02/23/94 - RAI Studios (Tunnel), Roma, IT
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Nirvana's last TV appearance begins rather strangely, the opening chords drowned out by the sound of dogs barking; indicating that like their previous TV performance they are clearly on a variety show. It was supposed to be a hip show, Melora though had her doubts. "They've told us it was a cool show, but it didn't seem very cool. One cast member was wearing a Nirvana T-shirt and dressed like a grunge doofus and comes up to them and speaks in Italian, it was just uncomfortable. The band just stood there and reacted."
The band was to choose 2 unusual songs to perform: Serve The Servants and Dumb. Melora notes that the band never had specific ideas before hand about what songs they were to play and simply decided at the last minute. Their choice was Melora believes influenced by the fact that she was "always hanging around" and choose Dumb simply as it would allow her to be involved.
Despite this autonomy, the performance of both songs is woeful. The band is subdued with little camaraderie between the band members except for Krist and Pat who flirt mildly with each other throughout the performance. At one point Pat is seen playfully resting his head on Krist's shoulder. Kurt though seems completely passive and disinterested in events. He appears pale and subdued, the passion that had once run through him when he performed, his "endorphin rush" as he called it was completely absent. His eyes appear glazed and stare blankly forward. His shoulders are hunched awkwardly as if he had a large lump on his back and he scarcely moves at all. His entire body language seems to appear that he wanted to be anywhere but here. Occasional he shoots wry, disdainful looks at his fellow band mates indicating a degree of discomfort between the band members. Kurt's voice is also weak, scarcely a throaty whisper, a monotone drawl that limps through the 2 songs. The songs are lacklustre, they sound flat, dull, a pale shadow of their former selves and it hard to believe that these songs were chosen by the band themselves so disinterested are they in their performance.
There are few highlights in the performance. Krist does as a small way of rebellion throws a chair in the air at the end of Serve The Servants. The effect is somewhat ruined as Krist subsequently shows his manners by proceeding to catch the said item of furniture and replace it safely where he found it.
At the band of Serve The Servants the band get involved with a comedy skit, which although mostly in Italian appears to be a variant of a familiar comedy routine. A man appears at the end of the performance claiming to know the band, perhaps even to be friends with the band. After he has said his piece the embarrassed female presenter asks Krist whether he knows him "I have never seen him before in my life" Krist replies and proceeds to walk off the stage along with the rest of the band. As they walk off the female presenter is seen apologising profusely to the band and the man who claims to be friends with the band tries to follow them. He doesn't get very far as he is wrestled to the ground by security and left to call after the departed members.
This performance is truly awful. It is very clear that the band does not want to be where they are and are just honouring a previous commitment. The only saving grace that can be said of this performance is that they only perform 2 songs and not a 90 minute set. Other than that it is a prime example of just how far the band had fallen from their previous heights. Comfortably the worst performance of the tour.
Review written by Matt Seward 2002