Nirvana: Live at the Paramount

24th September, 2011



Nirvana NevermindOn this day 20 years ago Nirvana released their second studio album Nevermind. I have discussed this album and the 20th Anniversary Tribute Concert at the EMP Museum in previous posts, and can never say enough about how good an album it is. I still listen to it regularly and it really has stood the test of time. Over 30 million copies have been sold world wide and it took the music scene by storm! Seattle Grunge lives on forever!

So tonight to further celebrate this event EMP held a world premiere screening of the October 31st, 1991 Halloween concert Nirvana: Live at the Paramount (a famous theatre in Seattle, the concert was a homecoming show for the band after Nevermind had been released). This was the only concert of the band shot on 16mm film and tonight was the first time the concert has ever been shown publicly in full (a DVD release of the concert and a special edition of Nevermind are being released next week to celebrate the 20th anniversary. They had some available already at EMP).

Nirvana Live at the ParamountThe concert was shown on the big screen in the EMP Sky Lounge and a good crowd turned out to watch the show (it was free to attend, you just had to register beforehand). The performance, sound and picture quality of the concert was excellent and with the EMP crowd clapping and cheering along it was almost like we were all there live. Kurt Cobain only spoke briefly during the concert, mostly at the start, his singing and guitar playing was all he needed to do from there on. Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl made a number of funny comments throughout the show and it added another dimension to just seeing their music videos.

Watching the crowd at the actual concert stage diving, crowd surfing and slam dancing, brought back great memories of that ever so short period of the early 1990’s. We had a lot of crazy fun in the mosh pit at gigs back then and this film captured that moment in time so well!

It is interesting to look back at January 1992, when Nevermind hit number 6 on the Billboard Music Charts and realise just how different Nirvana really were to the other acts charting at that time (in order Michael Jackson, Color Me Badd, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, M.C. Hammer (he had 2 songs in the chart), George Michael/Elton John, Ce Ce Peniston and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch made up the rest of the top 10)! With their grunge sound and appearance is it any wonder Nirvana stood out from the crowd?

NirvanaThe 19 song set list of the concert started with a cover and then mostly included songs from Nevermind and their earlier Bleach album, with some tracks from various singles (click on the links below for videos from the actual concert):

1. Jesus Dont Want Me For A Sunbeam (cover version of The Vaselines song)

2. Aneurysm (originally released as a single in 1991, re-released in 1992 on Incesticide album)

3. Drain You (Nevermind)

4. School (Bleach)

5. Floyd The Barber (Bleach)

6. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nevermind)

Nirvana7. About A Girl (Bleach)

8. Polly (Nevermind)

9. Breed (Nevermind)

10. Sliver (originally released as a single in 1990,  re-released in 1992 on Incesticide album)

11. Love Buzz (Bleach)

12. Lithium (Nevermind)

13. Been A Son (from 1989 EP “Blew”, re-released in 1992 on Incesticide album)

14. Negative Creep (Bleach)

15. On A Plain (Nevermind)Nirvana

16. Blew (Bleach)

17. Rape Me (written in 1991, but not released until 1993 on In Utero album)

18. Territorial Pissings (Nevermind)

19. Endless, Nameless (hidden track on some copies of Nevermind)

This was a great concert to watch and it really did show Nirvana at their best, especially at the end when they smashed their guitars! I can thoroughly recommend watching it if you are a Nirvana fan……smells like teen spirit to me!


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