"I'm too old for this shit!"
First off, the Tabernacle in Atlanta is such a fantastic venue. It's an old church that has been converted into a concert hall. It only holds about 2000 people, so you know you're surrounded by the most serious hardcore fans. You have your choice to sit back and enjoy the show from the two-tiered balcony, or you can join the unwashed masses on the floor. You know which one I chose.
On the floor, once the music starts, you just have to accept that you are no longer an individual. You are simply a cell, making up a larger organism. Even in other mosh pits, I have never been packed so tightly against the people surrounding me. You must simply give in and flow along with the crowd. Every once in a while you can maybe push someone out of your way and make it toward the front, but it takes tenacity and determination. Thankfully I have both. I made it as far as I could to the front, where the only people in front of me were those who had a death grip on the front rail and were not letting go. When it was all said and done, I was bruised all over and drenched in my and a hundred other people's sweat. It was amazing. Trent Reznor even jumped into the pit at one point (and landed on top of Griffin, be sure to ask him about his whole experience).
The opening band was the Dresden Dolls. I had heard mixed reactions about them, but they weren't that bad. Their most famous song "Coin Operated Boy" sucked, which may have been the reason that so many people don't like them, but some of their other stuff was pretty cool. They also did "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath and "Amsterdam" by David Bowie, which were both awesome.
Then came the main attraction. Trent Reznor certainly knows how to put on an amazing show. Even without the amazing stage props (giant plasma screens and whatnot) from when I saw him 5 years ago on the Fragility tour, he still did awesome stuff with the lighting. The sound was great as well (but, it helps being five feet from the stage as opposed to being on the lawn at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater). My only complaint was that it was way too short. They played for about and hour and a half, which I guess isn't that bad, but I'm used to bands like Pearl Jam who normally play well over two hours. He also didn't do an encore, which probably made it feel shorter.
I was kind of surprised that he only played three songs off the new album (plus one new b-side). He didn't play "Getting Smaller" which is my favorite new song. I was pleasantly surprised that Trent did "Something I Can Never Have" solo on the piano, which was amazing. They also played most of the necessaries, like Head Like a Hole, Sin, Closer, Hurt, Starfuckers Inc., etc. No "Down in It", but I guess you can't have everything. . .
There were numerous technical difficulties throughout the show: problems with microphones, monitors, and at one point Trent had to go over and scream at the guy who was operating the sound board. (Which may have been the reason they didn't do and encore). They even had to stop Closer halfway through and restart it. But these really didn't detract from the over all show, and I can't say that I was disappointed at all.