died
No One Knows

The set begins with a recording of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” with the stage dark and empty and the only thing seen is the forest backdrop. One would expect the opening song to be Someone’s in the Wolf but we are all kind of surprised as Feel Good Hit of the Summer begins to ring out (but a good surprise). Queens of the Stone Age are finally up and playing and all looking good. Playing a few of their older songs, many of songs off Lullabies to Paralyze and a few “b-sides” tracks, Queens put on one hell of a show, even if their stage lights were blinding everyone on the floor level. By Broken Box and Little Sister, many headed into the middle mosh-pit and got their dancing shoes on and intended to stay there for the remainder of the show. Out of the whole set, which was badass enough as it stands, favorites that stood out would have to be Feel Good Hit of the Summer, Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, Infinity, Broken Box, Long Slow Goodbye, Burn the Witch, and No One Knows.

[21_25] – [22_00]: NINE INCH NAILS

Love is Not Enough
You Know What You Are?
Terrible Lie
The Line Begins to Blur
March of the Pigs
Something I Can Never Have
The Frail
The Wretched
Gave Up
Right Where it Belongs
Beside You in Time
The Collector
Even Deeper
Dead Souls
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Okay, what can be said about Nine Inch Nails live that hasn’t been done to death? Well, the lighting was everything I expected it to be from watching videos of them live, and even more for that matter. To truly experience just how effective lighting and the smoke used to enhance lighting can be you really have to be there to experience it (and for that matter try taking good pictures with the smoke fogging everything up). From the crazy strobing in songs like Wish, to the mellow and stoic colored smoke for songs like Something I Can Never Have, light played (and plays) a giant role in the visual presentation of Nine Inch Nails. The video projections in the duration of Eraser to Beside You in Time depict various images and videos of a lot of random stuff that seems to have a greater meaning when put into the context of the song(s), but I still can’t help but wonder where the hell they get all these videos (specifically for the beginning of Right Where it Belongs with the x-ray animals). The transition between the projection netting and back to normal with The Collector is done rather neat with Trent “smashing” his mic stand in a spot in which glass breaks in a video, making it seem like he has broken the barrier as the glass shatters and the net raises. Overall, the experience was great and I cannot wait to see them again. Favorites that stand out from this phenomenal set were Love is Not Enough, Something I Can Never Have, The Frail/The Wretched, Closer, Burn, Gave Up, Eraser, Right Where it Belongs, Wish, Only, Even Deeper, Dead Souls, Hurt, The Hand that Feeds, and Head Like a Hole. Great show, well worth all the money and flying across the country for.