Nine Inch Nails Begin Touring North America on Friday

It used to be that, if you were a Nine Inch Nails fan, you were waiting for new NIN more than you experiencing new NIN. There would be five years between albums, maybe more. And the wait was excruciating, because you knew how awesome the next experience was going to be, but you also knew that it might not happen for a very long time.

That’s changed in the past three years. In 2005, we got With Teeth, which was followed by one tour, after another, after another. Then, in February of 2007, we got a live video of the With Teeth-era line-up called Beside You in Time. A few months after that, in April 2007, we got Year Zero, another full-length album. Not even a year after that, in March 2008, we got Ghosts I-IV, a thirty-six song instrumental masterpiece. And, most recently, back in May, we got The Slip, yet another full-length album, and a free one at that (a not-free physical release came out this week).

If the middle of this decade has been a great time to be a Boston sports fan (it has), then it has been an amazing time to be a Nine Inch Nails fan. And here’s the really awesome thing: it’s only going to get better.

Trent Reznor and company begin their North American tour in British Columbia tomorrow night, a tour which will bring them through New England for at least two dates that I’m aware of, one of which I believe I have a ticket to. And, after reading accounts of a recent private show in L.A., I am exceptionally pumped about that. It sounds like they’re planning on doing a solid mix of classics and new songs, and it appears as if the same improvisational spirit which brought us the undeniably cool “Closer/The Only Time” mash-up on the last tour is still in full effect. A performance of “25 Ghosts III” was said to have included a significant jam, for instance.

Good times.