10/31/91 - Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA, US
On this evening, Nirvana were playing a hometown show for the first time since the release of Nevermind. There was a huge media presence hanging over Nirvana tonight, even Geffen had chosen to record the show for themselves.
For the opening act, Kurt chose Bikini Kill to play, with his past love Tobi Vail behind the drums, after which he would later come out only to sing songs written about and for her. He also asked for Ian Dickinson and Nikki McClure to "go-go" dance on the sides of the stage. Nikki is clearly visible during Breed dancing away while Nirvana play. Everyone around Kurt commented that he was really irritated with all the hassle of the media around Nirvana, and it reflected in their performance, however, in this case, positively.
As Nirvana come out on stage, Kurt introduces the opening song, Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam by saying "This song is written by a band called the Vaseline’s. They're from Edinburgh, Scotland, and they're very punk rock". What follows is a truly powerful performance of the song, Kurt really getting into it, noticeable from his voice. When the song ends, the band doesn't stop to breathe, and Kurt strums into Aneurysm, and turns out a solid performance. At the end of School, Dave jokes with the crowd, "So like 2 percent of you people are in costumes, and personally I think that's pretty lame, unless you're all supposed to be punk rockers". The show is rather standard so far, with some amusing talks by Krist, with solid performances of the first usual opening 6 songs.
However, it was when we come to the 7th song, we finally get to see Nirvana playing at this show, the next 3 songs, About A Girl, Polly and Breed, are featured on the "Live! Tonight! Sold Out" video. Out of the 3, Breed is the most enjoyable to watch in my personal opinion. Kurt tears into the open chords at a ferocious rate, as Dave's drum doll kicks in, and Krists' pumping bass line, as the intro comes to it's climax, the band is going wild. Kurt sings with amazing energy, and when it comes to the solo Kurt spins around and plays it on the floor. This was simply an amazing performance of the song, captured fortunately by a pro-video shot. After Sliver, Krist jokingly says "There's more cameras in here than in a 7-11".
As the band continues through their set, they seem to go from strength to strength. Negative Creep, the 14th song of the night, is the sole song from this show to be selected on the "The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah" CD, and it's easy to see why this particular performance of the song was included, from the intro feedback to the beginning drum roll by Dave to the end of the song, you can hear the band is really giving the song 110%, definitely a top performance of the song.
The show continues with the usual closer of Blew, Kurt saying "Good night" just before he kicks in with his guitar, a solid performance of the song is played, with the crowd cheering on long after the song has ended. The encore is yet to come, what is played next is an amazing performance of Rape Me, Kurt introduces the song by saying "This next song is about hairy, sweaty, macho red-neck men", he pauses and the crowd cheers, he adds, "who rape". Kurt almost whispers the opening verse before Dave crashes down on his drums and Kurt wails the chorus. As with all performances of the song from this era, a solo is played instead of a bridge, and this show contains arguably the best solo ever played for the song, a medium paced solo with some simple sliding bending and tender feedback. Kurt ends the song with a screaming chorus of "Rape me!", ending a truly harrowing performance of the song. Territorial Pissings is played over without a hitch, and the band is still going strong as Krist introduces the next number by saying "Since its Halloween, we're going to play the secret song". Kurt lets his guitar feedback and rumble as they move into one of the best performances of Endless, Nameless, 6 minutes of guitar violence and destruction. Kurt screams his head off on the chorus before the classic quiet/loud dynamic is met by a painful mutter of words over a very mellow musical line.
Nirvana didn't get much better than this, arguably at one of their highest points of their career, Kurt's pre-show frustrations are let out during the show to give us a show of the energy that Nirvana really had while performing. The show was also the last of the American shows before crossing the water to Europe. A definite must have for all collectors simply due to this show being an amazing show from start to finish. Having said this however, it must also be mentioned that the set-list is decidedly average for the time, with no different songs being played for the time. Never the less, this show is a must have on the basis of it's simply as good as it got for Nirvana.
Review written by Michael Shaw, Submitted December 2002