Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Show #266: Nirvana’s Last Hurrah

May 15th, 2014

Last week I posted Nirvana’s first show from back in 1987 and this week I’m putting up the band’s final show from 1994.

nirvana terminal Show #266: Nirvanas Last Hurrah

Nirvana is the only band for whom I have first and last shows. The difference between the two is pretty striking. None of the early songs survive into later setlists, for one. And whereas the fledging musicians in 1987 are loose, sloppy, and keeping a good sense of humor about things, Nirvana in 1994 is tighter and has a darker, more cynical edge.

Cobain would have voice problems during this show owing to bronchitis and the rest of the tour was cancelled so he could recover. He departed for Rome to convalesce but would end up overdosing on sedatives and alcohol. Cobain recovered but would go on to take his own life a few weeks later on 5 April.

While not exactly bursting with sonic fidelity, this recording is still quite listenable. The band starts off with a cover of The Cars’ “My Best Friend’s Girl” before the feedback and slashing chords of “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and it makes for an amusing contrast. A power outage cuts “Come As You Are” short though they give it a do-over once power is restored. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is notably absent here though a paper setlist shows that it was to have been played after “Come As You Are”. Perhaps Cobain wanted to take it easy on his voice (not that “Territorial Pissings” did it any good) or they just didn’t want to play their biggest hit for whatever reason.

This little slice of history was recorded at Terminal 1 in Munich, Germany on 1 March 1994.


My Best Friend’s Girl
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
Drain You
Serve The Servants
Come As You Are (part of)
Come As You Are
In Bloom
About A Girl
Pennyroyal Tea
Very Ape
Lounge Act
Rape Me
Territorial Pissings
The Man Who Sold The World
All Apologies
On A Plain
Heart-Shaped Box

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About the first ten minutes of this show exists on video.

Related posts:

  1. Show #263: Nirvana’s First Show
  2. Reaching Nirvana
  3. Show #80: We Meet At Last
  4. Show #59: Pavement
  5. Show #203: A Preemptive R.I.P. for Smart Studios

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