Unlike past shows, where the intensity and emotions ran high, there was never any direct connection with the audience and the fury of Reznor's music. Kicking over a speaker and throwing bottled water on the crowd appeared choreographed. The set list, which featured close to 10 new tracks, was littered with milepost signs signaling different stages of Reznor's rage. The primal Pretty Hate Machine material ("Terrible Lie," "Head Like a Hole") festered alongside the seething Downward Spiral tracks ("March of the Pigs," "Closer"). New tunes such as "Starfucker, Inc.," "The Wretched," and "The Big Come Down" were delivered with a similar harrowing style and industrial/synthesizer sound, yet weren't as concise as the music on NIN's definitive debut disc or as intelligent as its follow-up. Interestingly, "Closer," with its once controversial lyrics "I want to fuck you like an animal," found Reznor and company going through the motions. Despite the less than stellar delivery, the hometown crowd sang along in defiance anyway. The selection of "Hurt" to end the show was obviously designed to provide much needed closure for this 90-plus-minute evening of despair, but it only deflated the energy of the show even further. Apparently, expectations for Reznor in the new millennium were too high -- maybe he'll be better off producing others, instead of pretending to break new ground with his own career.
A Perfect Circle, featuring singer and Ravenna native Maynard James Keenan of Tool, opened the gig with a prog-rock display that left the audience questioning why it came early. Without wailing guitars and the hard rock stylings of Tool, Keenan sounded lost and unfocused.
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