02/08/94 - Pabellón de Deportes del Real Madrid, Madrid, ES

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The second show of the European In Utero Tour took place in Madrid. Although largely passing without notice at the time, later comments by Courtney Love when interviewed in 1994 for Rolling Stone magazine would ensure that this show was remembered even when the performance was long forgotten. "He hated everything, everybody, hated, hated, hated... He was in Madrid, and he'd walked through the audience. The kids were smoking heroin off tinfoil, and going, 'Kurt! Smack!' and giving him the thumbs up. He called me crying... He did not want to be a junkie icon." Cross (2001) believes that Kurt was at this point considering cancelling the tour, this should come as little surprise given the circumstances but the band would continue for this date and another 15.

The show itself starts off well with Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, which as always is usually a good guide to a show, followed by a impressive Drain You. Breed which followed it found Kurt's voice battling against the relentless pounding of Dave's drumming and Krist's punchy bassline (as all good versions are).

Come As You Are too often the victim of the bands lack of enthusiasm for their most popular songs gets a good airing, Kurt seems to be singing with some passion, which is nice to see.

The pace then slows down for Dumb, which is the first real slip of the set. The Cello appears to be out of time with the rest of the band for at least most of the first verse, but seems to catch up (probably as they're playing it faster than usual)

The comments from the band up to this point are cryptic at best. "So much fun wrapped in one place," says Krist shortly before the band launches into Lithium, as usually from Krist it sounds like it might mean something but when you think about it...

After Lithium, the set continues strongly, with Pennyroyal Tea (with unusually good vocals), School, Polly and Frances Farmer standing out. Lounge Act is also executed excellently here, though sadly spoiled by a radio identification.

The comments from the band are still rather unusual, perhaps best illustrated by this unintelligible comment from Krist just before On A Plain. "Remember the Abraham Lincoln brigade"

The Verdict

Well I have to admit to having this show down as pretty ordinary but having given it another listen for the purposes of this review I found it to be rather better than how I imagined it. It is has plenty of energy and enthusiasm and what it lacks in interesting banter it more than makes up for in style. Overall it's a good show.

Review written by Matt Seward 2002