Last Night: Nine Inch Nails at the Wiltern

Trent Reznor, literally waving goodbye.
Trent Reznor, literally waving goodbye.
Andrew Youssef

Last Night: Nine Inch Nails at the Wiltern, Los Angeles; September 10, 2009.

Better Than: The Kiss "Farewell" tour.

My calculated guess of "Last" or "The Beginning of The End" as the first song for Nine Inch Nails final show was wrong. "Home" will go down in the books as the beginning of the end.


It took a while to end. The last Nine Inch Nails performance clocked in over three hours, with an astonishing 37 song set list. "The Perfect Drug," "We're In This Together," "Ringfinger" and other assorted rarities were omitted, but it's difficult to complain after seeing the longest performance in the history of NIN.

Some super-fans waited in line moments after the completion of the band's show at the Henry Fonda two nights ago. Fans from across the country and around the world flew out to witness the "final" show. Trent did state during the performance that he would continue to make music, but would cease to tour as Nine Inch Nails. 

It was an "everything but the kitchen sink" set list, with them selecting different songs from all their studio albums. The crowd responded fervently to older material such as "The Wretched," "Down In It," and "Head Like A Hole." The three hours seemed to go by in seconds as Trent coyly quipped, "the hits just keep coming," before tearing into "Suck".

In the special guest department, Gary Numan, Dillinger Escape Plan, Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction and Mike Garson stopped by to add their respective talents to various songs. I was most impressed by producer Atticus Ross (described by Trent as his "partner in crime") who accompanied Trent on the electronic bit smashing of "Me, I'm Not" and "The Warning".

It was literally difficult to say goodbye as "The Day the Whole World Went Away" had to be restarted a few times due to Trent thanking all the crew and his band members for "putting up with me."

My guess that Trent would end the show with "Hurt" also missed the mark when the sparse electronic beat of "In This Twilight" started. As one of my favorite songs from Year Zero, I wasn't complaining. The song was the closer during their epic "Lights In The Sky" tour, and gives the crowd an opportunity to applaud each band member as they exit one by one leaving Trent at the end playing piano under a spot light.

Trent raised his arm and waved goodbye. It may be the last time we see Trent Reznor, but it won't be the last we hear from him.

Nine Inch Nails set list:
1. "Home"
2. "Somewhat Damaged"
3. "The Collector"
4. "Discipline"
5. "March Of The Pigs"
6. "Something I Can Never Have"
7. "The Frail"
8. "The Wretched"
9. "Ruiner"
10. "Head Down"
11. "Burn"
12. "Just Like You Imagined" (w/ Mike Garson)
13. "La Mer" (w/ Mike Garson)
14. "Eraser" (w/ Mike Garson)
15. "The Becoming" (w/ Mike Garson)
16. "Down In The Park" (w/ Gary Numan)
17. "Metal" (w/ Gary Numan)
18. "I Die: You Die" (w/ Gary Numan)
19. "1,000,000"
20. "Letting You"
21. "Survivalism"
22. "Suck"
23. "Down In It"
24. "The Hand That Feeds"
25. "Head Like A Hole"
26. "Me, I'm Not" (w/ Atticus Ross)
27. "The Warning" (w/ Atticus Ross and Dave Navarro)
28. "Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)" (w/ Atticus Ross and Dave Navarro)
29. "Gave Up" (w/ Dave Navarro)
30. "Mr. Self Destruct" (w/ Greg Puciato and Ben Weinman)
31. "Wish" (w/ Dillinger Escape Plan)
32. "Atmosphere"
33. "Dead Souls"
34. "The Good Soldier"
35. "The Day The World Went Away"
36. "Hurt"
37. "In This Twilight"

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: Too many to list.  

Random Detail: I met Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck at the HEALTH show the night before and he was super nice.

By the Way: Numerous video cameras were operating at each of the final shows which hopefully will lead to a Blu-ray release by Christmas.


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