Live Review: Nine Inch Nails at The Palladium


When a band as big as Nine Inch Nails opts to play small venues and do multiple nights, you know that it’s going to be special. Back in 2009, I was lucky to get to go to a few of the Wave Goodbye shows Nine Inch Nails did in Los Angeles. I was able to go to the Wiltern, Fonda and Palladium shows. Each of those nights have always stood out in my concert going history. The Palladium show that evening was special as The Downward Spiral was played in its entirety. Last night didn’t have that happen but it was one of those shows that rank pretty high in my now 18 times seeing Nine Inch Nails.


As the dry ice started flowing in and the intro music began to play, a shadow appeared from the back and out walked Trent, Robin, Alessandro, Ilan and Atticus. They immediately burst into “Branches/Bones” from the Not The Actual Events EP and the crowd erupted. Then they hit the audience with “Wish” and the beautiful chaos that ensued from that point was spellbinding. The setlist for this evening covered all Nine Inch Nails releases, even if it was just one song. Songs like “Less Than,” “This Isn’t The Place,” “Letting You,” “Shit Mirror,” “The Becoming,” and “I’m Afraid of Americans,” were delights in the setlist. There were two songs played this evening that really took it home for me. 21 years after first hearing “The Perfect Drug,” I was finally able to hear it live and it was glorious. That song garnered a huge ovation of applause and the crowd sang it louder than Trent at times. The other song that took my breath away was during the encore when they played “And All That Could Have Been.” That song is one of my all time favorite NIN songs and getting to hear that one as well, was absolutely astonishing. The lineup Trent has used featuring Ilan Rubin on Drums, Robin Finck on guitar, Alessandro Cortini on keys and bass, and Atticus Ross on keys and other electronic equipment is one of the best lineups Nine Inch Nails has ever had. I’m quite partial to The Fragile era lineup but this one is right there for me.


Also playing this evening as direct support was The Jesus and Mary Chain. I remember first hearing them on the soundtrack for The Crow and their song “Snakedriver.” I can recall thinking that this song is quite cool and I grew intrigued by them. About 10 years ago (maybe 11), when I was at Coachella, I finally was able to see them live and they were quite good. Fast forward to last night and they solidified in my mind just how good and influential they truly are. Having them on this tour was sort of like a dream. The Jesus and Mary Chain had taken Nine Inch Nails out on one of their first tours and now Trent was able to pay it back but taking them out on this run. The set for TJMAC was bountiful as they ripped through gems like “Just Like Honey,” “Amputation,” “Sometimes Always,” and “Reverence.” For this tour it was perfect to have them out with Nine Inch Nails. They really help to set the tone before Trent and company took the stage. The Jesus and Mary Chain are responsible to inspiring and influencing countless bands over the last 30 plus years. It’s about time they get their due.

What a great show all around. Seeing this show in particular at The Palladium was worth it. From standing in line for over 9 hours to obtain tickets, to waiting months to see the show, it all came together perfectly. Trent did mention that this tour would be it for a while. Which is understandable since he and Atticus are busy with film scores and other projects. As I mentioned above, I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails 18 times now and this show definitely ranks in the top ten of shows I’ve seen. Having Nine Inch Nails still around after 30 years, is quite amazing. There is something truly special about a band like this that can still be relevant and be able to put out new music that resonates with the people so well. I just hope he will continue on in a little while so I can take my daughter to a show so she can experience the greatness that is Nine Inch Nails.

Nine Inch Nails Set List:

01) Branches/Bones
02) Wish
03) Less Than
04) Letting You
05) March Of The Pigs
06) The Lovers
07) This Isn’t The Place
08) The Perfect Drug
09) Shit Mirror
10) Ahead Of Ourselves
11) God Break Down The Door
12) Copy Of A
13) The Becoming
14) I Do Not Want This
15) I’m Afraid Of Americans
16) Only
17) Survivalism
18) Head Like A Hole


19) The Good Soldier
20) Even Deeper
21) And All That Could Have Been
22) Hurt


The Jesus and Mary Chain Set List:

01) Just Like Honey
02) Head On
03) Amputation
04) All Things Pass
05) Some Candy Talking
06) Sometimes Always
07) The Two Of Us
08) Cracking Up
09) In A Hole
10) I Hate Rock n Roll
11) Reverence

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