If Woodstock ’94 is remembered for anything, it’s the mud. Well circulated footage of Green Day and Primus being pelted by massive lumps of grass and dirt has become synonymous with the nineties festival. Scene’s of crowds participating in mudslides and photographs of “mudmen” have almost become more legendary than performances by Bob Dylan, Traffic and The Allman Brothers Band.
One of the weekend’s most memorable performances came from Nine Inch Nails on the second night. By that time, the weather had turned the field into a mess and even the bands had started to look decidedly dishevelled. This only gave the now legendary NIN performance an edge. Between their battling the elements and the now famous destruction of equipment (later outed as staged; the band were told by techs what they could or couldn’t break each night, with regards to what could be replaced/fixed quickly), it would become a genuine visual spectacle. Those who weren’t aware of the band previously surely couldn’t ignore them now.
With the classic ‘Downward Spiral’ album still a relatively new release, it resulted in one of the best setlists ever. The full performance can be watched below in high quality. It’s time to revel in a great bit of nostalgia with a band who were still young and angry; a band who were yet to descend into the self indulgence of ‘The Fragile’ and a subsequent career of abject dullness…
[You can also watch Traffic live at Woodstock ’94 here.]