Both Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral" and Soundgarden's "Superunknown" turned 20 this year, but the bands' current joint tour isn't purely about looking back.
Nine Inch Nails will draw from last year's excellent "Hesitation Marks" (Nothing) album and Soundgarden will pull from throughout its career, including 2012's "King Animal" (Republic), when they stop at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Friday.
Here's a look at how the thoroughbreds of '90s alternative rock stack up.
1. NINE INCH NAILS
FOUNDED 1989, Cleveland
LINEUP INTACT? Well, since Trent Reznor was always the driving force of NIN, sure.
CLAIM TO FAME The biggest industrial dance band ever, with hits like "Closer" that helped shape EDM and Reznor's DIY business models that helped shape the music industry.
NO. 1 ALBUMS 2; "The Fragile" (1999), "With Teeth" (2005) (Note: "The Downward Spiral" peaked at No. 2 in 1994, kept out of the No. 1 spot by, you guessed it, Soundgarden.)
SONGS FROM '94 (according to recent set list) 5 -- "March of the Pigs," "Piggy," "Closer," "Eraser," "Hurt"
SONGS FROM MOST RECENT ALBUM 3 -- "Copy of A," "Came Back Haunted," "Find My Way"
WHAT CRITICS SAY "Sparked with cutting-edge music and innovative staging, the group's invigorating 90-minute concert took on the aura of a post-apocalyptic landscape in which digital technology conquers free will." --Bob Gendron, Chicago Tribune
FOUNDED 1984, Seattle
LINEUP INTACT? Soundgarden has had the same lineup since 1990 -- singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron. However, Cameron is working with his other band Pearl Jam this summer, so Matt Chamberlain is filling in on drums.
CLAIM TO FAME Along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden helped build the Seattle grunge scene, taking a more metal-driven approach than their more anthem-driven neighbors.
NO. 1 ALBUMS 1; "Superunknown" (1994)
SONGS FROM '94 (according to recent set list) 6 -- "Spoonman," "Black Hole Sun," "The Day I Tried to Live," "My Wave," "Superunknown," "Fell on Black Days"
SONGS FROM MOST RECENT ALBUM 1 -- "A Thousand Days Before"
WHAT CRITICS SAY "Superb singer Chris Cornell -- still in top vocal form -- stoic lead guitarist Kim Thayil, strong-armed bassist Ben Shepherd (who looked like he was going to break his strings) and thundering drummer Matt Chamberlain . . . were hardly flashy but what they do works for them." --Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun
WHO Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Friday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh
INFO $29.50-$99.50; 866-558-8468, livenation.com