The Lights In The Sky Tour took place between July and December 2008 in North America and South America in support of Ghosts I-IV and The Slip. The tour was also essentially supporting Year Zero for the audiences it reached, as the Performance 2007 tour had not covered those parts of the world. Opening acts for this tour were Boris, The Bug, Crystal Castles, Deerhunter, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, HEALTH, A Place To Bury Strangers, White Williams and Vigilante.
Lots going on in the world of nine inch nails...
Confirming a very poorly kept secret, the band has been reformed (details coming!) and we are about to embark on an extensive tour. The first wave of dates I can mention at this time appear below. Many more to come!
See you soon."
On April 4, 2008, the newest line-up was listed on their official Youtube page, with Rich Fownes listed. On June 5th, 2008, nin.com was updated with the updated band members, and a promotional release and note about the tour:
"I am proud to announce the final personnel lineup of nine inch nails for the foreseeable future. We've added, we've subtracted and we've wound up with unquestionably the strongest lineup I've EVER had. Joining me onstage will be Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Freese and Justin Meldal-Johnsen.
We've been working on something really special for these shows and so far I couldn't be happier with the results. We'll be revealing some live performances shortly here on nin.com - in the meantime, we've posted some photos from rehearsals up on Flickr here.
Meanwhile, I assume some of you may not be entirely familiar with the acts I've chosen to join us on various legs of this tour, so we've compiled a sampler EP for you. CLICK HERE to download this for free. If you like what you hear, be sure to show up early to the show (and please remember to support them by purchasing their music, if so inclined).
On November 20, 2008, a trailer for the tour was posted on nin.com.
During the Las Vegas show on December 13, 2008, Reznor announced that Alessandro Cortini and Josh Freese would be leaving the line-up at the end of the tour, making the show the last for Freese and the last for Cortini until 2013. 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. The December 17, 2008, nin.com blog entry read:
"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."
- Alessandro Cortini: Keyboards, Guitar, Programming, Backing Vocals
- Robin Finck: Guitar, Recorder, Backing Vocals
- Josh Freese: Drums
- Justin Meldal-Johnsen: Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Trent Reznor: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Marimba, Tambourine
With the development of nin.com v7.0 and the discontinuation of The Spiral, ticket pre-sales were no longer limited to fan club members, resulting in a new method of ticket pre-sales being developed, explained on nin.com as thus:
"Presales for the upcoming tour are about to begin. Presales for the Lexington, KY show will open on Wednesday, with many more shows starting up early next week. We’ve been working very hard to get the best tickets in the hands of the fans, bypassing scalpers, ticket resellers, and ticketing agencies… This has been a difficult process to bring together outside of The Spiral, and frankly, it’s a work in progress. The presale system you’ll be using for this tour does everything we set out to do, but as of right now ticket purchasing requires a few more steps than we’d prefer. You can expect a more streamlined system for future tours, but for now, here’s what to expect:
First, you’ll need to be a nin.com member to access presales. If you haven’t already, register for free at remix.nin.com (click “register” once you’re at the site), or log in with your Spiral username/password (Spiral members: If you’ve changed your Spiral pa ssword since November 2007, you may need to use your old password to login).
Then, subscribe to the news feed, or keep an eye on nin.com for presale announcements. The first announcement, regarding the Lexington show, will go up tomorrow.
When you purchase presale tickets, you’ll need to enter your legal name exactly as it appears on your identification. When you arrive at the show, there will be a special entrance for nin.com members. Present your ID at the entrance and you’ll receive your personalized ticket, which will have your name on it (no tickets will be sent out in advance). You’ll then have to enter the venue immediately. This process ensures that our presale tickets are purchased only by fans who are attending the show, and are useless to scalpers and ticket brokers.
More specific presale information will be posted tomorrow and in the coming days.
P.S. - purchasing presale tickets from nin.com will generally be less expensive than from public outlets.
posted by NIN PR at 4:41 pm pst, from los angeles"
The production for the Lights In The Sky tour was one of the most ambitious for NIN, as well as the industry in general at the time. Rob Sheridan and lighting designer Roy Bennett worked with a company called Moment Factory to create unique and groundbreaking visuals that were at times interactive with Reznor and other members of the band. This was achieved with a set of "stealth screens" that would be raised or lowered during the set.
Among these effects were a static-like visual used for "Only", during which Reznor's movements could break the effect as if the lights were a physical barrier; a feed from a camera trained on Reznor during "The Greater Good" and "Closer" that created a surreal, almost 3D image of his face across the stage as he sang; and a large scale re-creation of a drum machine touch screen for Josh Freese to use during "Echoplex".
Due to the tour being very production-heavy, the setlists were reasonably static. Many songs from The Slip and Year Zero were played, with "God Given", "Vessel" and "Meet Your Master" making their live debuts. Each show also featured a mini-set comprised of a rotating selection of songs from Ghosts I-IV, which always concluded with a version of "Piggy" that had been reworked to evoke the feel of the Ghosts instrumentation. Though it was not played in full, an instrumental portion of "Zero-Sum" was tagged onto the end of set closer "In This Twilight".
Scrapped 3D Film
The tour was originally planned to be documented in a 3D film by James Cameron, but this fell through and instead, a few shows were filmed by the NIN camp and the raw footage was made available to fans via a torrent. A fan collective known as This One Is On Us compiled the footage into a Blu-Ray and DVD release called Another Version Of The Truth: The Gift.
Trent Reznor posted a statement on nin.com about the scrapped plans:
"File this one under lost opportunities.
I'm very proud of the show we've put together for this tour and have been working hard the last few months to find a way to capture it. I had an amazing situation lined up that would have allowed me to film the show in 3D with James Cameron's team for a theatrical release as well as DVD / BluRay, etc. We had an extra date added to the tour that we were going to give away all the tickets for and have a filming party / thank you show.
I made two critical mistakes. One was to approach a certain record company that owns some of the song rights about producing / funding. The second was to allow said company to fuck around as usual for months before saying um... no. We then achieved the impossible by finding alternate production / funding but the timetable is too rushed to get it filmed comfortably with the remaining time left on the tour. This tour and a lot of the personnel involved finish at the end of this leg, so we can't push filming into Jan / Feb.
This was an amazing tour and production - certainly the best thing I've ever been involved with and likely the final tour for NIN on this scale. Thank you to those who came out to see it and forgive me for having a Kanye West moment, but this was FOR SURE the best show of the year and any bullshit end-of-the-year poll you may read in the next few weeks that says otherwise simply has it wrong. Those of you who saw it know I'm right.
The shows we have announced in 2009 and any more that may be announced will be a completely different approach with some different personnel and will likely be the last for the foreseeable future."
Lights In The Sky Over North America
|2008/07/19 Los Angeles, CA||The Forum (Dress rehearsal)|
|2008/07/25 Pemberton, BC||Pemberton Festival|
|2008/07/26 Seattle, WA||Key Arena at Seattle Center|
|2008/07/28 Edmonton, AB||Rexall Place|
|2008/07/29 Calgary, AB||Pengrowth Saddledome|
|2008/07/31 Winnipeg, MB||MTS Centre|
|2008/08/02 Minneapolis, MN||Target Center (POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 25, 2008)|
|2008/08/03 Chicago, IL||Grant Park (Lollapalooza)|
|2008/08/05 Toronto, ON||Air Canada Centre|
|2008/08/07 Uncasville, CT||Mohegan Sun Arena|
|2008/08/08 Worcester, MA||DCU Center (POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 9, 2008)|
|2008/08/10 Baltimore, MD||Pimlico Race Course (Virgin Mobile Festival)|
|2008/08/12 Knoxville, TN||Knoxville Civic Coliseum|
|2008/08/13 Duluth, GA||Gwinnett Arena|
|2008/08/15 Oklahoma City, OK||Ford Center|
|2008/08/16 Houston, TX||Toyota Center|
|2008/08/18 Dallas, TX||American Airlines Center|
|2008/08/20 St. Louis, MO||Scottrade Center|
|2008/08/22 Cleveland, OH||Quicken Loans Arena|
|2008/08/23 Auburn Hills, MI||Palace of Auburn Hills|
|2008/08/25 Toledo, OH||Seagate Convention Center|
|2008/08/27 East Rutherford, NJ||Izod Center|
|2008/08/29 Philadelphia, PA||Wachovia Center|
|2008/08/31 Lexington, KY||Rupp Arena|
|2008/09/02 Morrison, CO||Red Rocks Amphitheater|
|2008/09/03 Salt Lake City, UT||The E Center of West Valley|
|2008/09/05 Oakland, CA||Oracle Arena (formerly Oakland Arena)|
|2008/09/06 Inglewood, CA||The Forum|
Lights In The Sky Over South America
|2008/10/02 Buenos Aires, Argentina||Club Ciudad|
|2008/10/04 Santiago, Chile||Arena Movistar Santiago|
|2008/10/07 Sao Paulo, Brazil||via Funchal (CANCELLED)|
|2008/10/08 Caracas, Venezuela||Poliedro de Caracas (RESCHEDULED FROM OCTOBER 15)|
|2008/10/09 Porto Alegre, Brazil||Pepsi On Stage (CANCELLED)|
|2008/10/12 Bogota, Colombia||Outlet Centro Comercial Bima (CANCELLED)|
Lights In The Sky Over North America
- Tour trailer (Hi-Def)
- Behind-the-scenes photos from Moment Factory
- Article from wired.com
- Article from livedesignonline.com
- Another Version Of The Truth Downloads
- Rehearsals photos by Rob Sheridan
- North America (Summer) photos by Rob Sheridan
- South America + Mexico photos by Rob Sheridan
- North America (Fall) photos by Rob Sheridan