Nine Inch Nails At The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Nine Inch Nails At The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

  • Nine Inch Nails perform at the Joint
    Photo: Jamie Harvey
  • Nine Inch Nails perform at the Joint
    Photo: Jamie Harvey

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Jamie Harvey
Las Vegas

From my first concert at a barbecue restaurant in graduate school to my 23rd and 24th shows on Nov. 15–16 at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nine Inch Nails are undoubtedly my favorite band. Within the depths of the casino were many of my closest friends, all brought together by the music and a sense of community.

Once upon a time, a Nine Inch Nails show was an uncomfortably dangerous place to be, but 25 years in, their growth as a band was exemplified by frontman Trent Reznor, who has put his urge to break instruments aside in favor of winning Oscars. Among longtime band members guitarist Robin Finck, keyboardist Alessandro Cortini and drummer Ilan Rubin, were bassist Pino Palladino (the Who) and background vocalists Lisa Fischer and Sharlotte Gibson, who have worked with the Rolling Stones and Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, respectively. Also onstage was multi-instrumentalist Josh Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv. Together with the cutting-edge production and light show for which the band have become known for (albeit scaled back somewhat for club shows), another version of NIN emerged — one of maturity, complexity and dynamic range.

While both nights were weighted in tracks from their most recent release, Hesitation Marks, there were plenty of tracks from past albums that I've grown to immediately recognize, from the pluck of the first note of "Somewhat Damaged" and the color of the stage lights (green for "Reptile"), to the way Reznor positioned himself before certain songs (crouching for "March Of The Pigs"). I felt every nuance of the emotional roller coaster that a NIN show creates, from "The Frail" into "The Wretched" and beyond. I knew all the participatory hand gestures for "Wish," and have seen them in concert enough times on this tour to join in with the background singers for the new parts of "The Big Come Down." I wasn't just at the show, I was in the show.

Over the course of both nights, there was one moment that will stay with me forever. I have always considered Reznor to be my favorite musician because, beyond the music, he has pushed the envelope in the music industry in a myriad of ways. He has done a lot for his fans over the years, including me, when he once scared me by sneaking up on me in an airport using the NIN iPhone app. And on Nov. 16 he blew all of our minds. Andrew Youssef, a fellow NIN fan who I know through the fan community and his work as a photographer for the OC Weekly, has been battling colon cancer for the past few years. He has reached the unfortunate point in the battle where the cancer is winning, and he wasn't able to make it to Las Vegas as planned. During the encore, after Reznor introduced the band, he took a moment to mention Youssef and, picking up his iPhone, contacted him via FaceTime from stage, which garnered a cheer from everyone in the audience and ultimately turned into a chant of Youssef's name. I know this had to mean the world to Youssef, and I cried all the way into "In This Twilight." It was a moment that brought my fandom even deeper.

As the final notes of "Hurt" played to close out the second night, I hugged my friends and exchanged knowing glances. As we left together, we tried to remember that not everyone we know goes away in the end.

Set List:

Night One:
"Copy Of A"
"1,000,000"
"Terrible Lie"
"March Of The Pigs"
"Piggy"
"All Time Low"
"Disappointed"
"Came Back Haunted"
"Find My Way"
"Various Methods Of Escape"
"The Frail"
"The Wretched"
"Sanctified"
"The Big Come Down"
"Survivalism"
"Wish"
"I'm Afraid Of Americans" (David Bowie cover)
"Burn"
"The Hand That Feeds"
"Head Like A Hole"
"All The Love In The World"
"Even Deeper
"While I'm Still Here"
"Black Noise"
"Hurt"

Night Two:
"All Time Low"
"Sanctified"
"Disappointed"
"Came Back Haunted"
"Copy Of A"
"Reptile"
"The Frail"
"The Wretched"
"Echoplex"
"Satellite"
"Running"
"I Would For You"
"The Big Come Down"
"Survivalism"
"In Two"
"A Warm Place"
"Somewhat Damaged"
"Wish"
"The Hand That Feeds"
"Head Like A Hole"
"Even Deeper"
"In This Twilight"
"While I'm Still Here"
"Black Noise"
"Hurt"

To catch Nine Inch Nails in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

(Jamie Harvey lives in Los Angeles and is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She has attended and written about more than 500 shows since 2007. You can follow her musical adventures at www.hardrockchick.com.)

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