Seventeen years ago, after signing with TVT Records and releasing his Nine Inch Nails debut, Pretty Hate Machine, Trent
Reznor made a critical choice. Tired of touring exclusively with industrial acts like his own, and perhaps sensing the musical
climate shift that would spur the mainstream success of Nirvana, Soundgarden and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he decided to
open instead for alt-rock veterans like the Jesus & Mary Chain and once-and-future Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy.
Having since sold more than 11 million records in the U.S. alone, Reznor can safely say his gambit paid off, broadening his
audience and sharpening his edgy stage presence. Now, touring in support of his latest chart-topper, last year’s With
Teeth, NIN will conclude its summer road trip July 8 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View – this time
with an old friend, Peter Murphy.
Reznor has long credited his road band’s furiously frenetic physical style to the cool receptions he once received as
Murphy’s opening act. (Back then, he reportedly dealt with the hostility by dousing unappreciative fans with beer.)
Now, at 41, he’s returning the favor, inviting a reunited Bauhaus to set the stage for NIN on a tour critics have dubbed
the Monsters of Goth.
The label makes sense. Before a dour, leather-clad Reznor began churning out jagged, self-loathing techno-pop for the masses,
there was Bauhaus, the dour, leather-clad British quartet that spent the late ’70s and early ’80s crafting the
aggressively bleak post-punk rock that would come to be known as goth. And if it’s taken the better part of two decades
for Murphy and Reznor to share the stage once more for a belated passing of the torch, well, so be it.
Early tour reports suggest that Reznor, his passion for on-stage mayhem undulled by age, will deliver a typically intense
set of hits, rarities and Pretty Hate Machine gems like “Terrible Lie” and “Something I Can Never
Have.” As for Murphy and company, who haven’t released a full-length album of new material since 1983’s
Burning From the Inside, they’ll be revisiting past glories including “She’s In Parties” and
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” as well as introducing “Adrenaline” and “Endless Summer of the Damned,”
the band’s first new songs in six years.
Joining the chaos will be the gender-bending Canadian-born temptress Peaches, once described as “the respectable voice
of the filthy,” whose mix of pounding beats and raunchy come-ons should help her blend in quite nicely – though
nice is the last thing she’d want on her résumé.
Can’t make it to Shoreline? Murphy and Reznor will collaborate for a stripped-down pre-show set, to be broadcast at
5 pm on San Francisco’s Live 105.