Tag Archives: Nine Inch Nails

A Relevant Catch-Up!

It’s a Thursday catch-up before my weekend begins!

RRHOF Class of 2020

The inductees for the class of 2020 were announced yesterday directly from Cleveland at the Hall of Fame museum. They include: T-Rex, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Notorious BIG, Whitney Houston, and the Doobie Brothers.

There are three things that happen whenever the subject of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes up. The first is that people complain about who isn’t listed. Secondly, other people are thrilled by at least one band on the list. Third, someone announces that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t relevant.

First of all, I’m always more fascinated by the acts that didn’t make it. You can call that “being negative”, I call it being critical of the process. I have that luxury since I work for myself. The real story here for me is understanding the convoluted, secretive, process for how these acts make it, or don’t. So for example, in this year’s class, we have both Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. Yet Kraftwerk, who truly paved the road that both of those aforementioned bands travel upon, was overlooked. Kraftwerk has been nominated six times prior, yet bands that they inspired will be inducted before they are honored.

Another questionable outcome of this year’s inductees is that the winner of the fan vote – which by their own description of how the fan vote works is supposed to weigh upon the final decision – was not included. In this case, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I will live another year without the Dave Matthews Band being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (if you don’t read my sarcasm here, you should), but I still find the outcome curious. Why have a fan vote if it doesn’t matter in the end? (also, thank goodness it didn’t matter this year. What happens when the day comes when it is Duran Duran?? If it didn’t make a difference for DMB, will it for DD??)

Secondly, I’m thrilled for Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode. Yes, I feel as though the velvet rope keeping New Wave acts out of the RRHOF has been lifted a bit. I like seeing bands from the 80s and beyond be recognized and included. And, now that Trent Reznor and Depeche Mode will be part of the voting body in future years, it will be interesting to see if the list of nominees and inductees changes at all going forward.

Lastly, there is a difference between making a comment on news items, and being emotionally vested in something. Seeing the forest through the trees here is an important life skill that many seem to lack. As an example, my level of concern over the RRHOF (which truthfully is minimal beyond the day the nominees are announced, and the day the years inductees are mentioned) has far more to do with the larger implications on social history than it ever would about any one specific band or artist. I would venture to guess it is that way for many who choose to comment. Once again, I find it far more fascinating to ponder over the omissions than I do the inclusions.

There are always those who indignantly inform me that the RRHOF doesn’t matter anywhere else in the world besides the US, as if that somehow makes it matter less. “Oh, it’s only the US who cares and there’s a much larger world of people out there that don’t even think about it.” Of course that’s the way it is. The lion’s share of the music and entertainment industry is here in the USA. This is not news, nor is it a surprise! This is about the bigger cultural picture, not just whether Duran Duran has, or will ever be nominated. Whether or not Duran Duran even cares about the Hall of Fame is not something I’m arguing for, or against… I’m commenting on the news in general as it refers to music and social history. Carry on.

Tis the season…for rumors!

It’s the time again when Duranies can’t seem to wait for things to be announced, and instead hang heavily to online conjecture. So far, I’ve learned today—via Twitter—that the band plans to do shows in 2020, and that there are many “surprises” coming our way to celebrate DD40.

No kidding. You don’t say?!?

I don’t have a line of communication with DDHQ, nor do I have a bevy of insider information to share. That said, I can confirm that the band is doing festivals in 2020, because I’ve been following their announcements…just like everyone else. I also am aware that there are at least 40 surprises coming from the band, because DDHQ shared as much at some point… although your guess is as good as mine as to what those might be. I’m almost afraid for my bank account to even guess.

I’ve also heard unsubstantiated, not-even-remotely-confirmed tales of a new boxed set coming, a special show in Birmingham to commemorate the actual date of anniversary, a 4 week residency in Vegas at The Chelsea, and a new album that will drop just before their date in Ireland with an advance single…and who knows what else because I can’t remember some of the more outlandish things.

To be fair, some items on that list seem plausible. I can certainly see a new boxed set happening because why the heck not? 1997-2015, maybe??? I wouldn’t be shocked by the band playing in Brum because…well…they should! They’ve said over and over again that they hope the new album will be out in time for their festival appearances, and of course they’re going to have a single off of any new album as a promo, that’s what bands do! The only item I really question is the Vegas residency because…well…really?? The band has already played there a bunch during the interim between albums. That said, Vegas shows seem to sell well. I can’t imagine the band staying there for four weeks, but then again, they could fly in and out (although I still say “really???” Who knows? I’ll believe it when I see it, I guess. Regardless, tis the season for rumor, and we’ll keep you updated!

As for me, I’m out for the weekend! Stay safe and play nicely!

-R

9-Inch Singles

Every once in a while, we are thrilled to have someone write in and ask if we still accept guest blogs. Rest assured, WE DO. We love handing over the proverbial microphone to somebody new! If you feel particularly passionate about a specific Duran Duran topic, or you want to share your own point of view – don’t hesitate to write an article and send it to our gmail, we’d love to hear from you! 

Today, we are thrilled to present a brand new guest blogger – Mark Viens – who shares a new point of view about those all-important set lists.  Thanks Mark!  – A & R

By Mark Viens

I’m a lover of live music. I try to get out and see someone perform as often as possible, even if it’s just a local band in a bar. Having just come off a seven-day stretch where I found myself at three excellent concert tours, plus the touring production of Hamilton, I’m going through some music withdrawal. Usually, I have at least one in the queue, so this is a bit of an odd feeling.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I started poking around. Taking a second look at what bands are headed to the Boston area in the coming months. Acts that may slipped under my radar. That’s when I noticed Nine Inch Nails are coming in soon. They are booked for two shows at the Wang Center. The Jesus and Mary Chain are their opener. I’ve never seen either of them live, but was a casual fan of NIN in the 90’s. I still have Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral on CD around here someplace. Being one to do a little research, I popped over to Setlist.fm to see if some of my favorites were in their rotation. You never know which bands suddenly decide to stop playing their earlier work. I was near stunned by what I found.

Before I dive into what surprised me, let’s back up a bit. I’ll preface by saying I know this complaint comes up often among the Duran Duran fan base. The band we all love tends to play the same songs night after night once a tour is underway. Maybe changing one or two songs out, and modifying the order slightly. Some fans complain that they skew too much toward their newer music. Others will say they are bored with the chart toppers, and lack of deep tracks. People will go to three or more shows, then be hugely jealous of others who went to a show where a track like Hold Back the Rain made the cut.

I’ve defended this in the past saying Duran Duran are playing to the 98% of people that don’t go to multiple shows during a tour. Adding that their songs require a bit of extra prep and practice. That they need to be well-rehearsed to play along with a sequencer track of atmospheric sounds. That they are artists first and foremost, and are always going to want to present their latest works to the public. That they need to cater to the casual fans as much as their ‘regular’ fans since they will always outnumber them at a show. Wait, which band am I talking about? It could certainly be either!

What was I stunned about with Nine Inch Nails? As of this writing, in 33 shows performed so far in 2018 they have played 63 different songs.

(1) Rewind to the last years that Duran Duran had a considerable number of shows on tour. In 2016 they had 60 shows playing only 22 unique tracks.

(2) In 2017 they played 27 shows with exactly 27 songs.

(3) Keep in mind, both bands only play in the neighborhood of 20 songs a night.

 

Attached is a setlist of four recent Nine Inch Nails shows. Two cities, two shows each, on back to back nights. One pair of performances in DC, and another the month earlier at Red Rocks Amphitheater. They seem to have no issues with mixing things up on back to back nights. They leave out huge songs from their repertoire (Closer, Perfect Drug, etc.) one night, and go ahead and play them the next. The only thing constant among these four shows is finishing the main set with Head Like a Hole and finishing the encore with ‘Hurt’.

 

Playing multiple nights back to back at a particular venue is something Duran Duran do from time to time. However, it’s been six years since John Taylor said “More performances in fewer places”,(4) but the band hasn’t really acted on that idea in a meaningful way.

The boys from Birmingham could learn something here as they are (hopefully) planning for a tour to coincide with ‘DD40′. They don’t always need to play wall-to-wall hits to appease the masses. It really is okay to leave fans, die-hard or casual, wanting more.

Could they reach the point of making it clear ahead of time what the shows will be like? Maybe announce a series of two-night stands playing the complete first album plus another 10 or 12 songs one night, then the next night the Rio album with an even slightly different assortment of songs? I’d be at both, you can count on that. Maybe the band will even entice a few of those casual fans to snag a ticket for a second night before they pack up the gear and leave town.

 

Mark is a Graphic Artist and a long-time fan of Duran Duran. His first concert was on their 1984 Sing Blue Silver tour, and he has seen the band live on nearly every New England appearance since then. Mark currently lives in New Hampshire, and isn’t afraid to travel to see a show.

Appreciating Duran Duran’s Ticket Buying Process

I haven’t meant to blog this late today, but I had to get enough done before I wouldn’t feel guilty for taking a break.  Needless to say, I have worked hard today, but still have more that I hope to accomplish.  I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Anyway, I’m pausing from all that to write this little blog post.

A week or so, I wrote a blog post focusing on new Nine Inch Nails ticket sale method, which you can read here.  I got a number of responses to it, including comments here.  Afterwards, I had lingering thoughts that I wanted to address here.  Today, I’ll show my appreciation for Duran Duran ticket sales.  Tomorrow, I dive deeper into the power of fans at shows.

Over the years, Rhonda and I have written lots about presales and buying tickets for shows.  In most cases, those ticket buying events surrounded Duran Duran shows, but not always.  Looking back, I suspect that the vast majority of reviews have criticized or complained in some way.  For example, I distinctly remember expressing quite a bit of frustration when the summer 2016 shows went on sale as Ticketmaster’s sale went less than smoothly (due to Ticketmaster, I might add).  All that stress came out at whatever blogs we wrote at the time.  Likewise, I know that we have blogged plenty of times in which we discussed the time between announcement of a show and when the tickets went on sale.  It is almost guaranteed that when Duran announces a show there will be fans who will complain about how quickly the tickets will go on sale or the timing of the sale.

In thinking about those blogs, we weren’t wrong to write them.  Ticket sale outlets like Ticketmaster can and should do a better job.  Adequate time in between press releases and sales is always appreciated.  Yet, in thinking about how other bands have sold tickets, I really am thankful for Duran’s methods.  Let’s start at the beginning.  I am so glad that they have a fan club in which the members get to buy tickets ahead of the public.  That is a super nice feature, one that does not get mentioned enough.  This fact alone means that we have better chances to get tickets and to get better tickets.

Then, I think about the VIP packages.  While, yes, one might argue that they offer the wrong things or that they are too expensive, but I am so grateful that they exist.  They have given us plenty of chances to get really amazing seats.  Has it always worked?  No, of course not.  There have been shows that we didn’t get tickets when we wanted them or didn’t get anywhere near what we wanted when it came to seat locations.  In many cases, the experience of presales have been utterly stressful.  Yet, overall, we have so benefitted from this feature.  We have been able to be up front more times than we haven’t because Duran offered that possibility through the VIP packages.  I would also say that while they are expensive, they are not as much as I have seen with other bands.

The fact that Duran does offer fan community members to buy tickets before the public as well as VIP packages has been so important to my fandom as I have been able to see fabulous shows from prime locations.  Sometimes, I think, it is super important to appreciate what we have rather than complain about the flaws.  I, for one, hopes that the band keeps these elements forever.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I would welcome positive changes but I wouldn’t want them to get rid of presales or VIP packages.  Ever.

-A

The Best Way to Buy Tickets?

This week, Nine Inch Nails announced a fall tour along with a different way to buy tickets.  Variety.com covered the ticket purchasing method in this way:

“The group is taking an unusual new/old approach to keep tickets out of the hands of resellers: They will be selling all seats to the tour in person at presale events called “The Physical World,” which will take place May 19 at each venue’s box office, with the exception of Red Rocks for which the presale will take place on May 20 at the Denver Coliseum Box Office.

“All seats (including the best seats) will be available for purchase in person only, first come, first served,” the announcement reads. “Fans can purchase up to four tickets per show. Visit nin.com/tickets2018 for a complete list of box office locations and further information. Limited quantities of tickets may be released via additional ticketing channels, subject to availability, at a later date to be announced. Ticket inventory available via phone and online channels will include ADA tickets.”

I can definitely appreciate the desire to keep tickets out of the hands of resellers.  After all, many of those resellers are not necessarily fans but people who bought the tickets when they went on sale just to make a profit.  This means that resale tickets are often more expensive than they were to begin with.  No one wants concert tickets to be more than they already are.  Ticket prices have skyrocketed, in my opinion.  In fact, sometimes, they are so expensive that people simply cannot go and that makes me sad.  Live music is one of the greatest things in life and I am sad if people cannot experience it at all.  So, the intention of this ticket buying process is a good one.

Besides the intention, I also had to smile at the idea of fans being in line to buy tickets.  It reminds me of how Record Store Day was in which fans lined up outside of record stores to buy their favorite new vinyl.  Fans could chat while they waited, get to know each other, increase excitement over their upcoming purchases and more.  Of course, I had the same feeling when I was a kid and we waited outside Ticketmaster outlets to buy tickets.  Probably my favorite memory of that was senior year of high school.  The plan was that my two best friends and I would stay at my place overnight and leave early in the morning to drive to the nearest mall (about a half hour away) to wait in line for tickets.  My friends and I cheated a little bit in that we left at like 3:30 in the morning instead of waiting until 6.  My mom didn’t realize how early it was when I told her that we were leaving.  On the way, we stopped for donuts and coffee.  When we arrived, there was already quite a crowd, which included a bunch of people we knew.  It became like a party (until we realized that we desperately needed to find a bathroom and nothing was open).

Part of me would like to return to situations like that until…I think about how this would work now.  This definitely would be a problem when it comes to Duran shows.  First, the band does not play in Madison, WI, or at least they haven’t since 1984.  Therefore, I would have to travel a distance to wait in line for tickets.  The closest city is Chicago, which is 2.5 hours away.  Then, what the heck would Rhonda and I do for shows in cities neither one of us is near?  Would we have to hire someone to get tickets for us???  After all, we have seen Duran play in many different cities.  With a policy like this, we simply couldn’t do that.  We would be out of luck and couldn’t go to as many shows.  This, of course, would hurt the band.  Second, this policy is such that all of the tickets are going on sale at the same time.  Again, what the heck would we do?  Rhonda could go to one ticket outlet and I could go to another.  We would need other friends to go to other cities.  This just simply wouldn’t be possible.

So, in thinking about this idea, while the intention is good, it would suck in practical terms.  It would definitely limit who can attend shows to just people who are able to get to ticket outlets on that day, which probably means local people with flexible jobs.  Then, it certainly wouldn’t encourage fans to go to multiple shows or to travel.  Now, I don’t know much about the Nine Inch Nails fanbase.  Maybe that would work for their fans.  I just know that if Duran Duran would use something like this, many Duranies (like us) would lose our minds.  I think with every other ticket buying policy, one must think through all of the possible ramifications before going for one over the other.  This one is simply one that I wouldn’t want any favorite of mine to use.

-A