Nine Inch Nails Perform David Bowie’s ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ at First Show in Three Years
Last night in Bakersfield, Calif. at the Rabobank Arena, Nine Inch Nails played their first show in nearly three years. Among a handful of songs making their live debuts, they also performed a cover of the David Bowie song "I Can't Give Everything Away."
Bowie, who died in January of 2016, was a longtime inspiration of NIN frontman Trent Reznor. The two had collaborated on various musical projects over the years, and Reznor credited the Thin White Duke with helping him get sober while the two were touring together in 1995.
"It’s been awhile since we’ve played a show," Reznor said while introducing "I Can't Give Everything Away" last night. "At the beginning of last year we lost someone who was very important to us, and me personally, David Bowie. We were in the studio kind of messing around, and it felt like we needed to do something, to process it in some way, so we worked on a song of his that gave us some sort of closure. It felt good to us, we didn’t release it, but we’ll play it for you now.”
The version of the song which NIN did wasn't a cover of the one that closes out Bowie's final LP, Blackstar, which came out two days before his death in January of last year. Instead, it was a take on a variant of the song dubbed the "Farewell Mix," which came out this year (Jan. 8) on the anniversary of Blackstar's release. At the time of it mysteriously showing up on Soundcloud, unattributed, rumors were heavy among Nine Inch Nails fans that it was in fact their remix. Those rumors appear to have now been confirmed.
The Bakersfield show was also the setting for three live debuts; two of them ("Less Than" and "The Lovers") were off of the Add Violence EP which will be released tomorrow (July 21). The third, "Branches/Bones," opened the show and was from December's Not the Actual Events EP. Last night's concert was a warm-up gig for the NIN headlining slot at this weekend's FYF Festival at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The band will take the stage on Sunday night (July 23.
Nine Inch Nails' Bakersfield's Rabobank Arena Set List:
Copy of A
March of the Pigs
Parasite [How to Destroy Angels cover]
I Can’t Give Everything Away (Farewell Mix) [David Bowie cover]
The Great Destroyer
Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole
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