In short, don't skip an iconic band that you assume you won't like for something that's just decent. Or people will call you pompous.
Just to clarify, I'm not assuming that I don't like them - I know I don't, I've listened to a fair amount of their/his music. If there's someone I actually enjoy playing on another stage at the same time, that's who I want to see. That's all I was trying to say and I apologize if that was unclear. My original post was poorly-worded.
But I'm not gonna skip out on NIN for like, Owl City or something.
They're one in the same. Most will remember Reznor for Nine Inch Nails, and the sphere of influence that project has/had.
Does your ignorance of the fact that he toils away recording these things and fucking around with knobs in a dark room for months and years on end on his own really make a difference as to the kind of influence and lasting legacy the project and artist have left?
In terms of cultural impact, I'd say so. If I ask someone about Trent Reznor they say "oh the dude from NIN? They're whatever" the vast majority of the time. I don't think NIN has nearly the fanbase to justify claims of cultural impact on a massive scale. For those who follow the music industry, Reznor is a household name, albeit one mentioned casually in passing. In my experience, the only people who worship him as a deity / are able to quantify his affect on the music industry are the scholars and the superfans, which, while important, doesn't scream "generation-defining artist" to me.
Let's consider for a second Bowie's comparison of Reznor to The Velvet Underground. They never reached anywhere near the level of acclaim and widespread praise that the Beatles did, but in the musical landscape they're still intensely important to everything that came after.
Are NIN/Reznor the same entity then? Does Reznor's legacy outstrip NIN? Going off of the information you're giving me, I'd stand by my statement that NIN will be a footnote in the future, just a part of the legacy Reznor helped create. A legacy that, again, hardly anyone outside of religious music scholars and Reznorphiles will grasp.
And going back to where this discussion all started:
Does this affect my desire to see a NIN performance? Not in the slightest. There are countless artists and musicians who have affected the musical/cultural landscape whose music I simply don't care for. Can I appreciate their impact? Sure. Doesn't mean I have to enjoy them.
Apparently the above statement has been causing huge problems for certain forum members, which I see as enormously disrespectful.