Amidst false stops and starts, including a scheduling lapse that caused us to miss Health (we're hoping to see them tonight at the Troubadour), the Nine Inch Nails show last night at the Henry Fonda Theater was punctuated by interruptions and surprises, most of them pleasant, and all mediated in real time.
Originally scheduled for Sept 3rd, yesterday's Fonda show was the second-to-last stop on Reznor's “Wave Goodbye” tour; the final stop will be the Wiltern show, which was planned for last Saturday and is now happening this Thursday. The band tore through a remarkable performance at the Echoplex on Sunday night.
Opening the set with the riveting “Head Like a Hole,” Reznor proved that he essentially is a showman, pushing through a high energy “I'm Afraid of Americans” and a vast selection from his catalog. Gary Numan made an appearance for “Metal” that transitioned into (what else?) “Cars.” Other special guest where Danny Lohner, Greg Puciato and Mike Garson — and the aforementioned Health, who decided that they too should get part of the action.
If anything there was too much action and an otherwise epic performance was marred by small details, as when the house lights accidently came back on before Trent could fully commit to the encore. To his credit Reznor admitted the mistake.
“It was supposed to be a real smooth pretend finish then encore, but we kinda fucked up the house lights.”
Testament to the fact that NIN doesn't seem willing to let the past go (despite that they refuse to play “Closer,” to the dismay of at least one audience member) Reznor graced us with second encore, wrapping the tapestry of a performance up with a masterful rendition of “Hurt,” taking his own song back from another man in black, Johnny Cash, for just one moment.
And just like Cash, this won't be the last we hear of Trent. With all this talk of “last show ever” methinks he doth protest too much.
View the full set list at “Brooklyn Vegan.”
Read Randall Roberts' review of Nine Inch Nails' show at the Echoplex here.
Read Siran Babayan's review of Nine Inch Nails show at the Palladium here.