Alabama college teacher reunites onstage with former band Nine Inch Nails

These are great times to be a Nine Inch Nails fan.

In 2020, the Trent Reznor-led industrial-rock band, known for late ’80s/’90s hits like “Head Like a Hole,” “The Perfect Drug” and “Closer” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And this weekend, Reznor reunited onstage with some classic-era band members.

As chronicled in an excellent report by writer Troy L. Smith, former drummer Chris Vrenna, guitarist Richard Patrick, bassist Danny Lohner and keyboardist Charlie Clouser joined Reznor and other current NIN members for onstage, for the final six songs of their concert Saturday at Blossom Music Center, located in the Cleveland area, the band’s hometown.

“Featuring a lineup of musicians that had never appeared on stage at a Nine Inch Nails show before,” Smith wrote, “Reznor took a trip down memory lane, performing ‘Erasure,’ ‘Wish,’ ‘Sin’ and ‘Gave Up. ‘”

After acrimoniously parting ways with Reznor back in the day, Patrick, the brother of “Terminator 2″ actor Robert Patrick, went on the form the alt-rock band Filter, known for bands like “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take A picture.”

On Saturday, NIN actually covered Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot” with Patrick singing lead. “It was a moment Nine Inch Nails fans thought they’d never see,” Smith wrote in his report. The concert ended with an all hands-on-deck version of “Head Like a Hole.” Opening acts included industrial-rock trailblazer Ministry.

With Nine Inch Nails, Vrenna worked on key albums like the “Broken” EP, “Pretty Hate Machine” and “Downward Spiral.” He was also their drummer on multiple tours, including their famous Woodstock ’94 performance.

After departing NIN around 1997, Vrenna went on to work with Gnarles Barkley, Marilyn Manson and Guns N’ Roses. Around 2018, Vrenna, an Erie, Pennsylvania native and former Los Angeles resident, began teaching music technology at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama.

In early 2020 when NIN was announced as a Rock Hall inductee, initially only Reznor was listed as being inducted. Later though, Vrenna, Lohner, programmer Atticus Ross, guitarist Robin Finck, percussionist Ilan Rubin and multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Cortini were added as inductees.

This weekend, the Rock Hall held a Nine Inch Nails Fan Day celebration Friday at the museum, which is located in Cleveland. NIN Fan Day included a Q&A with the band. Saturday’s hometown concert was the punctuation mark the band and their fans had been waiting on for two years.

Normally, the hall’s induction ceremonies include a concert with a live audience. However because of the pandemic, NIN’s 2020 Rock Hall class – which also included synth-band Depeche Mode, classic-rockers Doobie Brothers, pop-vocalist Whitney House, rapper Notorious BIG and glam gods T. Rex – was feted only with an HBO broadcast special During Saturday’s NIN concert, Reznor told the crowd, “We finally f—ing made it here.”


Guitar hero Warren Haynes talks Gov’t Mule, Gregg Allman

12 yesteryear Huntsville venues popular musicians played

Wes Scantlin talks Puddle of Mudd hits, being misunderstood

Daru Jones on playing drums for Jack White, Meg White’s drum skills

Courtney Barnett is indie-rock’s coolest singer-guitarist-songwriter triple-threat

Ann Wilson talks Heart, Muscle Shoals album, Led Zeppelin

’80s guitar hero Tracii Guns talks LA Guns, Motley Crue, Jimmy Page

How Atlanta rappers Goodie Mob helped shape modern Southern Black music

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *