Beside You In Time [DVD] review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: Feb 27, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (34 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time [DVD]

Sound — 9
Nine Inch Nails isn't about to let its latest DVD release Beside You In Time not be seen or heard with the most up-to-date technology. Considering the live concert release chronicling the band's 2006 Live: With Teeth tour features one of the sleekest stage shows from last year, it's pretty understandable that NIN would want to make sure that it was done justice. For those who are seeking out only the highest quality viewing experience, Beside You In Time will give that to you in the form of 3 different video formats, as well as a variety of audio selections. Will the various video formats be what most NIN fans are concerned about on the latest DVD? Probably not -- when it comes down to it, they're going to want to re-experience a live show as close to the real thing as possible. Beside You In Time, which includes about 25 songs from the 2006 tour, should fulfill most of these fans' expectations in full. After close to 20 years in the business, NIN still sounds (and looks, for that matter) as cutting edge as ever. More amazingly, vocalist Trent Reznor is one of the few frontmen out there who sounds as good in concert as he does on a CD. Before you get started with the opening number, be sure to check out the audio options. Regardless of what video format you get, you have the surround-sound option available, as well as DTS on DVD or Dolby TrueHD on HD DVD or Blu-ray. Once you get over that hi-tech hurdle, you're ready to watch the opener Love Is Not Enough, an energetic track that is only hindered by a sheer net in front of the band -- all part of the stage show concept. The net is removed before long, and then it's the lasers turn to take over for a couple songs. Once the lasers are finally toned down, you're finally able to see some of the classic facial expressions from Reznor that match the passion heard in the music. As predictable as this may seem, the 2 most memorable numbers are Closer and Hurt. These are such polar opposites that it really shows the band's ability to tackle different sounds. The DVD actually gives 2 different Closer performances to choose from, each showing a bit different lighting concept. The band executes the song perfectly on each one, despite the unusual mixing choice that allows Aaron North's lead guitar work to overpower most of the band. Even the song's signature keyboard line gets drowned out at times, but the growling guitar part does give it a harder edge that adds energy to the live show. The majority of Hurt is performed solely by Reznor, who sings and plays keyboard while under a single spotlight. It's a bit different setup than in the classic '90s video, where Reznor sings while a video montage of haunting images of decaying animals plays in the background. This is not to say that other songs on the latest DVD don't have some unusual video projections, but the band made the right choice with Hurt just using Reznor without any extra frills. Additionally, Reznor slows down the pace quite a bit at times, which creates a raw, human feel to it.

Content — 9
As live concerts go, the Live: With Tour stage show doesn't leave a lot out. While NIN was obviously touring to promote the album of the same name, the band doesn't skimp on pleasing the crowd with the classics. The main menu lists 19 songs, including March Of The Pigs, Wish, Head Like A Hole, and Bite The Hand That Feeds. There is also additional content, which features more live performances, song rehearsals, and videos.

Production Quality — 10
It's hard to go with anything but the highest rating when there are 3 top-of-the-line formats to choose from: the DVD, the HD DVD, and the Blue-ray. We were only able to obtain the regular DVD format, so it's hard to say if there is a massive difference in the viewing experience at this time. The fact that the band was thinking ahead about the changing technology is respectable, however. In terms of direction of the stage show, each song has a unique identity in terms of the camera work and the lighting. For a song like March Of The Pigs, there is an insane amount of lighting that does reflect the manic nature of the song. Then you have a track like Right Where It Belongs, a bit mellower tune that features NIN's classic video screen in the background (which features a great clip of George W. Bush dancing, then cuts immediately to some disturbing war footage). There was a lot of thought that went into the production, and even if you don't care for the setup of a few songs, you're still likely to find plenty that's cool about the stage show.

Overall Impression — 9
Trent Reznor has always been a major creative force in the rock scene, and last year's stage show proves he is still trying to push the artistic envelope. While seeing the background images projected onstage might not be as captivating as it was 10 years ago, the band didn't overdo it by any means. The band switched back to the regular stage lighting after a few songs with the video screen, which kept things moving along nicely. Probably the main area that lacked was the camera shots of Reznor. He always injects so much emotion to his singing that it's fascinating to see it up close. There was more of a concentration on the overall stage production -- lasers, lighting, and imagery. Musically the band's sound was solid, and it even sounds more incredible if you hear it in surround-sound. The band's last album might not have lived up to The Downward Spiral, but NIN still has a great body of work to keep the stage show as fresh as ever.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I wonder if it's worth a blind buy...I liked The Hand That Feeds and Closer but I'm not sure if NIN is my type of music.
    I just have to comment on the extra footage stuff when they are rehearsing "The Collector", Aaron knocks over the mic stand and the guy comes in and picks it up and then Twiggy kicks it over again on purpose. Hahaha its gold
    I was at the Richmond Colliseum show last March 2006. I could swear that some scenes look like the Colliseum. Could somebody verify or let me know if I'm right or wrong? thaaaaannxx
    i don't believe that this dvd is as good as And All That Could Have Been. but it is still by far the best dvd to come out in a long time. The guitar and Trent's vocals drowned out alot of the awesome work being done by alessandro but i guess thats just a direction Trent is moving towards.
    ahh this just depresses me, i reserved this today and those bastards didnt get it in, so now i have to wait till friday to get my copy
    NIN&J5 wrote: i wonder if the concert i was at is in it? Green Bay Valentines Day??
    nope, sorry, only like 2 or 3 dates were filmed, they were all around like March 23, 2006 or something like that....somewhere in there
    The main menu lists 19 songs, including... Bite The Hand That Feeds.
    lol? DVD sounds awesome though. Not sure if I should get the normal version or HD because there's only 1 HD capable tv in my house.. might have to get both ;-D
    brixton 8th im there cant wait their live shows better than anyone out there for me
    I'm listening to it in DTS surround sound as I type this. It is ****ing amazing. Sounds just like the live performances I saw last year.
    i wonder if the concert i was at is in it? Green Bay Valentines Day??
    I just picked it up at Best Buy. Started to watch it at work, but I didn't want any of my co-workers to ruin the mood while I was watching it, soooo I have wait til I get home....damnit. So excited though.
    all of you wondering it is filmed in oklahoma city and el paso i saw the show at kemper arena and it was unbelievable beside you in time doesn't capture the greatness of the kc show because it was alot of downward spiral and with teeth stuff but it is awesome none the less