Nine Inch Nails returned to the stage for the first time in over three years Thursday night, with Trent Reznor and company delivering a career-spanning set that included a pair of David Bowie covers.
Midway through the band’s gig at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Red Hat Amphitheater — Nine Inch Nails’ first show since Dec. 2018 after their 2021 tour plans were canceled due to the pandemic — the band first busted out “I’m Afraid of Americans,” the Reznor-produced Earthling track that’s been a staple of NIN concerts over the past decade.
Immediately following that 1997 single, Nine Inch Nails delivered the live “debut” of their rendition of the Bowie classic “Fashion”; Reznor and company previously performed the song (and Lodger‘s “Fantastic Voyage”) as part of a Bowie tribute livestream in Jan. 2021, but Thursday marked the first time NIN has played “Fashion” in a live setting.
(In July 2017, at Nine Inch Nails’ then-first show in three years as well as their first concert since Bowie’s Jan. 2016 death, Reznor performed a mournful cover of the Blackstar cut “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” which remained on the NIN setlist for nearly a year.)
The Rock Hall-inducted Nine Inch Nails will next headline Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival this weekend before embarking on a summer trek that includes amphitheaters nationwide and festival headlining slots at Boston Calling, Los Angeles’ Primavera Sound, Louisville’s Louder Than Life, and more.