Nirvana - on the verge
Nirvana – on the verge in 1992.

– Nirvana – Live in Melbourne – February 1, 1992 – Triple J, Australia –

Nirvana to start the year off. 1992, the band hadn’t achieved worldwide phenomenon, but they were on the verge – it was only months away and word was spreading quickly.

This gig in Melbourne was part of a Pacific tour which included Adelaide and Sydney but went on to include Singapore as well as Tokyo and Osaka. But since they were fresh, and the audiences were just getting to know them, this concert reflects the “let’s just have fun” aspect to Nirvana during the early days – and even though they played what would be their standard repertoire, they were still at that point where trying new things and getting into experimenting and taking chances.

Soon enough, they would achieve superstar status, and Smells Like Teen Spirit would become the Anthem of a generation. But at this point – still teetering on the edge, all was still up for grabs, and the audience got to hear why they were destined to become the breakthrough band they would in a short time. They were achieving huge popularity at home, but what was the rest of the world going to be like? The audiences in Melbourne offer a clue.

Sadly, the trip wouldn’t last for long, with the band breaking up after the suicide of Kurt Kobain in 1994. But in that short period of time they proved to be one of the most import and influential bands of the 1990s – changing the landscape of Rock music and signaling a shift from the heavily Techno-based and Glam-influenced Heavy Metal bands left over from the 80s to a whole new, energized and experimental take on Rock.

You may have heard this concert before – fans certainly have. I don’t think it’s been commercially released, but it offers one of the most fascinating and energy-charged concerts ever recorded by the band. If you missed them the first time around, or only know them by their studio albums, listening to them in a live context is an eye-opening and truly satisfying experience.

I don’t need to ask you to play this one loud – you’ll just want to anyway.

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