Live at Reading
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Live At Reading
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2009 release of this historic live performance by the Alt-Rock/Grunge legends. While the show's centerpiece was a performance of nearly the entire Nevermind tracklist, also noteworthy were early performances of three as yet unrecorded songs which wouldn't be released until two years later on In Utero: 'All Apologies', 'Dumb' and, in its first ever public performance, 'Tourette's'. The career-spanning setlist also reached back to the band's 1989 Sub Pop debut album, Bleach and even further back to the mid-'80s for 'Spank Thru'. Additionally, the band played a pair of beloved covers by two bands (Fang and The Wipers) that helped shape the formative Nirvana sound.
"Nirvana headlining at Reading in 1992 was something you had to see, and if you didn't see it then it was something you pretended you saw." -- Kerrang (October 2003)
"The staggering energy and intensity radiating from the stage never let up... Cobain's ravaged pop songs coming off like some dream marriage of the Sex Pistols and the Beatles, borne on bracing waves of distorted guitar noise." -- Rolling Stone (October 29, 1992)
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As for the show, the set-list is nice and broad, not just covering Nevermind, but also hitting good parts of Bleach, Incesticide, and even In Utero, despite the fact it had not been released when the concert was performed. In fact, one thing this show does for me is to give me a new appreciation for Bleach. I've always overlooked it in the shadow of Nevermind, but the Bleach cuts here do themselves justice against the rest. In fact, I would say the blistering "School" and "Negative Creep" are highlights of the show and are better suited for Nirvana's 'loose' performances than their more melodic counterparts from Nevermind. The covers of 'The Money Will Roll Right In' and 'D7' fit nicely into the encore as respectful nods to the bands who inspired them and to the punk spirit that informs their performance. There are some great off-the-cuff moments too, like their doing 'More Than A Feeling' at the beginning of 'Teen Spirit', and Kurt's prompting the audience to scream, "We love you Courtney".
On the negative side, I agree with the other reviewer who complained about the inserted cheers. It sounds ridiculous and bothered me enough to make this a 4-star product versus a 5. Also, the Cd is not the best live album ever. They removed all of the banter and the 'More Than A Feeling' bit, probably for continuity. But, as the recent live REM CDs demonstrate, leaving the banter in gives the live disc a feeling of authenticity and adds to the whole experience. But if you're like me and will only listen to it cranked up in your car, then it's worth it to get the deluxe version. Either way, the DVD is a must for any Nirvana fan.
Dave on drums is amazing, especially impacting the Bleach songs. Nirvana fans should have this on the shelf. It reminds me of how much I dig this band and how great of a songwriter Kurt was.
I wish they would release MTV"s "Live and Loud" next.
Long live Nirvana.