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04/28/2000 Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle (Toronto, ONT @ Maple Leaf Gardens)

By Eric | April 28, 2000 11:59 pm

Along with what felt like our entire high school, I got interested in NIN around the time The Downward Spiral blew up, and became a big fan going forward. With The Fragile being released the previous September, we were all super-hyped for this show. (Fun side note: to get these tickets, we dragged ourselves out of bed very early the morning after seeing Korn and Staind in Buffalo!)

We caravaned with a motley crew from RIT (if memory serves, it was myself, Mary, Karl, Kelley, Dan, Rafal, plus Sara, and then we met Sara’s friend Carolyn up in TO). Took us awhile to get there and get in, and as such we missed the first couple songs of A Perfect Circle. What we did see was out of this world. Most of us were big fans of Tool, and Judith had been released as a pre-single (Mer de Noms was still a month from being released), so we sort of knew what to expect, but I was blown away. Maynard sounded amazing, the band sounded amazing; I just remember standing there in awe.

3 Libras
Sleeping Beauty
Thinking of You

Having just about worn out my copy of Closure, we were expecting the worst on the floor; we were about halfway back. As NIN started the tape of The New Flash into Pinion, and as Trent smashed into Terrible Lie, it wasn’t the all-out chaos I thought it might be. (The front may have been a different matter.) However, just like with APC, I stood in awe of the music, the visuals, and just the feeling that I finally got to see the mythical Nine Inch Nails. Any setlist would have sufficed, but the fact that they dug out Suck and Get Down Make Love made this boy a happy camper. Just a fantastic show. Sara wrote a bit more than I did, so I’m stealing a bit of her review to put here as well.

They played for an hour and a half. At one point Trent talked to the crowd about how it had been a long time since they had been there, and he thanked us because they were really looking forward to playing for us, and how we made him happy and that was a rare event. The show was beautiful. The stage was pretty small, smaller than what I expected. They had 3 LCD things (dunno what u would call them), that they used for lighting instead of just pictures (like jumbotrons)..they moved down from above them pointing down, to behind them and they moved front and back, and it was a really cool effect. During some of the instrumentals they did use them for natureish pictures of water, and a field of tulips, and it was gorgeous.

After the first 3 or 4 songs, like when they played Piggy, the crowd mellowed out, and were amazing. The beginning was nuts of course, and we got thrown around a bit (That’s when Karl got hurt), but after Piggy, it was great. I had a perfect view of the stage the entire time, we were about mid stage mid ice. I had no problem with people around me, and I didn’t need to get my spleen removed afterwards haha. Before the encore Trent was like “you put me in a good mood, and that’s a rare thing, thanks.” What else..god it was just so incredible…The best show I’ve ever been to…Ok, so NIN closed with “hurt” the LCD screens were behind Trent and light just shown on him and it was so great.

Thankfully Toronto had the bootleggers out in force, as there’s both audio and video floating around out there (see APC above, and NIN audio can be obtained over at ninlive.com. I have a VHS with video of both sets at home, I really oughta get the video of NIN’s set digitized! I finally captured the NIN portion, see below!)

Leaving the show was just as much of an adventure, as the jostling to buy shirts was almost worse than being on the floor during the show, we lost Rafal a couple times on the way home (he also had a box stuck under his car for a good chunk of the time), and we didn’t make it back to NT until 2:15am!

We’re not in this video of fans before and after the show from nin.com, but we would have said much the same things!

Postscript: I’d wait another six years before I’d see NIN again (Rochester was a great show all its own.) Sara, on the other hand, has gone on to see the band over 50 times across both the US and Europe, and had the opportunity to meet the man himself! But it all started here. I had written at the time that this was show #1, and in the ensuing 15 years, it’s still top 5 without a doubt.

One photo grabbed from nin.com:

The New Flesh / Pinion
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
The Frail
The Wretched
Gave Up
La Mer
The Great Below
The Mark Has Been Made
Get Down, Make Love
Head Like a Hole

The Day the World Went Away
Just Like You Imagined
Starfuckers, Inc.

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