When music fans purchase tickets to a live event, it’s only natural that they look forward to viewing the concert at originally scheduled the date and time. However, in the case of last-minute postponements, some bands give fans an extra reason to look forward to the rescheduled date.

Such was the case with Nine Inch Nail‘s concert last night (November 9) at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. Originally booked for August 8 during the band’s first North American tour leg, the show was pushed back to the late autumn months when lead singer Trent Reznor suffered from a recurring throat ailment.

“Just want to personally say how sorry I am to have to do this,” Reznor had said in a personal statement on the band’s Web site. “I never take postponing a show lightly and if there were any possible way I could pull this off I would. This is a very frustrating and maddening situation for me and I appreciate your understanding.”

Before signing off on the message, Reznor added six words that fans found more perplexing and discussed more in the coming weeks and months than the postponement itself: “I’ll make it up to you.”

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On the NIN.com forums and on other fan pages and social networking sites across the Internet, fans expressed disappointment at the delay and wished the vocalist a speedy recovery. However, the conversations quickly turned to Reznor’s promise. Though NIN is known among fans for its premier showmanship on the road, fans with tickets to the August show eagerly anticipated whatever surprises lay at the end of their additional three-month wait for the concert.

Some bands perform extended sets, come back for additional encores, play rare tunes or come up with any number of surprises for fans at rescheduled shows. But many fans seemed surprised at the surprise announced during the encore of NIN’s two-hour performance in Worcester.

As the band paused, Reznor briefly thanked the fans for their understanding and apologized “for the inconvenience,” and quickly segued into the introduction for a special guest performer. The arena went silent and then erupted into wild applause and screams as the band welcomed Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy on stage to help perform the song “Reptile.”

Often referred to as the “Godfather of Goth,” the singer shared vocals with Reznor on the song and swaggered around the stage, working the crowd into a frenzy. After the concert, consensus in the arena and on the band’s fan forums was that Reznor and the rest of the NIN touring band had lived up to their earlier promise to make up for the delay.

“When Peter Murphy came out and did ‘Reptile’ I nearly lost it,” a fan identified as Maximus250 noted on the band’s forum, adding, “I’ve seen NIN four times, beginning with 1991 Lollapalooza. Last night [November 9] was by far the best show ever.”

Some fans voiced frustration that this was their second time driving into Worcester for the concert. Only individuals who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster received the official delay notice in August. “My friends and I drove all the way down their back in August,” noted a fan posting under the moniker Gerafin on the social networking site Last.fm. “We got to the parking garage and there was the sign… ‘NIN Postponed to later date.’ We thought it was a joke, since we had just driven hours and hours to get there.”

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However, the delay was forgiveable, even among those initially frustrated by the postponement. As one forum member named MissKate wrote on NIN.com, “I’m actually kind of glad it was postponed because Trent made it so amazing in return for having to postpone it.”

NIN’s second North American tour leg continues tomorrow (November 11) with a concert at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON. The trek is scheduled to wrap December 13 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV.

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The November 9 concert photo accompanying this story is from Last.fm.