After Trent Reznor left the Exotic Birds, he started doing some demos of his own stuff, which eventually turned into the first music he released under the moniker Nine Inch Nails. He also started playing live, including dates opening for Skinny Puppy. In fact, footage has surfaced of NIN's first show. I'm pretty sure I have some pals in Cleveland who saw this, so I'm going to try to convince them to post here.
Clip of "Sanctified" from the band's first live show:
Cover of Soft Cell's "Sex Dwarf":
That Soft Cell cover is only one of many songs Reznor has reimagined over the years. After the jump, some you know -- and might not know, along with the Holy Grail of NIN TV appearances.
Here's NIN on Dance Party USA. This is from the bonus segments on the Closure DVD (parts which are only available online and never came out in stores). Trent is seen before the performance saying, "We're on Dance Party US fucking A." The clip (which doesn't have sound, likely to avoid copyright issues; the many YouTube clips of this were taken down in the past few months), is of the band doing "Down In It." Fun fact: The eleventh track on the "Head Like a Hole" single is apparently of a young Kelly Ripa (who was on USA) waxing ecstatic about NIN. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
Nine Inch Nails and Adam Ant, "Physical (You're So)": (Full studio audio clip here, taken from the Broken EP)
Audio of Soft Cell's "Memorabilia":
Cover of Queen's "Get Down, Make Love" (ca. 1990)
Cover of Joy Division's "Dead Souls," from Woodstock '94