Two essential bands of the 1990s, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, launched their co-headlining tour in Las Vegas Saturday night. Las Vegas Weekly reviewer Josh Bell cautions against chalking the show up to a nostalgia trip as both bands have recent new releases: Soundgarden in 2012 (King Animal) and Nine Inch Nails in 2013 (Hesitation Marks).
Bell also said they proved their relevance onstage. He gave the show a grade of 3.5 stars out of 5, noting the absence of regular Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, who is on tour with his other band, Pearl Jam. The reviewer said despite co-headlining bill, Nine Inch Nails seemed the main attraction because of their stage show:
“[T]he concert was a reminder that NIN still put on one of the most creative and engaging shows in rock. If nostalgia brought fans in the door, then the immediacy of the performances kept their attention once they got there.”
Robin Leach, writing for the Las Vegas Sun, was equally engaged:
“Their show is multidimensional, specifically as it relates to NIN and the brilliant contrast of Soundgarden and NIN on the same stage. This is not a show that offers one flavor; the audience member is treated to an array of sounds and artfully created presentation. Fans experience a full scope of rock music and how varied it can be within its own genre.”
As for the nostalgia aspect, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden directly acknowledged the bands were likely performing for old fans, by comparing grunge rock to the current electronic dance music craze.
“When we started as a band almost 30 years ago, and we started writing songs that were a little bit moody and depressing to a lot of people — that somehow caught on and there was a whole generation of people that understood how we felt. Right now, dance music is really popular and people like to have fun when they listen to music and have a positive outlook. That’s great, but it doesn’t seem like the world is better. We all have our own way of dealing with it.”
The stage in Las Vegas was the AXIS at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino with a 4,600 seat capacity. The co-headlining tour with Soundgarden is the fourth leg of a year-long tour for Trent Reznor, who is also the Chief Creative Officer for Beats Electronics, which was recently bought by Apple. Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails play next in Morrison, Colorado July 21 and 22.
[Image: Tim Snow / Evenko]