Jane's Addiction/Nine Inch Nails | Manchester Arena

Manchester Arena

This is as close as 2009 gets to 1991 – two alternative titans playing together for the first time since that year's Lollapalooza tour, and a massive audience dressed in black. The reappearance of Jane's Addiction's classic lineup – featuring bassist Eric Avery for the first time in 18 years – adds to the nostalgia for a time when these two US groups signposted rock's future.

Jane's Addiction still sound both brutal and sensual, Avery's bass rumbles like an articulated lorry, and, at a wiry 50, Perry Farrell's schtick is still hilarious. "Everybody shake your maracas," he says, demonstrating how, in X-rated detail. But their newer hooks don't tickle the bits touched by golden oldie Been Caught Stealing.

This is Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor's "wave goodbye" to touring – perhaps so the very muscular 44-year-old can now spend all his time in the gym. He's clearly more rounded today than the disturbed individual who recorded Pretty Hate Machine and lived in the house that hosted the Manson killings. Now, he says really disturbing things like "Thank you." However, at full pelt, Nine Inch Nails are the closest rock gets to a Nuremberg rally: black uniforms, massed arms in the air and a crowd being shouted at by a charismatic and not overly tall orator.

Reznor's industrial-rock blitzkriegs – Head Like a Hole and Something Real – remain awesome. But an uneven set loses impact with soundtracky blind avenues, though there are plenty of glimpses of Reznor's vast influence on music. Hurt – with its lyric "Everyone I know goes away in the end" – hasn't sounded such a powerful goodbye since Johnny Cash memorably covered it. Presumably with that in mind, Reznor has chosen the perfect moment to get out.

Nine Inch Nails are at the Sonisphere festival, Knebworth on 2 August. Details: uk.sonispherefestivals.com

Contributor

Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Nine Inch Nails to 'wave goodbye' after tour with Jane's Addiction
No, you haven't been transported back to 1991. Trent Reznor's industrial metal monoliths are to embark on a farewell tour with one of their earliest gig partners

Sean Michaels

18, Feb, 2009 @11:20 AM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails – review

Techno-goth Trent Reznor prowled like Predator but stayed remarkably human in NIN's warm-up for Reading and Leeds, writes Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

21, Aug, 2013 @1:04 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails to stop touring

Trent Reznor's industrial rock juggernauts are to stop trucking around the world after their final monster-sized dates next year

Sean Michaels

10, Dec, 2008 @10:42 AM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks – review
NIN's Trent Reznor ditches the industrial onslaught of his old days in favour of a lighter electro-pop sound, but some darkness remains, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

29, Aug, 2013 @9:31 PM

Article image
Guitarist Adrian Belew leaves Nine Inch Nails
Sean Michaels: The King Crimson guitarist says his stint in the band 'was not working': he leaves seven weeks before the band are to tour

Sean Michaels

10, Jun, 2013 @10:33 AM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails to return with 'reinvented' lineup
Trent Reznor will be joined by members of King Crimson and Jane's Addiction for an arena tour, with some dates this year

Sean Michaels

26, Feb, 2013 @12:48 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor denies split
The frontman of the industrial-rock juggernauts says he will continue to release music as Nine Inch Nails after the band plays their 'last ever' live shows

Sean Michaels

15, Jul, 2009 @9:33 AM

Article image
Trent Reznor to 'focus on Nine Inch Nails'
After winning an Oscar for The Social Network soundtrack, Reznor plans to bring his industrial metal band out of retirement

Sean Michaels

08, Mar, 2011 @4:18 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails stun fans with secret new album
Trent Reznor says he's been 'secretly working' with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on full-length LP, due at end of 2013

Sean Michaels

29, May, 2013 @10:20 AM

Jane's Addiction – review
Veteran show-pony Perry Farrell delivered the dirty, engrossing set a throat infection prevented him doing at Reading and Leeds, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

01, Sep, 2011 @5:04 PM