Wednesday , February 21 2024
Brutal, powerful, and filled with visceral beauty, Beside You In Time does an excellent job of capturing a band at a creative peak.

Music DVD Review: Nine Inch Nails – Live – Beside You In Time

On typical days I’m a downright moody guy. Over the past few years, however, at least in terms of music preferences, I’ve dived right passed moody and directly into pissed and heavy. Usually when I’m in such an emotional free-fall, there is one band that I know has the visceral oomph to not only handle my fall, but to energize me enough to want to make the climb back to where I started. That band goes by the name of Nine Inch Nails (NIN).

I’m not about to start babbling about how NIN saved my life or anything like that, but when I’m feeling like shit and need affirmation that it’s okay to feel like shit, they are my sonic weapon of choice in the war to maintain my sanity on especially shitty days.

Having said that, I think it is only fair to say that NIN’s new DVD, Beside You In Time, has been actively deployed in my house for a couple of weeks now, and it is kicking much ass and taking names. Chronicling the band’s American With Teeth tour, Beside You In Time is all that I ever wished for in a live NIN recording.

Sure, 1997’s Closure was something I trumpeted loudly when it came out. Instead of merely producing a video record of one particular concert, Reznor’s choice to release a tour documentary that features tons of live performances (as well as a companion piece that held all the band’s video releases) was what I wanted at the time.

I wanted to learn more about the band, you see.

When 2002’s And All That Could Have Been was released, it floored me. Not only was it an amazing document of NIN’s “Fragility” tour from 2002, but it was just about the most amazing concert DVD I’d ever seen. Instead of simply putting a couple of cameras in place to capture the concert recordings, Reznor seemed to go over the deep end and place cameras in any and every place that would hold a camera. The results, when edited into the released DVD, were stunning.

While Closure had held my hand and taught me about what went on behind the wizard’s curtain and And All That Could Have Been showed me every possible angle of the wizard performing his magic (so that I could be sure it was magic, I think, and not an illusion) , Beside You In Time simply shows me the naked power the magic show is capable of.

NIN, and Reznor in particular, look and sound amazing. Hell, Reznor looks like he’s in the best physical and mental shape of his life, and he uses that power and clarity to just blaze his way through each and every song.

When he sings “Closer,” for instance, his voice isn’t the only thing evoking the dark longing of the song. No, his entire body is coiled and seems ready to explode on stage. If I didn’t know better I’d say he’s been watching a lot of Iggy Pop or Henry Rollins performances.

He looks like he wants to kick the audience’s ass personally this time, instead of letting his music have all the fun, if that makes any sense – and what music.

Here is the main track list:

01. Love Is Not Enough.
02. You Know What You Are?
03. Terrible Lie
04. The Line Begins To Blur
05. March Of The Pigs
06 Something I Can Never Have
07. Closer/The Only Time
08. Burn
09. Gave Up
10. Eraser
11. Right Where It Belongs
12. Beside You In Time
13. With Teeth
14. Wish
15. Only
16. The Big Come Down
17. Hurt
18. The Hand That Feeds
19. Head Like A Hole

If that isn’t enough, there are also extras:

01. An image gallery (in full 1920X1080 high-definition)
02. Video for “The Hand That Feeds”
03. Video for “Only”
04. Clip of “The Collector” filmed in rehearsals
05. Clip of “Every Day Is Exactly The Same” filmed in rehearsals
06. Clip of “Love Is Not Enough” filmed in rehearsals

There’s also a collection of recordings from the earlier American leg of the tour, but I’ll leave that as a surprise as I’m currently watching the concert as I write this and I’m too busy head banging to be bothered with stopping the DVD and looking it up.

What! Surprises are fun!

Whether you are a casual or dedicated fan of NIN, I cannot tell you how much I think you will enjoy this DVD were you to purchase it. It’s brutal, it’s beautiful, and it might be the most insane thing I’ve ever tried to treadmill to, but that’s another story.

Beside You In Time is being released in three different formats: Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, and regular DVD. I’ve only got the regular DVD, and it is visually stunning. I can’t imagine what treats are in store for those of you who choose to purchase either of the other two formats.

Beside You In Time is an excellent way to spend the time waiting on the coming release of NIN’s latest studio album, Year Zero.

About Michael Jones

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