Nine Inch Nails Perform Full “Downward Spiral” as Wave Goodbye Tour Gets Underway

By Daniel Kreps for Rolling Stone on August 24, 2009

Nine Inch Nails began their Wave Goodbye tour with a pair of small venue concerts in New York City this weekend, performing Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom and last night at Webster Hall. Yesterday’s performance was especially noteworthy as Trent Reznor and Co. played their entire 1994 classic The Downward Spiral from start to finish, plus nearly a dozen more of NIN’s greatest hits. As Rock Daily previously reported, these 11 shows represent the last time Nine Inch Nails will perform live.

Rolling Stone was crammed up near the side of the stage Saturday night at the Bowery Ballroom near an army of crazed NIN fans. Highlights of the two-hour set included a cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls,” a crowd sing-along on “Hurt” and a super rare performance of NIN’s 1989 debut single “Down In It.” Before that track Trent addressed the crowd. “This is fucking tiring up here man,” he said. “Usually I have a stunt double fill in and robots. I’m too old for this shit. Seriously, these being the last shows with the band, it’s an honor to be here with you guys tonight. It’s funny being in New York. Back in the beginning of Nine Inch Nails we played some terrible shows in New York. I don’t know if anybody is old enough to have been at those shows. You know it sucked. We’ve done some sucking in our day. Glad to be here right now.”

Prior to both concerts, diehard fans slept outside both venues in order to ensure prime spots for the shows, reports Brooklyn Vegan, who have video and photos from both performances. The Webster Hall show marked the first and last time NIN performed The Downward Spiral in its entirety. That gig also featured covers of Gary Numan’s “Metal,” Adam & the Ants’ “Physical (You’re So)” and a concert-ending performance of “Head Like A Hole.”

After a pair of shows at New York’s Terminal 5 scheduled for August 25th and 26th, Nine Inch Nails will head to Chicago for two shows at the Aragon Ballroom. After that, it’s off to Toronto for the Virgin Festival on August 30th and then four nights at four different venues in Los Angeles. Rock Daily will be there for Reznor’s final show, September 6th at Los Angeles’ Echoplex, so be sure to check back for our final ever live report from a NIN gig.

The set list for Nine Inch Nails’ Webster Hall concert:

1. “Mr. Self Destruct”
2. “Piggy”
3. “Heresy”
4. “March of the Pigs”
5. “Closer”
6. “Ruiner”
7. “The Becoming”
8. “I Do Not Want This”
9. “Big Man with a Gun”
10. “A Warm Place”
11. “Eraser”
12. “Reptile”
13. “The Downward Spiral”
14. “Hurt”
15. “1,000,000″
16. “Terrible Lie”
17. “Metal”
18. “Lights In the Sky”
19. “Burn”
20. “Gave Up”
21. “Suck”
22. “Physical”
23. “The Hand That Feeds”
24. “Head Like A Hole”

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