Nine Inch Nails are currently three dates deep into their Cold and Black and Infinite Tour across North America. On the first night of the tour, the band performed the entire Broken EP from start to finish. As if the return of fan-favorite “Happiness In Slavery,” the rarely played “Last,” and the live debuts of “This Isn’t the Place” and “Over and Out” from their recent string of stellar new EPs aren’t enough to whet fan appetites for this tour, the band have just performed “The Perfect Drug” for the first time ever during their latest gig at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 9/18.
Since its release on David Lynch’s Lost Highway soundtrack in 1997 (which Trent Reznor also curated), “The Perfect Drug” has sat high on top of fan live wish lists. It has been flirted with, joked about, and rumored for years as a possibility, but it has taken 21 years to finally surface in the band’s live repertoire, despite being one of their most popular singles.
Reznor has discussed his relationship with the song many times over the years, and has expressed that the track is both difficult logistically and emotionally to perform, due in part to the sprawling changes, haunting ending, and his overall feelings regarding the song. Take this quote from a 2005 BBC interview for example:
“The only thing I think I really don’t like that much is “The Perfect Drug” song. It was one of those things where you have a week to do a track for a movie, the mindset that you kind of adapt in that situation, or I did, was ‘let’s go in and experiment and see what happens, and it’s not, y’know, whatever comes out of it, it’s not the end of the world’. And I think what came out of it, married with a bloated, over-budget video, feels like … the least thing that I would play to somebody if they said play me, y’know, the top hundred songs you’ve written, that probably wouldn’t be in the top hundred. I’m not cringing about it, but it’s not my favorite piece.”
Never say never, though…
Catch Nine Inch Nails and The Jesus and Mary Chain on tour throughout the United States over the next few months. Full tour dates here.
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Photo by Michael Medina via Instagram