Nine Inch Nails Live: Noise as activism

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Nine Inch Nails rolled into Radio City Music Hall as part of the Cold Black and Infinite Tour.

The stage and light design more subdued by design, Trent Reznor and co delivered a tight, punchy set with lined an unbearable intensity (“My message to friends after 4 songs simply read, ‘Holy Fuck’”). A minimal Nine Inch Nails light show is still more thought-out and overwhelming than 99% of other artists.

Reznor didn’t say much throughout but his song choices showed that the current US political climate was on his mind.

Three-quarters of the way through the set he addressed the audience directly for the first time and revealed his current thought process.

“It’s an honor and been a lifelong dream for this band to play at the beautiful Radio City… Actually I made that up. I had to look up whether we’d played here before.”

Reznor’s political thinking was clear. Our institutions are only as important as we make them.

He said this before moving into a cover of David Bowie’s ‘I’m Afriad of Americans’.

Reznor has been more outspoken in interviews this year regarding the current President and White House administration. Here he is attacking the idea that “you don’t have to respect the President, but you have to respect the office.”

No, you don’t. The office of the President is only as respect-worthy as we allow it to be.

Here, Reznor and I are in agreement—in its current standings, the Presidential office deserves no respect.

SETLIST

Mr. Self Destruct
Wish
Less Than
March of the Pigs
The Lovers
This Isn’t the Place
Reptile
The Perfect Drug
Shit Mirror
Ahead of Ourselves
God Break Down the Door
Copy of A
Gave Up
I’m Afraid of Americans (David Bowie cover)
Digital (Joy Division cover)
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Encore: All the Love in the World
Over and Out
Hurt