A number of months back I joined "The Spiral" NIN Fanclub as a Premium Member to I could get in on the presale for some good seats, and the "extras" they were dropping little words about for a while,.. supposedly a nice fanclub package of shirt, poster, and membership card, as well as some perks at the shows.. So I got my tickets reserved, and awaited word of what this got me at MSG. as the months went on, word of advanced entrance surfaced,.. and possible activities such as sound check participation and a band meet and greet. Eventually they posted the address of the special entrance for the members. as the day got closer, I began reading the message board on the member site, and saw that at many shows, the members were all getting in through a special entrance, but only the first 30 or 40 people were getting let in for the sound check whcih was usually 3 songs... and then band meet and greet. most posts said that they had gotten there by 2PM and were 10th in line. I figured Id get down to NYC by 12, and have a good chance.
So finally the day arrives. I head on down to my girlfriends, and we get to the train by her place, and get to the city around 11:30. We walk directly to MSG and arrive just before 12:15. First seeing 4 people in sleeping bags at the front of the line, we walked pased them to the end. from the looks of it, we were about 55th in line. which sent feelings of "this might blow" through my system... but then I remembered that this was Madison Square Garden, this was NYC, and that if thered ever be an exceptional situation, it would probably be here. (recall last show at MSG when Trent had Manson out for a couple tunes). So we waited about 20-25 minutes when the side doors opened up and Brandi and Sweeny, the fanclub event directors came out and told everyone that if you didnt have your tickets yet, to go to Will-Call window 5 at the main box office and hey would hand them out at 1PM. just about everyone ran up there. the only people that didnt were spiral members who bought show tickets through normal means rather than the fanclub reserve. My girlfriend stayed down there to hold our spot while I hopefully got the tickets and ran back. so we get up there and the people at the window tell us that they arent allowed to give us tickets till 3:30. We waited nicely, hoping this would be cleared up. My girlfriend shows up and say that she found she needed to stay with me so that she could be stamped on the hand with me as my guest, because they would be ding the stamping at the box office, not the spiral entrance. Had my premium package arrived on time, we wouldnt have had this problem because it was revealed that if you had your membership card, you didnt need the stamp. We then got directed back out in to the main hallway away from the windows. no one was happy. we lost our spots in line, we were all confused... but most people were cool about being honest towards the people that were really there first and letting them get back in the position they were in. So some of the fans ran back down to Brandi and explained that wed be waiting a long time. she came up, spoke to the people behind the glass, and they aranged to start giving us our tickets at 1:30 at windows 7, 8, and 9. we advanced to those windows to wait the 10 minutes. I was at window 9, second in hat line. Brandi comes by, tells us that everyone can relax, that as long as we have our tickets by 4:15, everyone will be "in" - I hesitated to be too excited because "in" didnt nesicarilly mean in for sound check,.. it could have just meant Id be allowed in to the special door before the show started. 15 minutes later window 7 opens. and only 7. and then someone tells us that it would be the only window. so again, our spots in line are screwed. we all run to the end of the line at window 7, and my girlfriend stayed between windows 8 and 9, just in case... about 4 minutes later, window 8 opened and she was there to allow me to claim the spot to get my tickets. we get them, run back down to the side of the building where the special entrance is, and we wait again,.. now about 70th in line. While we waited, I overheard someone who was at the DC show the day before say that at that show, they let in ALL the spiral members for a 6 song soundcheck, but since the amount of people was so much more than 40, that there was no meet and greet. thats not too terrible. I was feeling good about this... a few minutes later, about 2PM, Brandi and Sweeny come out, says that we were all going inside for a soundcheck. someone asked about meet and greet, and Sweeny said "There will be no meet and greet." which is a little bit disappointing, but overall, Im excited. We were told a few rules to follow, one of which was NO PHOTOS. it was then said if we broke any of the rules, we would no longer have a membership. within 15 minutes we were all checked, and going upstairs through some back entrance of MSG. we get up to the 3rd level and they were buildign the stage. we sat and watched them contruct this thing, and do all sorts of bass checks that were just amazing to feel. Brandi and sweeny come in, tell us that at 4:15 wed be going down to the floor and getting a couple songs for soundcheck. so we all comfortably wait in those chairs for a while,... whcih was a lot nicer than sitting on the cement sidewalk being pestered by bums. about 4:25, the band comes out and start testing their insturments. they did some "help me Im in hell" chords, and the lighting was getting tested.. the set was looking to be amazing, and included the old school screen in front of the band, which gets projected movies on it durring a few tunes.. they had LED boards similar to the 3 Fragility pannels, but they were in tetris like shapes on the top and bottom of the stage. there was also a screen behind all this that showed computerized graphics, and then the sets of the 2 kinds of lights from the smaller tour earlier this year. suddenly real music starts and we are brought down to the very front of the stage. Trent was towering over us as they were playing "Even Deeper" after that, Trent said thanks and asked us to be kind because they were brushing up on some things they havnt played much. at this point they started playing "Dead Souls" which is not a tune they play durring the actual concerts usually. After that it was "The Frail" and "The Wretched" (which sorta count as 1 piece) and then "Wish".. it was amazing. there were about 100 people, and we were all getting this private concert. after the 4 tunes, Trent and the rest of the band looked as if they werent sure if they were done. 30 seconds later, they took of their ear pieces and we were brought around to a side hallway. suddenly Sweeny runs through and tells us to ALL stand up against the wall on either side of the hallway. we all started to speculate and figured that maybe some of the band was needing to walk through.. well we were half right, because it was then that Sweeny said to us that the whole band was coming down to do a meet and greet... this was too good to be true. I then realized that Trent probably cut the sound check a little early so he would have time to do this larger than usual meet and greet. Sweeny told us again, no photos, because it would slow things down and not everyone would be able to get autographs. one by one the members came out and went down one line and back up the other. My girlfriend had a piece of paper to get the autographs for her Sister who was unable to come early with her membership tickets.. I had my very first copy of The Downward Spiral. A CD I have easilly listened to over 1000 times. an album thats been a very important piece of my life. I wanted Trent and only Trent to sign the inside of the cover, because he was the only one that really made that CD... I had a my spiral receipt for the other members to sign. We got the 4 members, and now only awaited Trent Reznor. He came out, and began signing and talking to EVERYONE. not just quick conversation either, he would actually listen to what you had to say, respond, laugh with us.. he was totally cool... they all were. we went down the other line, and finally stared coming up ours. he got to us and being funny with us right away pretending liek he was going to shake both our hands but then kept moving his hand around.. finally he grabbed my girls hand and said "Ladies First" and then came right to me. we shook, talked for a minute or two, he signed the paper for my girlfriend, and then I handed him my CD. I asked him if he could sign it to me, and he said no problem, wrote my name and then signed his. I told him I had listened to that CD 1000 times easilly, and he just got this very respectful look on his face and said "oh..?" and he moved the slip down and signed the outside cover of the CD too!! So there I am with 2 signatures, my girl with 1, and he smiles, shakes my hand again, we say a few last words and I let him move on. what a thrill. Ive been waiting a long time to meet that guy and it was the greatest way to do it. he is very appreciative of his fans and Im DAMN glad I went down early and stuck it out. Personally.. I think Trent has a soft spot for NY Fans and Madison Square Garden. Deep down, I knew it would be a great day there. as he went farther down the hall, I walked up to Sweeny, who was acting as sort of a body guard durring this signing, and asked if Trent accepted gifts from fans. I remembered readong that he was usually willing to holdpaitings and things from fans and give them to Trent later. I handed him a CD I made of my "Only" Remix and told him that I really think they would like what I did with the piece, and to give it a play if they had 5 minutes.. otherwise I understood if it went to the round file. he was very happy to take the CD, and that was that. the only way it could have been any better was to get a picture taken with Trent. but I had him sign my CD with my name, so thats almost as good. once they are all donw, we waited another 15 to 20 minutes. we called a few poeple to tell them the news, and we were then let in to our seats. within the half hour I found all my friends who had seats elsewhere. we were all ready for NIN. a few opening acts passed and it was time. I heard "Pinion" break through the playing intermission music, and the lights went down. the show began and it was amazing. everything went off without a flaw. the video was syncronized perfectly to the songs they should have been, and the effects were spectacular. at one point, while the screen was down, Trent picked up the mic stand and acted as if he was swinging it and hitting a glass wal infront of him (the screen) which then became broken glass that appeared to be flying at the audience. at one point durring the show, after "Hurt" Trent said "2 years I didnt know if Id ever be on a stage again, let alone one like this. Thank You" - yeah, he loves MSG, and he knows he has loyal fans. I had the best time last night and I cant wait till the next tour for the next amazing album. After the show we filed out.. I hooked up with my friends, and we all went our ways. Words, even as many as I wrote here in this post.. cant describe how cool this was. it was such a cool and great time. met a lot of other cool fans, and had a nice day that actually moved along very quickly considering how long we were there.
So, The Moral of this post... NIN is awsome.
Oh yeah, that and... I MET TRENT!