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On December 1st Nine Inch Nails announced the first leg of the 2009 tour, beginning in New Zealand and Australia. These dates included the first show in Aukland since 2000, and several dates headlining the Soundwave Festival across Australia.
During the Las Vegas show on December 13, 2008, Reznor announced Alessandro Cortini, like Josh Freese, would be leaving the line-up at the end of the tour, making the show the last for both Freese and Cortini. It was also announced that after the Australian leg of 2009 dates there would be a selection of US Amphitheater dates and some European shows later in the year in the same format as Australia, following festivals. Reznor also stated that 2009 would see Nine Inch Nails performing as a four-piece act, opting to not replace Cortini, suggesting the shows would not be of the same aesthetic visually or musically during the 2009 dates.This was confirmed a matter of days later via an entry on the homepage, confirming that the Lights in the Sky tour ended with the departure of Josh and Alessandro, possibly indicating an entire new theme and motif for 09 tour, much live the changeover from 2006's Live:With Teeth to Performance 2007: "The LIGHTS IN THE SKY era has come to a close, and I'd like to once again thank you for your support. I am very proud of what we pulled off - it was an immense amount of work and worth it all.I'd like to thank Josh and Alessandro for being an integral part of this for the last few years and I wish them all the best. No rest for the wicked here, though. We start rehearsing the new band/format first thing next year and as I mentioned, we'll be announcing some final waves of dates. North America, UK/Europe, Pacific Rim and elsewhere."