Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nirvana, Live at Reading

This week I gave one of my students a copy of a Nirvana CD. Normally I wouldn't be so selfless, but Nirvana is the kind of band that will make you do exceptional things.

I gave him Live at Reading. It's not the one that everyone has (Nevermind) or the best one (In Utero) or the darkest one (MTV Unplugged) or the funniest one (Incesticide,) but it captures all those sides in one phenomenal performance. If you're a Nirvana fan, you need Live at Reading.

On the day that Nirvana was supposed to headline one of England's biggest festivals, rumors swirled that Kurt Cobain had been hospitalized and wouldn't be able to make the show. The band responded by wheeling their leader out onstage in hospital garb and a wig.

Anyone who says that Kurt Cobain didn't have a sense of fashion is kidding himself.

I love how "Breed" starts--that slithering first riff, Dave Grohl's first ever drumroll on record. Look at how almost immediately some jackass runs up onstage and starts dancing. Security doesn't even bother to stop him. How punk rock is that?

Maybe my favorite note in the whole song is when Cobain screams the word "ghost" right before the chorus, belting out the word and holding it as if he's screaming "go." Biographers will be left to argue over what it meant that Kurt sounded so alive when screaming the word "ghost," but all I can say it that it irrefutably rocks.

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