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Nine Inch Nails: Cold and Black and Infinite North America 2018 at Comerica Theatre

September 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

The Physical World Presale will take place at Comerica Theatre on Saturday, May 19th from 10AM to 3PM local time. This physical, in-person presale will be the only way to purchase tickets on May 19th. The event will take place rain or shine. All seats (including the best seats) will be available in person only, first come, first served. Fans can purchase up to four tickets per show. Limited quantities of tickets may be released via normal ticketing channels, subject to availability, at a later date to be announced. Ticket inventory available via these traditional channels will include ADA tickets.

Parking available in Adams Street Garage (4th Ave and Adams, just north of Theatre at no charge. Lines will start to form in lobby area – enter off of Washington.

Nine Inch Nails skips online ticket sales to fight scalper bots

Nine Inch Nails is a one-man industrial-rock band whose symphonic noise and intense, alienated lyrics have attracted millions. The diviner of this millenarian angst is Trent Reznor, who writes, arranges, performs, and produces all of Nine Inch Nails’ material.

Reznor grew up isolated in the small town of Mercer, Pennsylvania, where he studied classical piano, switching to keyboards and playing in garage bands as a teen. He dropped out of Pennsylvania’s Meadville College, moved to Cleveland, and recorded a self-made demo. That tape got him signed to TVT, an independent label best known for compilations of TV jingles.

Pretty Hate Machine was coproduced by Flood (Depeche Mode, U2), John Fryer (Love & Rockets, Cocteau Twins), and Adrian Sherwood and Keith LeBlanc. It yielded three college-radio hits, most notably “Head Like a Hole,” the video for which got extensive MTV play. Although the album vented an extremely dire, introspective outlook, it sold a million copies. This was at least in part due to the fact that Reznor assembled a band that spent three years on the road promoting Pretty Hate Machine, in the process dazzling audiences at the 1991 Lollapalooza Tour and opening for Guns n’ Roses in Europe.

NIN spent so long touring because Reznor was suing to be released from TVT, who he said didn’t support him artistically or financially. Several other companies were interested in NIN, and when TVT wouldn’t let Reznor go, Interscope negotiated an agreement to co-release the band. Interscope also gave Reznor his own label, Nothing. Broken (Number Seven, 1992) was recorded during this period in a number of locations “without the permission of The Record Label,” as the liner notes say. The EP is an intensely devastated and devastating document, once again masterminded by Reznor, with three tracks coproduced by Flood. NIN had Coil and Foetus’ Jim Thirwell remix tracks from Broken on Fixed.

Broken debuted at Number Seven on the pop albums chart, while “Wish,” a track from the record, won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1993. Reznor tested the freedom granted by his new record company on the video for “Happiness in Slavery,” which showed a man being sexually tortured and ground into a pulp by a machine – a visualization of NIN’s own tortured nature as a synth band venting human emotions and an apt metaphor for Reznor’s feelings about the music business. This was not the first controversial NIN video: “Sin,” from the first album, was refused by MTV for its images of genital piercing and gay men smearing blood on each other, while outtakes from “Down in It” were investigated by the FBI, which suspected that they were culled from a snuff film.

Working on his next album in L.A., Reznor moved into the house where Charles Manson’s followers murdered Sharon Tate. Flood again co-produced, and the album featured guitarist Adrian Belew. The Downward Spiral (1994), a dense, depression-filled, and uncompromising work, debuted at Number Two on the chart and went on to sell 5 million copies.

In the summer of 1994, NIN appeared at the Woodstock ’94. A version of “Happiness in Slavery” from the live album culled from performances at the festival earned NIN its second Grammy for Best Metal Performance, in 1995. In 1996, Reznor co-produced shock-rocker Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar (the two men later had a falling-out). Reznor also produced the soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994) and David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997).

Accolades from both the rock and mainstream press were pouring in by this time, with Time magazine naming Reznor one of the 25 most influential Americans. In 1999 NIN released its first studio album in five years, a despairing double CD called The Fragile (Number One). Working with a broader sonic palette than before, Reznor tempered his throbbing cacophony with moodier, subdued moments. Rolling Stone hailed the record as “a brutal and delicate masterpiece.” “The Day the World Went Away” debuted at Number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart to become the first Top 40 single of NIN’s career.

All that Could Have Been, a live disc and video documenting the Fragile tour cycle, followed in 2002. Reznor resurfaced three years later with another Number One studio album from Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, which included the Number One Modern Rock singles “Every Day is Exactly the Same” and “Only.” NIN was slated to perform the anti-George W. Bush song “The Hand That Feeds” at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards but dropped out when the channel refused to allow the group to perform in front of a large image of the president.

The group toured through 2006, stopping briefly for Reznor to put together another set of studio tracks, and resumed touring in 2007. The bleak Orwellian concept album Year Zero (Number Two) arrived in April, spawning the Number One Modern Rock hit “Survivalism.” The album included a pre-release marketing campaign that involved an elaborate online alternate reality game offering fans clues to the album’s storyline, and a remixed version (Y34R Z3R0 R3M1X3D), offered fans the opportunity to contribute their own remixes of the tracks online. Reznor, long unhappy with the music industry, announced that October that Year Zero had been his contract-ending release for Universal Music Group and that he would release all future music independently.

In 2008, within two months of each other, Reznor released two albums: Ghosts I-IV, an entirely instrumental album, was released in March and The Slip, released in May, was given away as a free download. In February, 2009, Reznor announced that, while Nine Inch Nails would still record new music, he would stop touring for the foreseeable future.

With pretty pop melodies buried deep in feedback and grindingly distorted guitars, the Jesus and Mary Chain became darlings of the mid-’80s British press and a college-radio cult hit in the United States. Their melancholy noise made them one of the most distinctive of the Velvet Underground’s many musical progeny and paved the way for critically acclaimed early-’90s noise-guitar bands such as My Bloody Valentine.

Shortly after forming the band just outside Glasgow, Scotland, the Reid brothers moved the Jesus and Mary Chain to London to record their first single, “Upside Down.” In late 1984 came the first in an ongoing series of drummer changes (after 1986, the drummers were mostly used for live shows only, not for the albums). Bobby Gillespie, vocalist with another Scottish band, Primal Scream, replaced Dalglish on drums —which consisted of banging out simple time on a snare drum and one tom-tom, much like the Velvet Underground’s Maureen Tucker. The Jesus and Mary Chain’s early work was sneering, thrashing postpunk, delivered in furious 20-minute sets that sometimes ended with audiences violently annoyed by the brevity of the set, the loud feedback, and/or the Reids’ singing with their backs to the crowd. The band accepted the obvious comparison to punk rock but then turned around in fall 1985 and recorded the first of its slow, throbbing noise-pop classics, “Just Like Honey,” which was built on the classic Phil Spector drumbeat from “Be My Baby.” Gillespie returned to Primal Scream a month before Psychocandy was released to enormous critical acclaim in both En¬gland and America.

The Darklands album was followed by a North American tour during which Jim Reid was arrested for assaulting a male heckler. (Reid was later acquitted by a Toronto court.) In early 1992 the group was banned from the British television show Top of the Pops over the lyrics to its single “Reverence,” which included such lines as “I wanna die just like Jesus Christ / I wanna die just like J.F.K.” That summer the band played the U.S. on the second annual Lollapalooza Tour. Stoned & Dethroned (1994) proved a departure for the Reid brothers, with its soft, acoustic sound; the album’s first single, “Sometimes Always,” featured Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. Though the song hinted at a commercial breakthrough, it was four years before another U.S. release. Munki, released by Seattle’s Sub Pop label, was a flop. William Reid quit the same year, and the group disbanded in 1999. William recorded solo; Jim formed the band Freeheat. On April 27, 2007 the Jesus and Mary Chain regrouped and were joined on stage by Scarlett Johansson for a performance at Coachella Music Festival.

Portions of this biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).