02/16/94 - Salle Omnisport, Rennes, FR
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The band probably knew that frenetic pace of the concert in Paris was going to be difficult to keep up for the rest of the tour. Indeed as the latter shows prove, the band was unable to sustain either their pace or enthusiasm for the concerts ahead.
However, it is best to take each show as it comes before jumping to quick conclusions. The bands next scheduled show was at Rennes and would remain for many a highlight of the tour.
After playing a discordant jam to open the concert, the band turn savagely into Radio Friendly Unit Shifter. On this occasion as the song is coming to its feedback soaked conclusion there is a surprise in store for older listeners who hear the opening notes of The Knack's 70's pop hit My Sharona.
The band play it for shortly over a minute with Kurt mumbling the words, scarcely in tune. It didn't matter though as it was intended as a joke.
The band's playing is, as 2 nights before of a high standard. They seem in a good mood. There is even interaction between the band members on stage, with Kurt encouraging the crowd to dance shortly before Smells Like Teen Spirit.
The momentum for the performance was also high, marred only with the poor quality of the bands frequent improvised jams, which sound like a high school band tuning up and takes away rather than add to the performance.
Kurt's sense of humour, (which for many was laid to rest circa 1992) was also present in this performance. Kurt even jokes that 'they (the crowd at Paris 2 nights previously) were a much a better audience than you!' Kurt also jokes at the band's new celebrity status. 'This summer we are going on tour with Bon Jovi.' The audience, seem to assume that Kurt is serious and do not even react at this comical coupling of bands.
Having given due praise for the band's energy it is also important to note however, that it is not a perfect performance. Kurt even manages to forget the rather simple last line of Very Ape: 'into the dirt.'
The band's mood though is enough to carry the set and is perhaps best reflected in the set which is extended 10 minute longer than the usual 90, adding The Man Who Sold The World, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle and Sappy to the normal set.
This is a strong performance by the band. Enthusiasm, energy and humour can be found throughout this extended set. While the playing itself is not perfect and Kurt is still forgetting the odd line or two, it is hard not to be swept along by the pace that the band sets which is reminiscent of the shows that thrilled audiences 2 years previously. While the poor jams may cause the band to look rather amateurish, it is on closer reflection a well paced performance in which the tempo is maintained from beginning to end. It may be said that Nirvana never played as well as this again, which may say more about the quality of this performance than the lack of spark found in their later shows.
Review written by Matt Seward 2002