Over the past 39 seasons, television's longest running music show, Austin City Limits (ACL TV) has had some legendary performers on the show. From country legends like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash to rockers, Radiohead and Jack White last season many incredible artists have been guests in the studio. Perhaps no act has generated as much excitement as industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails did prior to their taping last night. When ACL TV announced Trent Reznor's band would record an episode last week they received over 17,000 entries for their ticket giveaway. The hype continued on Facebook and Twitter as local music fans scrambled to find tickets. People stood in line for stand by tickets up to four hours before the show. By 8 p.m. every seat in the Moody Theater was filled and the room was buzzing with anticipation. It was an historic evening for the show.
After ACL TV producer, Terry Lickona finished his brief introduction the entire crowd stood and roared their approval as the five-piece band and two female vocalists filtered onto the stage. Reznor appeared last in lace-up black boots, a black t-shirt and curiously saggy black trousers, informing the audience that Nine Inch Nails would play a lot of new material and a few older hits. The 17-song set list did include a number of songs from the past ten years. The audience remained standing as the band kicked off the hour and 45 minute set with "All Time Low."
Reznor was soon drenched with sweat as he alternately clutched his microphone stand with two hands then drifted toward the back of the stage when his vocals were not needed. The crowd edged toward hysteria when "Survivalism" appeared later in the set. Even with limited space on the floor to allow for cameras and photographers, fans found a way to move along to the tribal, electronic drums, head-banging while pumping their fists.
The set highlight was a dramatic version of "Hurt" with most of the audience singing along. The song built into a satisfying crescendo as Nine Inch Nails completed their performance. The moment was noted by ACL TV producer Leslie Nichols, who tweeted from the control booth.
"Tight closeup on Trent on final word of Hurt. As if on cue, two perfect drops of sweat rolled down his cheek like tears. #nin #acltv"
One of the backup singers, Lisa Fischer who has toured with The Rolling Stones since 1989 is featured in the film "20 Feet From Stardom" Her spell-binding vocal solo during the taping elicited a huge response from the ACL TV audience. The other backup singer was Charlotte Gibson. The rest of the band was equally talented. The show production staff was impressed by their professionalism from sound check to the performance.
The episode will air sometime next year. Check the ACL TV website for updates.
Be sure to check out the show poster and photos in our slideshow.
Nine Inch Nails ACL TV set list:
All Time Low
Came Back Haunted
Copy Of A
The Frail/The Wretched
Find My Way
Various Methods Of Escape
I Would For You
The Big Come Down
In This Twilight
While I’m Still Here
Special thanks to April Burcham and Leslie Nichols.
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