|Rating: 95% - Submitted by bill rice on 2001.06.05 04:31:23 PM|
A very important show played with a lot of passion and not a lot of talking, captured on an okay audience recording. I think that about sums it up. Don't get me wrong, I love the show and this is definitely the best sound one could hope for from this time period, but newbie collectors might be a bit scared off. Still, the sound isn't so bad that it really detracts from the show (except when people talk over the damn songs, I hate that! Why go to a show if you're just gonna talk over it?) or from your enjoyment of the show. And honestly there's a lot to enjoy here.
1) "I'm Jessie Bernstein and I'm the Ed Sullivan of this show." He reads an excerpt from his "antiquated" book "The Race." "And now the mystery guest with the freeze-dried music... NIR-VANA!" They launch into SCHOOL. This is a pretty intense performance of this song. Kurt extends the last verse ("you're in high school again...") possibly because he doesn't hit the note in time to play the chorus? There's a cool echo effect on the vocals near the end of the song. (This effect will crop up over and over again during the show.)
2) They play LOVE BUZZ next. Unfortunately, there's people in the audience talking over the intro, and unlike on some audience recordings, the music doesn't drown them out. They continue talking off and on throughout the song. You can only REALLY hear them during the parts with no guitar (mostly) but it's distracting nonetheless. The guitar playing on this song is really good. I love the earlier versions of LOVE BUZZ a lot more than the later versions. Kurt just seems to really throw himself into it (literally a lot of the time). If his guitar comes unplugged because he's thrashing around too much then you know it's good. ;)
3) The next song is FLOYD THE BARBER. Kurt plays a sustained note to start the song off. There's a couple of places where Kurt uses that effects pedal on his vocals. It sounds like he just got it and thought it sounded cool so he hooked it up to the mic. (I'm assuming that's how the effect was done, though it could have just as easily been done by their soundman.)
4) Next up is MR. MOUSTACHE. I get the chills every time I hear the drum intro. This is such a cool sounding song. This version has different lyrics that are more developed than the ones in the version on Outcesticed 3. After the song, someone shouts for more dry ice.
5) Then they play PAPER CUTS one of my favorite songs off of BLEACH. This version is awesome! The drums are nice and loud, the guitar shrieks, the vocals sound strangulated... I would have liked to hear the bass stand out more but that's a minor complaint. Kurt again uses the effects on his vocals in parts of the song. But I think it sounds really good in this song. Afterwards, a woman in the audience complains, saying, "I think they need to ditch the effects." No way! Sure, they were overused at this show but it really compliments a couple of the songs.)
6) Next, they played MEXICAN SEAFOOD. The lyrics are different on this one too. I actually like em, though. Once again, Kurt uses the effects during the chorus.
7) They play a kick ass version of SPANK THRU next. The chords in the beginning sound really "mangled." (I don't know a better way to describe them, sorry.) And thanks to Kurt's effects pedal the intro sounds like it does on record (with the backing vocals). When the song is over, the same woman who complained about the effects says something about playing on someone else's drum kit. was she referring to Nirvana?
8) They play SIFTING. Not much to say here except... aren't the lyrics to this song weird? Wouldn't it be nice to wet the bed? Um, okay...
9) Next up is HAIRSPRAY QUEEN. I LOVE this song. Just hearing the bass intro... and then the guitar comes in... oh man! I wish they had played this song more often. They mess up two-thirds of the way through, and Kurt shouts something when it happens. They seem to have had trouble playing this song for some reason, since a few of the recordings of this song are messed up, like on 1/23/88. Kurt fools around a little on the guitar when the song is over.
10) The same woman correctly predicts that they will play BLEW next. There's slightly different lyrics on this song as well. (There's nothing about being in a garden and wasting time though.) At the end Kurt screams and there's an extended ending but it doesn't sound like anything was destroyed.
This is an important show in the history of Nirvana. It has some great playing and a lot of passion, but if you're looking for soundboard audio or clever stage talk, there's none of that to be found. Still, this is a solid performance and a pretty good audience recording (with great sound if you take into account the early date). Though casual collectors might be a little turned off by the sound it isn't so bad that the show is unlistenable. Far from it. In fact, it's actually quite good and would make a nice addition to anyone's collection.