02/05/92 - ANU (The Australian National University) Union Bar, Canberra, Australia
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Nirvana's appearances in Australia had for the most part been eulogistically received with sell-out crowds and lavish critical acclaim this went one step further in Canberra. Channel 6 news reported and indeed showed pictures of 1000 ticketless fans banging down the door to get into the venue. This Beetlesque story albeit updated for the savvy, generation X, MTV, slacker generation would be nothing without a great performance and for the first time on the tour the band was about to deliver.
From the first crudely growled lyrics to Aneurysm, though a blistering Drain You and a menacing School it would appear that the band is at last finding its feet and managing to meet the lofty expectations placed upon its shoulders. Scarcely pausing between the opening three numbers the band takes a breather before Come As You Are, which displeases the impatient crowd "just play the fucking songs!" yells one irate fan.
The band seems to be in its element and the whole feel of the show is that of a club show from the Bleach area. Dave even joins in the banter "I did a radio interview with this station called Kiss FM today and it's the lamest station I have ever heard in my life. It was so fucking bad I advise everyone to keep away. It was all this sexist macho fuckheads and all the music was New Kids On The Blocků and the they called me Diamond Dave which really offended me." It would seem that at least some the audience shares this view "what was he saying?" asks a female fan. "Oh he was bagging the fuck out of Kiss FM" replies her male counterpart. "Yes!" she says signalling her approval, before disdainfully dismissing the station in question as "Rednecks!".
This is a performance blessed with many great performances. Lithium is quite frankly awesome, as good a version as you are likely to hear, albeit marred by fans singing along to it. About A Girl has rarely been played better, even Smells Like Teen Spirit is performed with a degree of passion hitherto unseen on this tour at least. Unbelievably despite the strong opening the band is actually improving throughout the set. "They're getting better" as one fan notes before Polly.
After Blew the band return after enthusiastic chanting and shouting by the crowd they play a long encore; consisting of Negative Creep, Been A Son, Stain, All Apologies and a frenetic Territorial Pissings. The last word is left to Dave "Don't forget to tell Kiss Fm that Diamond Dave says 'suck my butt!".
The best show of the tour. This show has pretty much every element of a great Nirvana performance, a fast and frenetic pace, a acerbic love hate relationship with the crowd and a band who seem to be in love with the songs they are playing. Without doubt one of my top 5 favourite Nirvana shows.
Review written by Matt Seward 2002