Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels were unbelievable.
Fans waited with anticipation to see How to Destroy Angels perform on stage at the Wellmont Theater. How To Destroy Angels was formed by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails in 2010. This is the band’s first tour and expectations were high.
Known for their experimental and electronic sounds, How To Destroy Angels pushed the envelope when it comes to mixing electronic sounds. Reznor shared the stage with his wife, Mariqueen Maandig. Not a stranger to music, Maandig was part of another music group called West Indian Girl. How To Destroy Angels delivered a well-crafted and imaginative show that is likely to be remembered by fans for some time to come.
Hailing from Brooklyn, Indie rock band DIIV opened the show for How To Destroy Angels. Formerly known as Dive as a tribute to a Nirvana song, the band released its debut album “Oshin” in June 2012. The band featured a whimsical sound evocative of the early 90’s alternative rock scene.
The band had limited space on stage to perform as a result of privacy curtains that covered How To Destroy Angels’ mysterious live set up. Frontman and guitarist, Zachary Cole Smith, joked about the lack of space and having so much stuff to trip over, like wires. DIIV delivered a spunky performance with catchy bass riff that warmed up the crowd.
As How To Destroy Angels prepared to take the stage, the black curtains opened up to reveal the stage strings, about two stories high and reminiscent of an art installation. Once lit, the strings gave a three-dimensional illusion to the stage. With no introduction, How To Destroy Angels opened with “The Wake-Up,” which set a high precedent for the rest of the night.
It was not until the third song that the shimmering LED light installation gave way so the roaring fans could get a clear glimpse of the band. This second introduction produced more commotion than the initial entrance. The performance became more personal and intimate without the installation in the way.
Melanie D’Alimonte drove all the way from Pennsylvania to see HTDA perform. “They blew me away,” said D’Alimonte. “It was a really great show.”
The light installation shifted in and out of the stage as if it was an additional member of the band. During “A Drowning,” the strings emanated a bright blue cascading light effect that led the audience to feel as if they were in the middle of the ocean.
Although most fans attended because of their devotion to Reznor, by the end of the night Maandig had earned her rightful place on stage. Reznor relinquished the role of lead vocals to Maandig, and fans were not disappointed. Maandig’s ethereal and sultry voice combined with intricate electronic sounds and captivated the crowd until they were at her feet.
Songs such as “Ice Age” and “How Long” showed Maandig’s flexible voice range and angelic stage presence. Fans were thrilled with Maandig’s performance.
“She has a killer voice,” exclaimed Joseph Balistrieri. “Her voice adds a nice balance to the music.”
How To Destroy Angels produced a multi-dimensional performance filled with electronic spellbinding sounds and an original live production. The light installation formed a significant part of How To Destroy Angels’ performance, at times giving the impression of watching a hologram on stage. One can only describe such performance as a feast for the senses. Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels not only met fans’ expectations but surpassed them, while showcasing Maandig’s stellar performance.
The band’s 2013 sold-out tour concludes at the end of April. However, fans can catch Trent Reznor at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.
Coming up next at the Wellmont are the Silversun Pickups on May 5 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.