The thing about a Nine Inch Nails show is you know it’s gonna be good. Judging by the two nights of sold-out shows at The Joint, the fans must have thought so, too. I was almost more excited to see openers Explosions in the Sky, but merely because I had yet to see them. They delivered, just as NIN would when they took the stage.
As the band members were illuminated from above, white beams pulsating and making them look like they were trapped in individual boxes of light, Trent Reznor and crew launched into “Copy of A.” Many of the songs were from the latest album, Hesitation Marks, but long-time NIN fans also got what they were longing for in the form of “Piggy,” the cover of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans,” “Head Like a Hole” and even “Hurt.” Sorry, no full version of “Closer,” kids.
The production was impressive, but not nearly as snazzy as Reznor’s other project, How to Destroy Angels, that made a Vegas stop in April. And judging by bootleg concert videos and talking with superfans, Vegas may not have gotten the whole technical shebang. But either way, it was definitely a contender for one of the best concerts of the year. Hey, it’s NIN; would you expect anything besides amazing? ★★★★✩
Originally published in Vegas Seven.