Concert Review: How to Destroy Angels

The Pearl, April 13

Effin’ amazing! While the recent Welcome Oblivion album from Trent Reznor’s latest musical endeavor, How To Destroy Angels, reflects his signature sound, I couldn’t help but wonder how the more down-tempo electronica style would translate to a live concert—it’s not exactly something you can mosh or dance to. But the group was already a step ahead, balancing out the astral musical offerings with artistic video-mapping visuals as they began the set with “The Wake-Up.”

Behind semi-opaque screen panels that later opened and moved into different formations throughout the show, avant-garde projections played off not only the screens, but the band itself. Singer (and Reznor’s wife) Mariqueen Maandig emerged in an angelic-white flowing dress, contrasted by Reznor, Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan—also the group’s art director—as darker canvases for the light show. Fans not only cheered for songs, but visual changes that blew them away. Additional surround sound at the Pearl also heightened the experience for an all-encompassing evening that made one feel part of a music video with the band. Song (and visual) highlights included “BBB” and “The Loop Closes,” though the entire set was an achievement, a groundbreaking concert experience. ★★★★☆