The concert of the rock band Nirvana at Sony Music Studios in New York City that became a live album.

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(as Beth McCarthy)

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(created by), (created by) (as Bob Small)
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Episode credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Himself (as Chris Novoselic)
...
Himself
Lori Goldston ...
Herself
Pat Smear ...
Himself
Cris Kirkwood ...
Himself (as Chris Kirkwood)
Curt Kirkwood ...
Himself (as Kurt Kirkwood)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nirvana ...
Themselves
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The concert of the rock band Nirvana at Sony Music Studios in New York City that became a live album.

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Plot Keywords:

rock star | rock band | grunge | band | See All (4) »

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Documentary | Music

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16 December 1993 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was suggested to Kurt Cobain that he go back out onstage to do an encore following the end of the show, but he declined saying that he knew he could never top his performance of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" See more »

Goofs

In the credits, Dave Grohl's last name is misspelled as "Ghrol." See more »

Quotes

Kurt Cobain: [before the song "The Man Who Sold The World"] I guarantee you I will screw this song up...
Kurt Cobain: [after finishing the song "The Man Who Sold The World"] I didn't screw it up, did I?
[referring to the song "Pennyroyal Tea"]
Kurt Cobain: Okay, but here's another one I could screw up.
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Connections

Featured in When Rock Goes Acoustic (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grunge's Swan Song
3 December 2015 | by (Indiana, USA) – See all my reviews

By 1993 with Kurt Cobain in the lead, Kirst Novoselic on bass, Dave Grohl on drums and starting that year, Pat Smear on rhythm guitar, Nirvana had taken grunge, the often-stigmatized offshoot of punk and heavy metal, out of the underground Seattle clubs where it was born and brought it to the mainstream music scene. Nirvana had succeeded in becoming the biggest band of their era.

Naturally MTV jumped at the opportunity to have Nirvana on their show MTV UNPLUGED. Kurt was initially hesitant because he disliked most unplugged performances by rock bands. He felt they just tried to play acoustic instruments like they did electric ones. There was no change in their style. They didn't embrace the format.

So he was very particular in the way he wanted to have the show set up, a crystal chandelier above them and stargazer lilies all around them. The show runners were not fans of this choice. They were concerned it looked too much like a funeral but Kurt held his ground. Watching the performance, it doesn't look like a wake. If anything it beautifully highlights the juxtaposition of a punk band playing without the screaming aid of electrically enhanced instruments.

Another point of contention was the show's setlist. MTV wanted them to play the songs that Nirvana was famous for. Kurt however wanted to do something different and new, that was more melodic and better utilized their acoustic limitations.

Only the first two songs of the 14 performed were top hits, "About a Girl" and "Come as You Are." The rest of the songs were either less popular Nirvana songs or covers from classic rock and songs composed by their contemporaries in grunge.

One of the highlights includes a cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold World." It's an emotionally charged version of the song that takes Bowie's original to an entirely new level. Kurt's singing on this song is so soulful that it could almost bring a tear to your eye.

Another is "Lake of Fire." The recording of this song would go on to be one of Nirvana's best remembered and for good reason. Their jaunty cover of the Meatpuppets' song about damnation features strained and screeching vocals with a piekey inflection that needs no electronic modification to get the punk sound across. It perfectly shows how vocals can entirely set a song's tone even in the guitar dominated (punk) rock genre.

The last song played was a cover of the traditional blues song "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." The most known version, and the one that inspired Nirvana was by '40s blues man, Leadbelly, whose music Kurt had recently fallen in love with. Before they begin the song Kurt notes that Leadbelly is his favorite performer and laments that despite his rock star status he couldn't come up with the five- hundred thousand dollars that the Leadbelly estate wanted for his guitar. Krist suggest a donation from the audience to help. The actually performance of the song is a haunting rendition that showcases the pain and angst in Kurt's voice and plays perfectly into this classic blues song. It shows just how timeless sincere and well performed music can be.

After the last song Kurt swings his guitar over his shoulder then sets it down on stage, lights a cigarette and begins to walk out before he pauses and begins walking around the audience signing autographs. This would be one of Nirvana's last performances before the events that led to Kurt's untimely death. It was a beautiful showcase of Nirvana's ability not only as a popular punk band but also as true artists. It demonstrated phenomenal musical ability. It's almost undoubtedly their best show, which makes the fact that it was their last major recording session all the more tragic. There is, however, I suppose solace to be found in that if there was ever a show to walk into the sunset after, never to be seen again, this was it.


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