Nine Inch Nails Hint at Biggest Hit in Belated, Grooved-Out Network TV Debut

"You get me closer," Trent Reznor sings toward end of "All Time Low" on 'Kimmel'

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Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

It might've taken Nine Inch Nails about 25 years as a band to grace a network TV stage, but Trent Reznor made the most of the opportunity last night. As improbable as it might've sounded when NIN's set on Jimmy Live Live! on November 7 was announced as their first for one of the major U.S. networks, their cult-celebrated '80s appearance on Dance Party USA doesn't count. (The 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, either.)

On Kimmel, Reznor and his R&B-steeped band followed groove-based Hesitation Marks track "All Time Low" in its lyrical admonition to "stretch across the sky" — near the end, you can hear Reznor sing, "You get me closer," a nod to Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral smash "Closer" that fans report he has also been including in live shows. In other NIN firsts, the band performed "All the Love in the World," a song from 2005's With Teeth, live for the first time this week during a show in San Antonio, Texas.

UPDATE: Jimmy Kimmel Live! has now released additional footage featuring NIN performing "Various Methods of Escape," a slowly surging standout also from Hesitation Marks. Find that at the bottom of the post.

As for host Jimmy Kimmel, he's been busy scoring coups recently, including pranking the world and landing an appearance from Kanye West (it probably helps that he's a pretty gentle interviewer). But Kimmel, like any public figure, has his detractors. As The Wall Street Journal points out, a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking President Barack Obama to look into the comedian has received enough support to force an official reply from the administration. As with Kimmel's short-lived Kanye beef, the offending skit involved a young child, though in this case the kid proposed murdering all of China. A rep for Kimmel didn't respond to the Journal.

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