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- Posted on Sep 11th 2009 12:00PM by Steve Baltin
Fans felt that from early on when Reznor said, "Well, this is it," to a smattering of boos from those who didn't want to believe it. After admitting he hasn't really had time to digest all of this, he added, "I'm not gonna break into tears just yet," but he didn't seem to want it to end any more than the thousands of fans inside the Wiltern did.
And so on it went, for three hours and 20 minutes, with longtime David Bowie collaborator Mike Garson coming out to play piano for several songs, and de facto Nail -- at least for the L.A. gigs -- Gary Numan, joining in. During the encore, Reznor's touring mate from this summer's NIN/JA tour, Dave Navarro emerged for several songs, including a ferocious 'Gave Up' and a reworked more techno-flavored 'Piggy.' But there was still more, with Dillinger Escape Plan joining Reznor for a psychotic 'Wish' that wrapped 20 years of touring into three minutes of fury.
As much as these 10 shows were a way for Reznor to say farewell to this touring incarnation, it was also a chance to let fans -- many of whom grew up with NIN -- to say their goodbye. And as it started to sink in this would indeed be the swan song, the cries of "Thank you" and "We love you, Trent" pierced the Wiltern. With the lights up during the second to last song, 'Hurt,' tears, mourning and desperation were visible on fans' faces as they screamed along to every word.
The biggest question of the night was what would be the band's last song. The answer came around 12:30AM, with Reznor standing in the center of the stage at the keyboards for 'In This Twilight,' from 'Year Zero.' As the song unfolded, the members of the band laid down their instruments and exited the stage one by one to wild cheers, leaving only Reznor in the center of the stage, a single spotlight on him as he laid NIN to rest with a beautiful piano outro. Holding a single index finger in the air, he said "Thank you" and walked off the stage, leaving an indelible image for his fans.