Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Oneohtrix Point Never | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | Rock, Pop, Etc, Summer Guide | Chicago Reader

Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Oneohtrix Point Never All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Image

When: Thu., July 24, 7 p.m. 2014

Trent Reznor had a busy 2013. He released the bracing, muscular Hesitation Marks (The Null Corporation/Columbia), his eighth album as Nine Inch Nails; his spacier, softer new band, How to Destroy Angels, made its full-length debut with Welcome Oblivion; he tinkered with the future of music distribution as chief creative officer of Beats Music, a splashy streaming service that launched in January; and he brought Hesitation Marks to arenas and festivals around the world. All this action might tire out a mere mortal, but Reznor sounds revitalized—on Nine Inch Nails’ lean new tracks (the spaced-out “Satellite,” the powerfully upbeat “Everything”), his voice cuts through the mix whether he’s snarling or whispering. (The latter song is probably as close to power pop as Nine Inch Nails will ever get.) Last year’s Tension tour was an LED-spangled spectacle, but this summer jaunt will have a sparser look. NIN shares the bill with fellow alt-rock elders Soundgarden, whose style Reznor has said is “complementary but not necessarily expected.” Experimental hip-hop outfit Death Grips were lined up to travel with the tour as main support, but they disbanded earlier this month after deciding they’d reached their musical apotheosis. —Maura Johnston

Grunge was an exercise in nostalgia even before it was born; all those Seattle bands sounded like they’d taped their record collections to their sweaty chests under those flannels before they went into the studio. Soundgarden’s massive 1994 hit, Superunknown, turns 20 this year, and it still sounds every bit as retro as ever, with the Joe Perry-style minor down-tuned chords of “Fresh Tendrils,” the almost ludicrously transparent Zeppelin rip-off of “Limo Wreck,” and the pychedelic Beatle-isms basically everywhere. On Superunknown front man and songwriter Chris Cornell was neither as imaginative in his use of his sources as Kurt Cobain nor as liable to flirt with out-and-out metal; he was making completely respectable classic rock for people who loved classic rock but wanted to put something in the CD changer that wasn’t two decades old. Now that the album is in fact two decades old, you could see the whole exercise as pointless—or you could argue that Soundgarden have finally become the full-on rock icons they always wanted to be. Either way, expect them to swagger through a good portion of Superunknown at this concert, if not the whole darn thing. It’s a good excuse to go bang your head like it’s the 90s, when folks banged their heads like it was the 70s. —Noah Berlatsky

Price: $29.50-$99.50

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