How to Destroy Angels at Paramount, 4/21/13

Categories: Last Night

042213_how-to-destroy-angels-paramount-denver.jpg
Eric Gruneisen
How to Destroy Angles on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Denver last night. Slide show: How To Destroy Angels at the Paramount

HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS @ PARAMOUNT THEATRE | 4/21/13
If you came into the Paramount Theatre last night halfway through How to Destroy Angels' first show in Denver, don't worry: It was the same as the first half. Trent Reznor's new post-industrial-electro-goth-whatever project, expertly executed and so chill as to induce comas, could hardly have sounded more even-keeled and consistent -- but it was also kind of boring.

See also:
- Slide show: How To Destroy Angels at the Paramount
- Review: Nine Inch Nails at Fiddler's Green, 5/27/09
- Review: Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks, 9/3/08

042213_how-to-destroy-angels-paramount-denver-010.jpg
Eric Gruneisen
How to Destroy Angles on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Denver last night. Slide show: How To Destroy Angels at the Paramount

What the show lacked in aural excitement it more than made up for visually. This was a set designer's wet dream and a stagehand's nightmare, with its movable curtains of translucent fiber that both absorbed and reflected the bizarrely ethereal computer imagery projected onstage.

Lead Angel Destroyer Mariqueen Maandig (also Reznor's wife -- and time-stoppingly beautiful) stood at center stage wearing what appeared to be a billion-dollar silk dress. Her backing musicians -- including Reznor and his Grammy Award-winning The Social Network collaborator Atticus Ross -- all wore light, monochrome suits and stood hunched over their synths and screens. It was like seeing Clinic (the band) and seeing a clinic itself. These looked like the lab-coated guys who input drug orders at Walgreen's pharmacy.

042213_how-to-destroy-angels-paramount-denver-002.jpg
Eric Gruneisen
How to Destroy Angles on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Denver last night. Slide show: How To Destroy Angels at the Paramount

How to Destroy Angels' anti-hits -- as you will never hear these songs on pop radio stations -- came quickly. Early entries like the plinky "Ice Age" (fake banjos!) and "The Believers" (one of many NIN retreads) sounded like perfect little packages-in-song. This was a performance, not a concert. The difference is that there was no connection with the audience at this gig; you were there as a witness, not as a participant.

The band could have been playing in Omaha, in fact, and it would have been the exact same. Granted, the all-electronic format did not allow for experimentation or improvisation. Yet even on songs I'd never heard, there was an unmistakable sense that the songs were being played onstage exactly as they sound on record.

042213_how-to-destroy-angels-paramount-denver-007.jpg
Eric Gruneisen
How to Destroy Angles on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Denver last night. Slide show: How To Destroy Angels at the Paramount

The band burned through what appeared to be its entire catalog last night. Since that catalog consists of but one full-length album (Welcome Oblivion), that means the set lasted right at an hour. Highlights included "Big Black Boots" and "The Loop Closes," both of which, like the entire set, featured Reznor skulking at the back of the stage while doing a whole mess of whisper-singing. When the act reemerged for its encore, the quintet played three more, including "Strings and Attractors." Everything seemed so calculated, which is so weird considering Reznor's proclivity for going apeshit crazy in live performances. Where's the beef?


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
flipside2007
flipside2007

Wanting to see a new version of Closer...?  Get off it man! The show was bad ass!  One of my favorite out of hundreds I have attended.  I was the guy standing up the whole time in the front ORCH R.  It irks me to read such bs reviews.

flipside2007
flipside2007

Agreed!  This guy doesn't know ****!  I have been a NIN fan since early 90s myself and I loved this show!  I have seen NIN many times and this show and new group may be favorite.  It was an awesome show! 

michaelestes7
michaelestes7

This "journalist" a fool...

He is saying that because Reznor and his amazing wife have created a unique, aesthetic show they deserve to be ridiculed? No. Trent is brilliant and he can only get better through collaberation with other creative people (A. Ross)

We need more innovation and artistic synergy in the music industry, not less. Nicky Minage is what is wrong with music today, not H2DA.

mprutch
mprutch

This review is bullshit that show was AMAZING!  The audience may have been stuck in their seats, but I surely wasn't.  Also, you obviously didn't know the album because they clearly played the songs differently live.  The artistry was incredible it was truly the most beautiful concert I have attended.

Reaganite
Reaganite like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Mark, I have to strongly disagree with your article. This was by far THE best show I have ever seen. The visual effects were mind-blowing, and the sound was incredible. The very fact that you were hoping to hear NiN songs at this show is proof that you didn't know what band you were going to see. This was not a NiN show, plain and simple. Eddie Vedder was seen playing cowbell a few weeks ago with Queens of the Stone Age, but I'm sure the fans weren't disappointed because he didn't do an updated version of 'Jeremy.'...this band is only doing a few shows, as it is quite simply a supergroup collaboration, and I feel privileged to have gotten to see the performance. I feel like you, along with many other NiN fans frown on Trent for trying to do something outside of NiN, and I'm surprised you didn't use the term 'Yoko.'...because I heard that quite a bit from the 90's NiN fan behind me. Realize these people are some of the hardest working people in the industry, and they sacrificed time with their kids so they could put on a performance art show for us here in Denver all so that a writer for the local Westword can shit on their work. Bummer. TL;DR- Show was amazing. FTG. 

artshaman85
artshaman85

@Reaganite Agreed. This was NOT a NIN show. I came to see a one of a kind experience and that's what I got. I consider myself lucky to have been apart of this limited engagement. I'm pretty sure Trent knows that this isn't the kind of show where you stand and go ape shit. He is transcending to a true art-form with this experience. It was in no way "boring"... Thank you Trent for a new way!

p.quinby
p.quinby

sounds boring. how was DIIV??

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...