Concert Review: Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA 7-29-14

Because this show was on a work night and I hit some traffic on the way down to Mansfield, we got to the Xfinity Center (I cringe every time I say “Xfinity”) a little late. Soundgarden could be heard all the way from the back parking lot, which meant that we had missed Oneohtrix Point Never. As we got out of the car, the faint sounds of “Spoonman” could be heard as we made our way through the parking lot to the entrance, where there were a lot of strangely dressed characters, although this was not unexpected. As we got closer to the entrance, there were very long lines to get in and a lot of people complaining about how long it was taking to get through the gates.

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Once inside, I grabbed a cup of beer ($11.75…really?) and tried to find our seats in section 4. This would be my second time seeing Soundgarden, with the first being at Lollapalooza a couple of years ago. They were just finishing up “Black Hole Sun” as we prepared to relive the 90’s for a bit with a crowd, at least around us, that seemed to be a little older. The band went into “Jesus Christ Pose” and continued on playing hits such as “Fell on Black Days“, “Superunknown“, and “Rusty Cage“. It still amazes me how Chris Cornell can hit those high notes. They ended with guitarist Kim Thayil going into a spastic noise feedback freakout which lasted several minutes and was awesome!

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Up next were Nine Inch Nails, who I have seen several times in the past. Their stage shows are always visually amazing and tonight was no exception, perhaps providing the best multimedia show I’ve seen in a long time. The band, shrouded behind white curtains, started with “Copy of A” from last year’s “Hesitation Marks” album and from there it was a good mix of their older and newer stuff. “March of the Pigs” always gets the crowd fired up as does “Terrible Lie“. The highlight of the night for me was “The Great Destroyer” with all kinds of images and strobe lights flashing on panels behind Trent Reznor, as he twiddled knobs on a keyboard creating some really heavy bass that shook the whole venue! I’m still having visions of it! They ended the set with “Head Like a Hole” and played “Hurt” as an encore.

I had a great time especially with this being the first bigger show I’ve been to in a while, and the visuals completely blew my mind! Both bands sounded great and it was cool to relive a little bit of the 90’s again.

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