Trent Reznor, frontman of Nine Inch Nails, used Facetime (Apple’s video chat service) to bring a big Nine Inch Nails fan, Andrew Youssef, into a show that he could not attend, because Youssef is dying. Youssef, a music journalist and photographer who has been to countless shows, has stage IV colon cancer, and has been given weeks to live by his doctors. Reznor wanted to give Youssef at least one more show , so he pulled out a phone during a Nine Inch Nails show in Las Vegas, and Youssef joined in from his bed.
It was only this past summer that Youssef, though suffering from cancer, caught a Nine Inch Nails show at Outside Lands in San Francisco. He wrote about the powerful experience:
“My adrenaline levels soon would spike upon hearing the opening pulsating synthesizer notes of ‘Copy of A’ from Nine Inch Nails. Bandleader Trent Reznor has mentioned that these Nine Inch Nails festival shows would be different from their fall arena tour which provided me with even more incentive to attend. I admittedly cheated and had watched their prior performance at Lollapalooza in order to study the light patterns and how they correlated with the songs in order to get the best photos as possible.
Since I was able to only shoot three songs, I made the most of my time by capturing twelve hundred images. Those songs went by in seconds as I ran back to meet up with a friend in order to take in the whole set. While I was tired from the activities of the day, I quickly forgot about the two heavy cameras I was carrying as well as anything related to my cancer as I was immersed in the moment. The crushing synthesizer bass line of ‘March Of The Pigs’ transported me away as the eye popping visuals bombarded your senses.”
At the Vegas show, with Youssef watching from his phone, Reznor dedicated the song “In This Twilight” to Youssef. The crowd chanted “ANDREW! ANDREW!”
After aiming the phone at the Nine Inch Nails crowd so that Andrew and the crowd could greet each other, Reznor puts the phone down, so that he could perform and Andrew could watch.
If you have to go, you might as well go like that.