It starts to rain as ASIWYFA play their last song and leave the stage. The excitement and anticipation starts to build as the square fills with thousands of fans despite the shower. Looking around, it seems likely that most of those present were probably listening to Nine Inch Nails 20 years ago, and have been waiting ever since for this moment.
The bare stage is surprisingly devoid of instruments or props. A couple of keyboards are tucked away at the edges, and a curtain seems to be hiding something at the back of the stage. At about 9:15, the background music stops, and the stage goes dark. Reznor casually walks from backstage to centre stage, where a very small mixing desk (or synthesizer?) is standing, illuminated by a single lamp. He is wearing a black t-shirt under a grey sleeveless vest, and a long black man-skirt.
He triggers the opening beat to “Copy of a”, the second single from their upcoming release “Hesitation Marks”, which was given away free online a week previously in typical Reznor style (known for encouraging his fans to steal his music online instead of purchasing it legally). The crowd seem to already be familiar with the track, clapping and singing along to the opening lines. Stage hands carry keyboards and electronic drums to the stage, and Trent’s band mates join him on-stage one by one as the music builds in intensity. Trent picks up his guitar as all five members are now front of stage.