It’s always a good idea to go see Nine Inch Nails live if you get a chance. For decades, their shows have been grand, cathartic theatrical experiences. But on the band’s current tour, it appears that they’re making their live shows even more special by switching up the setlists from night to night. At their Las Vegas tour opener last week, the band gave their new single “God Break Down The Door” its live debut, and they also covered David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans” for the first time in years. Last night, the band played Vegas again, and the show included another new song, another classic cover, and an appearance from a synth-rock icon.
During the band’s set at the Joint, the club inside the Hard Rock Hotel, they played the new song “Ahead Of Ourselves” for the first time. It’s a seething, spitting postpunk/industrial number and a clear sign that the new album Bad Witch, which comes out in just four days, is not going to be a sedate affair.
And then there was the Joy Division cover. Nine Inch Nails had a hit with their cover of “Dead Souls,” from the soundtrack to The Crow, way back in 1994. But last night, they played a different song from Joy Division: The 1978 song “Digital,” which they’d never covered live before. And they also covered Gary Numan’s “Metal,” a song from Numan’s 1979 classic The Pleasure Principle. They’d covered that same song at the first Vegas show, but this time, Numan showed up to help out. Watch fan-made videos of all three of those songs below.
Bad Witch, which Trent Reznor insists is an album and not an EP even if it does only have six songs, is out 6/22.