The drive is only supposed to take 8 hours, but we didn't get to the venue until 4 P.M. because of the horrendous traffic in Chicago. I have never seen traffic this bad- ever, and we've driven in NYC. I'll take NYC traffic over this any day. It took us an hour to drive 4 miles at one point.
I think the problem with Chicago is that it is a densely populated city, that everyone still wants to drive in. But anyways...
We finally arrived at Aragon and went to stand in the NIN pre-sale line (we got our tickets early, and get to go into the venue before everyone else), only to see that it wasn't that long and we still had 2 1/2 hours before the doors were to open, so we decided to grab some dinner. We walked down the street and ate at a mexican restaurant that was pretty crappy. We should have known better when we saw the Asain woman doing the bills at the mexican joint. Oh well, it was cheap and we filled our bellies.
So back in line we went at 4:30 P.M. Two hours to go. Luckily there's plenty of people watching to do at a Nine Inch Nails concert. I think Brian was trying to take a picture of the houses behind this lovely girl.
They finally let us in at 6:15 and Brian and I raced up to the balcony to get good seats. There was no way we were going to be on the floor at a sold out NIN concert. We ended up getting great seats- we were two of about 200 total seats in the entire ballroom- very lucky. The crowd down on the floor ended up being pretty nuts, but it was enjoyable to watch from up top!
And this is where I will mention that Aragon Ballroom is a horrible venue- they have one bathroom for 5,000 people and only one exit down one set of stairs. We didn't even drink for fear of missing an hour of the concert trying to urinate. It also took us over 30 minutes to get out of the place- avoid this venue at all costs! Let me restate for Google: THE ARAGON BALLROOM IN CHICAGO IS THE WORST VENUE ON THE PLANET.
Other than that, the concert was awesome! The opening act was Mew. They were okay, but way too loud and we couldn't understand a word they were singing.
Nine Inch Nails came on at 8:30 P.M. and played for 2 1/2 hours. Probably the best Nine Inch Nails concert we've seen (Brian says definitely).
It was amazing to hear an audience of 5000 people singing along to all 29 songs.
Peter Murphy of Bauhaus was the special guest of the evening. He came out and sang Reptile with NIN, sang a couple of his own Bauhaus tunes, and then reunited with Trent to sing a cover of Final Solution. Let's just say Peter Murphy has an interesting stage presence.
Here's the setlist from the evening:
- The Beginning Of The End
- March Of The Pigs
- I'm Afraid Of Americans
- Gave Up
- La Mer
- The Frail
- I Do Not Want This
- Gone, Still
- Right Where It Belongs v2.0
- The Way Out Is Through
- Mr Self Destruct
- The Good Soldier
- Dead Souls
- Reptile (with Peter Murphy)
- Strange Kind Of Love / Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus covers with Peter Murphy
- Final Solution - Pere Ubu cover with Peter Murphy
- The Hand That Feeds
- Head Like A Hole
When the concert sadly ended at 11 P.M. we headed downtown so Brian could reunite with and old highschool friend, Ryan, at a bar called Matildas. It was a nice place that wasn't too crowded and we ended up staying there until 3 A.M. (bars close in Chicago at 5 A.M.!) just talking, drinking, and having a great time. Unfortunately it took us over an hour to get back to Ryan's house in the burbs so we didn't get to bed until around 5 A.M. But oh well, it was fun.
So we slept in Sunday, but woke up to gorgeous weather (and a really nice house- go Ryan). We debated whether or not to drive back into the city (since it's over an hour away without traffic) but we decided we would probably regret it if we didn't see at least a few of the sites in the city.
So we headed back downtown and ate lunch at a bar the Ryan used to work.
After lunch we headed down to Millineum Park, Grant Park and Lake Michigan. We didn't have a whole lot of time, but we wanted to see this area. Of course we had to ride the L.
Millinneum Park and Grant Park were nice to see. The coolest thing, by far, is "the bean".
This outdoor theater is pretty cool too.
The last thing we saw was Lake Michigan (which looks more like an ocean) before we had to head home.
It was a great weekend overall. We will be going back to Chicago in October to do more of the touristy things. And next time we will be flying so we don't have to worry about the horrendous traffic.
If you would like to see more pics head over here.
Oh, and a huge thanks to Ryan for his very gracious and generous hospitality!