There is never a bad time to go see Nine Inch Nails live. They are one of the great arena-level rock bands currently operating, and one of the only bands from the alt-rock early ’90s that’s still crushing at anywhere near peak capacity. But this might be an especially good time to go see Nine Inch Nails live. Trent Reznor has been busting out some live surprises lately. Last week in Phoenix, the band played the 1992 EP Broken, in its entirety, for the first time ever — which meant they ran through “Happiness In Slavery” for the first time in 23 years. And last night, they performed “The Perfect Drug” for the first time ever.
It’s not that hard to see why they’ve never done “The Perfect Drug” live before last night. The song, which Reznor wrote for the soundtrack of David Lynch’s 1997 movie Lost Highway, was heavily influenced by jungle, and it’s really, really hard to play that shit live. There’s a whole percussive breakdown at the end of the song that would be a massive challenge for any human drummer. But last night, as Brooklyn Vegan points out, they did it, and it sounded pretty incredible.
Last night, NIN headlined the first of two planned shows at Colorado’s historic Red Rocks Amphitheater. And they started their encore by giving “The Perfect Drug,” a 21-year-old song, its live debut. I had a hard time finding a YouTube clip where people weren’t freaking out too loudly to make the song enjoyable, but I think I got one. Check it out below.
So yeah, maybe don’t skip this tour when it comes to your town.