Another Version of the Truth [The Gift], by Nine Inch Nails

17-avottthegift

Unofficial live album

Released March 1, 2009

Approx. 2 hrs, 14 min

When This One is On Us began in 2008, as the final show of the Lights in the Sky tour inched closer and closer, the Las Vegas project was envisioned as the sole component. Editing an entire concert from over a dozen audio and video sources would be difficult enough – there wouldn’t be any need to do more.

However, in January 2009, Trent Reznor decided otherwise. In his attempts to document the Lights in the Sky tour, three shows had been fully filmed, with the intention of attempting to put something together from them and salvage the project. When this failed, a “mysterious group of subversives” “somehow gained access” to the vault where the footage was held, and uploaded it to the Internet via a set of torrents, totaling up at a whopping 400GB of raw footage, directly from the cameras. Trent Reznor did not directly comment on the matter, but it was incredibly obvious that this was arranged by him, as a “gift” and an apology to the fans for being unable to deliver a full product. Thus, This One is On Us were given a second project for Another Version of the Truth – take this gift and turn it into something watchable.

With the video, of course, came professionally recorded audio, which is what we’re talking about today. To be honest, because this is the same tour, with the same general setlist, this post won’t be very long. Instead, we’ll just touch on a few things.

This One is On Us decided on the setlist based on what they had in the Vegas show, having three variations to choose from. The variations weren’t extensive, due to the heavily visual nature of the Lights in the Sky tour, which didn’t allow for a modular setlist. Select tracks were added here, while only one or two were removed, generally resulting in certain spots in the setlist featuring swapped-out songs.

The audio, as expected, is incredibly clear and crisp, with the composite setlist being completely seamless. This release doesn’t feature the poignance of the Las Vegas release, as these are essentially three random shows from the tour, but they are certainly not any worse, performance-wise. Nine Inch Nails in 2008 was a solid machine that consistently put on incredible shows, helped by the tightness and familiarity of the band assembled behind Reznor – Josh Freese and Alessandro Cortini, the band’s drummer and keyboardist, respectively, had been along for the ride since the With Teeth tours in 2005, and returning guitarist Robin Finck had been with the band from 1994 to 2000 prior to his hiatus. Only bassist Justin Meldel-Johnsen was a newcomer for this tour, and he certainly didn’t play like he was – JMJ is one of the best bassists the band’s ever had, second only to Pino Palladino in 2013.

The audio releases of Las Vegas and The Gift were early indicators that This One is On Us were fully committed and ready to deliver on the product they’d promised at the beginning of the year, and though it took the entire year, the final product, released in the early days of 2010, blew everyone away. Even Trent Reznor himself commented on it, noting simply that “Nine Inch Nails fans kick ass.”

So, we’re at the end of this five-day string of Nine Inch Nails posts. Tomorrow: something else!

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