First a little story.
Some of you know how I was led into my NIN fandom and some of you don’t. I don’t like talking about it, not because it is bad, but because it’s strange. Long story short, I had an odd dream that revolved around Julie, an old friend and ex-babysitter who was a heroin addict. The dream wouldn’t leave me alone, it led to me pulling out The Downward Spiral and listening to it for the first time in years. That was 1999. I don’t think I’ve seen her since around then or shortly after she got out of jail/rehab in 2000.
We left Gent for Brussels this morning. I had set the alarm for 8:30 and it woke me up out of this dream I was having. In the dream there were these weird storms, with lots of lightning flashing everywhere, and I was at work at the old small Tops grocery store on Nash Road. The storms ended and the power came back on in the store and we let customers in again. Who walks in, Julie. She sees me and comes over so happy to see me after all these years, and hugs me, and tells the friends that she was with how much she always liked me and how happy she was that I was there.
I thought it was strange I dreamed about her when I haven’t seen or thought about her in a long time.
We caught the 10am train to Brussels, found the hotel, and I wandered through the rain to the venue at 11:30. Rain – the good weather couldn’t last forever. Thankfully it stopped and most of the rest of the day was rain free. There were 3 people ahead of me, and Sue arrived shortly after I did. Brandy came out a bit later and said something would be happening later. Good news of course. We figured Year Zero listening party, with maybe waffels this time haha. S and V joined and the time passed away. We were moved over to the back stage entrance where the Spiral entrance was to be (odd), waited there and the band arrived and walked by. Later John came out to say we’d be going in for a few songs and the band would come out and sign one thing each.
33 shows later, I met Trent Reznor. I finally got a fucking meet and greet.
Now this completely blows my mind. At one point in the morning I realized how odd it was that I dreamed about Julie, and it reminded me that a dream about her is what started all of this 8 years ago. I just CANNOT get over this. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I commented to Sue about it, without going into details, because it was just so weird that she suddenly appeared in a dream. At the end of all this, I still cannot begin to wrap my mind into this odd phenomenon. That’s what I’m calling it haha.
But I met Trent Reznor. And I didn’t throw up, or cry, or stumble over my words, or trip over my own feet, or any other equally embarassing possibility. I should start from the beginning though. I’m trying to remain calm haha.
We went in as the band began playing The Frail. They followed with The Wretched, La Mer, Into the Void, Please, and Wish. It’s been awhile since I remember hearing Please, it was nice. Todd, Trent’s mic kid, was giving us all chocolates. They had something in them, and after I asked if it was liquor, he was like “maaaaybe”, so I asked if he was trying to get us all drunk haha. He gave me some other chocolate after that had chili pepper in it, it was weird. Anyway. They finished up and left, Ali staying on stage to mess around with his equipment. We were instructed to all stand against the barrier and then down along the wall and the band members would come out to talk to everyone. First out was Jeordie. To be perfectly honest I had no idea what to say to him. I really know nothing about him except past bands, and just…nothing. So I just was polite and asked how he was doing, and had him sign my big ticket (we had 2, spiral and venue ticket). Apparently he was in a better mood today than he usually is during meet and greets. Josh followed, and you could tell he was still stuffed up and sick. I asked if he was feeling better, he asked where I was from and said Buffalo – the one place they played all around but never in. He didn’t believe that they hadn’t played Buffalo, so I went through “Rochester, Erie, Toronto 5 times” He said they’d have to do it next time. I love Josh. That is all. Aaron followed. He’s so short. Really nice though, asked my name. I told him that 2 years ago in Reno he walked by Adr2 and I carrying a pizza and we had no clue who he was. He replied, “And you still don’t know who I am.” I said, “After the show, we looked at eachother and said, he fucking walked by us with a pizza.” One of the crew guys standing there said he liked that story. Ali didn’t end up coming down, apparently he’s really shy.
Then Trent. I watched the soundcheck songs at the rail, but everyone smooshed in for the M&G and so I moved down to the end of the line. I paced around waiting, and strangely I wasn’t nervous at all. He spent a decent amount of time with everyone, talking and taking pictures. The girl in front of me asked me to use her phone to take a picture of them, and then left. Me and Trent, face to face. And I still wasn’t nervous. He introduced himself (ha!) and shook my hand. I said “Finally” haha. Gave him my Spiral ticket to sign. I said, “I don’t have a camera but could I have a hug?” And with absolutely no hesitation he hugged me, and said, “A hug is just as good as a picture.” And it wasn’t some stupid halfass hug, it was a real one. And he smelled good. He was just so nice, and smily with people. So I let go and no one had to pry me off or anything haha. I still wasn’t nervous. I thanked him for everything and for the last 2 years being so great.
Sue and I had talked about M&Gs earlier in the day, and I had gotten nervous and wanted to cry just talking about it. But I was perfectly fine when it happened. I walked back outside, and she was like, “Are you ok?” I am/was sooo ok. Then they noticed how bad I was shaking and pointed it out. Shit. But I realized when I handed my ticket to Trent, I wasn’t shaking, and didn’t look stupid. It was just after that I was shaking and just could.not.stop. I called Adr2 cuz she’s the only phone number I have, and she had to hide at work while I told her everything. I almost cried at that point but I didn’t. I just kept shaking. Sue and I went to the bar to get a drink so I’d stop shaking haha. At at that point there was a gathering of NIN fans in the bar and I was able to find a ticket for tomorrow’s show. Yay.
So we waited to be let back in for the show. And at this point what else do I say? At rail slightly to the right of Trent. The setlist was much like London 1, but we got Dead Souls and Big Come Down. It was good and strange. Things seemed to be going very well, and Trent seemed pleased with the crowd. The whole place sang the “doesn’t it make you feel better, the pigs have won tonight…” part of March of the Pigs and he just watched, and smiled. Things went well until Hurt, when we all thought we were going to have a “Grand Rapids moment” and Trent was going to walk off. Halfway through the song, someone yelled something, someone else yelled something back, everyone’s going shhhh and Trent just stopped mid verse and stood there. As if he was thinking whether he should throw the keyboard over and end the show or not. In the end he didn’t, but I swear we all held our breath waiting for it to be the end of the show. Sadly, after he started again and for the remaining few songs he was totally gone and out of it. Just going through the motions. And it was so strange to see, just a complete change in him from before that moment to after. I don’t think we ever saw that from him before, even at the shows he was most pissed off at. You could just feel it, that he just turned himself off. (Reminded me of myself haha) Thankfully I guess, only 2 songs follow Hurt.
The venue was small, and great, and sounded awesome. No ringing ears in the slightest, and even the preshow music sounded clear and good. Apparently the venue in Amsterdam is an old church….
And I got a drum stick. I didn’t quite know that I had it. I saw it get thrown at the crowd, and I didn’t see it coming towards me, I actually was watching where the other one was going, but didn’t try to catch either. Then I look down and somehow the drum stick was in my arms. LOL. And no one else had noticed either, so no fighting. Go me I guess.
Got some fries and beer with S and V and Sue and Kim after and headed back to the hotel. David asked, now that you met him, what’s next? Meeting Trent again hahahahha. I have to remembr to tell him about how perfect the Terminal is as a set for a Year Zero movie/video and thank him for the tambourine.
Pardon me for a moment. OMFG i fucking met trent fucking reznor after all this time and all the missed chances before and i got a fucking hug and he smelled so good and i didn’t throw up on his shoes and he was so cute, and omg!!!!!!!!!!!111111111!!! Thank you. I’m finished now. 🙂
Oh who am I kidding, this will get me through at least the next few days hahahahahahahha. omfg. nothing can stop me now…