In the first L.A. concert of its farewell tour, the band played 'Downward Spiral' in its entirety, then performed other, mostly older, material with the same relentless power and fury."Nothing can stop me now," Trent Reznor snarled as he lunged toward his audience during the song "Piggy" at the outset of Nine Inch Nails' sold-out show at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday. The statement held some irony, given that Reznor has announced he's retiring his band, as a live act at least.
It's been 15 years since "The Downward Spiral," the concept album about loneliness and despair that contained that song, became the most successful industrial music album in history and catapulted Reznor squarely into the mainstream spotlight. Now that the front man has decided to say goodbye to the stage, he's reaching back to the seminal collection.
At the first of the series of L.A. shows being billed as NIN's last, he led his band through "Downward Spiral" in its entirety, then continued to run through a selection of almost exclusively older material.
Reznor might be in a very different place in his life from when he originally wrote and performed those songs -- he's since recovered from the substance abuse that gripped him in those dark days -- but they retained the same relentless power and rage.