Nine Inch Nails- And All That Could Have Been- DVD/CD (nothing/interscope records 2002).
Still- CD (nothing/interscope records 2002)
halo seventeen
Review by Nicholas Foley.

And All That Could Have Been? A very suggestive title, to say the least, but that's not to say that Trent Reznor and his project Nine Inch Nails are going anywhere - - Instead the title refers to 1999's critically acclaimed yet commercially disappointing "Fragile" album and the accompanying tour which supported it the following summer, which found the band, Reznor (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Charlie Clouser (keyboards), Danny Lohner (bass), Robin Finck (guitars) and Jerome Dillon (drums), playing in over fifty cities nationwide to a highly supportive audience and in some cases, sold out shows, despite Nine Inch Nail's (NIN) rapid decline in album sales and without the media savvy antics to tide over today's generation of music listeners. The "And All That Could Have Been" DVD, once highly anticipated and long in the works, doesn't disappoint. The production is fantastic, and it's evident that Reznor and Rob Sheridan, the project's director were meticulous when it came to the picture quality and sound, and the end project turned out to be quite an accomplishment, especially since a sizable percentage of the footage found on this DVD was shot on home video cameras. The editing job was done excellently, however, as this is no bootleg. The band has never looked this clear before. Somehow the footage was all compiled and presented in a modest way. Unlike the sweeping camera shots you'll find on say, HBO concert specials, this DVD really captures what it felt like to be at a Nine Inch Nails show, and that fact alone makes this a worthy purchase. The DVD is spread over the span of two discs, and I'm somewhat skeptical of why this choice was made. Marketing? There is a lot of material included on this package, no doubt, but it seems like there's a lot more which could have been included. The bonus features and extra content is especially lacking. I figure this might of been done deliberately so as to not take away from the concept of it representing the live experience, but either way, it'd have been nice if Reznor had gone out of his way to appease the fans with more media content.

The concert itself is spectacular. I don't want to come across as biased because I'm a fan, but the job mix technician Dave Ogilvie did with the sound is beyond belief - -You'll hear guitars and beats pan from speaker to speaker, if you've got the setup, and even if you don't, the quality is leap years better then even the best bootleg recording. Old NIN favorites, "Terrible Lie" and "Head Like a Hole" have been beefed up in the live atmosphere and moody pieces like "La Mer" and "The Mark has Been Made", both instrumentals, are every bit as immersive as they were on the actual tour. Crowd noise is kept to a minimum, fortunately, but phasing them out of the mix would have probably detracted from the feeling of it as a whole, I think. One downside is switching discs; if you're watching "And All That Could Have Been" from beginning to end, this can be a burden, but this complaint isn't too withstanding because the second disc includes the best material. "Closer", NIN's most popular song, is a visual treat, featuring an extravagant use of red strobe lights and climaxes with the destruction of a keyboard. "Just Like You Imagined" is nearly as vibrant as the studio version, and "Hurt" is the perfect finale. The aforementioned Easter eggs are all on disc two, as well. These include three promo television spots, bonus performances and more, although it's a challenge to find them, initially. If you're a fan, I'm not sure what you're waiting for if you haven't bothered to scope this release out. If you're a DVD aficionado or a fan of live shows, I'd also recommend this. Rating: 4/5.

The companion cd is disapointing, in a few ways. The idea remains the same, but while the DVD features great sound AND audio, this album suffers from a lack of both, unfortunately. That's not to say that it doesn't have its high points -- It works as a great career retrospective, almost a "best of" mix tape if you will, but there's a few things which hold it back from being truly enjoyable. The first one would be the time constraints. Now, I realize that you can only get eighty minutes on a compact disc, and that full concerts are more often then not much longer then that, but I think that including such things as an introduction is not just mandatory, it's essential. The album begins with a bang, with no warning, applause or nothing, just the shouts of "Terrible Lie". This album should of included a disclaimer in the beginning warning listeners of how loud the opening would be: It startled me the first time, that's for sure. There are a few awe inspiring moments, though, for example, this live cd includes the best live rendition of "The Day the World Went Away" I've heard so far, and I think even the most critical would have a hard time saying anything derogatory about the classic "Hurt". This cd's main problem is its rushed pace. 2.5/5

Finally, Still makes the live cd package worth buying; that's if you buy the deluxe edition. This nine track album finds Trent Reznor, in his own words, deconstructing older songs and includes new ambient piano-based instrumental pieces as well as the brand new song, called, pardon my redundancy in this review, "And All That Could Have Been". This song, as well as the track "Leaving Hope" make this bonus cd (which is also exclusively available at worth seeking out. The deconstructed versions are great, especially the new version of "the Fragile" which isolates the melody and just broods emotion for its four and a half minute duration.

Rating: 4/5.


DVD: disc one

1. The New Flesh/Pinion

2. Terrible Lie
3. Sin
4. March of the Pigs/All the Pigs All Lined Up
5. Piggy
6. The Frail
7. The Wretched
8. Gave Up
9. La Mer
10. The Great Below
11. The Mark Has Been Made
12. Wish
13. Complication

DVD: disc two

1. Suck
2. Closer
3. Head Like a Hole
4. Just Like You Imagined
5. Starfuckers Inc.
6. Hurt


1. Terrible Lie
2. Sin
3. March of the Pigs
4. Piggy
5. The Frail
6. The Wretched
7. Gave Up
8. The Great Below
9. The Mark Has Been Made
10. Wish
11. Suck
12. Closer
13. Head Like a Hole
14. The Day the World Went Away
15. Starfuckers Inc.
16. Hurt


1. Something I Can Never Have
2. Adrift and at Peace
3. The Fragile
4. The Becoming
5. Gone, Still
6. The Day the World Went Away
7. And All That Could Have Been
8. The Persistance of Loss
9. Leaving Hope
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