nine-inch-nails-4dd44596db394With a capacity of just 5000 people, Belsonic plays host to one of the more intimate festival experiences around.

On Wednesday, they were putting forward one of the stronger line ups of the festival with Little Matador, And So I Watch You From Afar, and Nine Inch Nails.

Little Matador aren’t what one would expect coming from Snow Patrol’s Nathan Connolly, a solid rock band who take dirty guitar to a level reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, that’s more than worth a listen, even at this early stage in their career.

An almost jarring contrast to headliners Nine Inch Nails, comes in the form of Belfast’s own And So I Watch You From Afar, whose latest release is one of the bands more uplifting and happy albums, with the band taking full advantage of the stage to dance around entertaining the crowd with a fervour that also contrasted with the downpour from the start of their set, lifting spirits and gaining new fans wherever they go, apparently.

Given their 25 odd year delay in getting to Belfast, Nine Inch nails seem more than willing to make up for skipping over the city, with a career spanning setlist which could easily make up a ‘best of’ album.

This is something special for those who continue to appreciate catharsis delivered with a touch of class.

“It’s good to finally get here,” said Reznor during a moshpit inducing March Of The Pigs.

“Thanks for sticking around.”

This latest incarnation is perhaps the strongest yet; thunderously propulsive and operating with almost machine-like precision, the band provide the hypnotically immersive canvas under which Reznor continues to bleed like ‘Terrible Lie’ was written only yesterday, rather than 25 years ago.

Between best of tracks like Survivalism and Head Like a Hole, to single encore track Hurt, Reznor was on perfect form playing to a much smaller audience than he’s used to, blending electronic and metal in an emotional freefall, backed only by one the best lighting set ups you will see at a live show.

Utilising a full lighting team, the backdrop of the stage is consistently changing throughout the set, creating an almost surreal experience of shadows and ambience thats almost entrancing.

Simplistic but beautiful, graceful yet jarring, NIN have created something that is made to be seen and not just heard as Reznor remains simultaneously one of the world’s most creative minds and at the helm of one of the best live acts around.