Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails reunited with former members during a one-off hometown show in Cleveland, Ohio at the weekend for a belated celebration of their 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
After playing a sprawling set of classics at the Blossom Music Center on Saturday (September 24) including March of the Pigs, Heresy, Closer and The Hand That Feeds, the current NIN lineup called drummer Chris Vrenna, multi-instrumentalist Danny Lohner, keyboardist/synth player Charlie Clouser and guitarist Richard Patrick to the stage, all of whom played with the outfit in its earlier days.
The collective subsequently played a handful of songs from the band’s early-’90s catalog, including Eraser, Wish, Sin and Give Up, before closing the set with Head Like a Hole.
Notably, they also performed a cover of Hey Man Nice Shot, originally by Filter, the band Richard Patrick has fronted since his less-than-friendly exit from Nine Inch Nails in 1993.
The reunion performance came after the current and former NIN members attended a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-organized 'Nine Inch Nails Fan Day' the day before. Nine Inch Nails were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2020 in a virtual ceremony.
In a live Q&A session on September 23, Reznor reflected on the “tough decisions” that had to be made to exclude certain historical members of Nine Inch Nails from their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. He said that the most important thing was getting together “everybody that’s been a part of it and just have a minute to say, ‘Nice job.’”
“We’ve been friendly throughout the years and I thought it would be nice to have everyone come up and acknowledge and feel okay about it.”
Richard Patrick, who was not inducted into the Hall of Fame, departed NIN in the early ‘90s due to creative differences with Trent Reznor.
“I couldn’t go on the road and be the guitar player that couldn’t write what he plays,” he told Alternative Press (opens in new tab) in 1995. “It was frustrating because I had to come to that realization. Even though Trent really did try to work it out with me, I couldn’t even face him anymore. It was one of the most difficult times of my life.”
Inducting Nine Inch Nails into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, Iggy Pop spoke of the depth and scope of the band’s music.
“Listening to Nine Inch Nails music – which is so often called ‘industrial’ – I actually hear a lot of funk,” he said. “On top of that is a focused and relentless process of emotional destruction which paints a portrait of pain, pressure and dissatisfaction. It’s the sound of industrial and digital ambition.”