Live at Reading

Live at Reading

Headlining the 1992 Reading Festival in England, Nirvana were at the peak of their powers and had finally brought alternative rock into the mainstream. This oft-bootlegged performance has been considered — for good reason — to be one of the band’s definitive moments, coming after the success of Nevermind and before Cobain’s disenchantment with life itself. The band’s entire repertoire is here, from the early works (“Sliver,” “About a Girl”) to the hits (“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are”), the b-sides (“Aneurysm,” “D7”) and the still forthcoming In Utero cuts (“Dumb,” “All Apologies”). Mocking reports of poor health, Cobain entered the stage in a wheelchair and proceeded to rip through a physically punishing, emotionally draining set. Though only a trio, the band is not short a note. Drummer Dave Grohl’s fills are perfectly executed and hold things together no matter what anarchy Cobain envisions for his guitar solos. However, the star is simply that voice. Cobain sings these songs for everything they’re worth.

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