Review: Nine Inch Nails, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Five stars

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Known for their pioneering nature and spectacular live shows, it's clear from the moment that Nine Inch Nails (aka Trent Reznor) take to the stage for the first time at the Hydro that tonight is going to be anything but ordinary.

Reznor has been described as a visionary by his peers, having almost singlehandedly shaped the evolution of industrial rock music since the release his first album in 1988, and opening track Me, I'm Not from concept album Year Zero shows why such accolades are so well deserved.

The sheer power of the band's onstage presence at the Hydro in mesmerising, with the group's synth-driven set punctuated by a hypnotic, occasionally blinding light and video show that would not look out of place in a modern art gallery.

However, it's the quality of the band's back-catalogue that really shines through, with the setlist providing the perfect balance between old and new material.

Dance tinged Copy of A, taken from the band's new album Hesitation Marks sits seamlessly with classics like 1,000,000, The Day the World Went Away and Head Like a Hole.

Piggy provides an opportunity for the first of many sing-alongs, with Reznor throwing his microphone into the crowd, while Wish and the rocky electro-grunge of Gave Up prove to be fan favourites.

A man of few words, Reznor has proved that he can turn his hand to anything musical (he is an Oscar winning composer after all) but he seems to be in his element performing live.

The frenetic March of the Pigs, from the band's second album The Downward Spiral, gets the crowd jumping and Reznor has them eating out of his hand as he commands the stage during The Great Destroyer.

A faultless rendition of Only is followed by the bass driven The Hand That Feeds, leaving the crowd wanting more.

However, Reznor's encore of Hurt, a track many tend to associate more with Johnny Cash than Nine Inch Nails, is the crowning glory in a set full of gems and shows exactly why the band has proved to be so enduring.

The show might be over but I'm sure Nine Inch Nails' performance tonight will stay with many fans for a long time to come.

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