From the likes of Lorde and St. Vincent filling in for Kurt Cobain to Courtney Love and Dave Grohl hugging out their differences, nearly everything that went down at Nirvana’s Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction seems like it was totally made up.
But that’s absolutely nothing compared to what went down following the Hall of Fame induction at New York’s Barclays Center, where the surviving members of Nirvana – Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear – played a secret afterparty gig at a nearby Brooklyn bar
With a series of guests performing mini-sets of Nirvana classics in a 16-song performance, the whole show looks and sounds like the kind of thing that April Fool’s Day gold is spun from, except for the little fact that the whole thing was true, as Noisey lucky reporter, one of about 230 packed into Brooklyn venue Saint Vitus, confirms.
The invite-only concert extended three of the performances from the Hall Of Fame induction – basically no encore from Lorde (either because she was headed to Coachella, underage, or both) but Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, and Joan Jett got to show the lucky punters their other top-tier Cobain tributes, along with two more ring-ins: Dinosaur Jr’s bearded guitar wizard J. Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley.
The night opened with Jett fronting ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and “the room full of jaded invite-only attendees went fucking apeshit, understandably,” according to Noisey. The Blackhearts ringleader and former Runaway also tackled Nevermind favourites ‘Breed’, ‘In Bloom’, and ‘Territorial Pissings’.
Mascis was next to the stage, playing frontman for ‘Drain You’, ‘Penny Royal Tea’, and early track ‘School’ (watch below). St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) also offered another early Bleach take with ‘About A Girl’, sandwiched between her performances of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ and ‘Lithium’, making it the Australia-bound Annie Clark’s third public take on the Nirvana single for the week (that’s a unique dot point for the CV).
McCauley “seemed the most prepared,” says Noisey‘s writer, and handled ‘Serve The Servants’, ‘Scentless Apprentice’, ‘Tourette’s’, and ‘Milk It’. Last but not least, former Sonic Youth vixen Kim Gordon brought the show to a close by repeating her “badass and inspired” take on ‘Aneurysm’ from the Hall of Fame induction, along with ‘Negative Creep’ and rarer Nirvana track ‘Moist Vagina’ as a curtain-closer.
In short, it’s the once-in-a-lifetime show you’ll only be ever be able to experience through the fuzzy social media posts and Instagram footage of the lucky two-hundred or so who were there. We know, we’re just as depressed as you are.
Setlist: Nirvana & Guests @ Saint Victus, Thursday 10th April.
Smells Like Teen Spirit (with Joan Jett)
Breed (with Joan Jett)
In Bloom (with Joan Jett)
Territorial Pissings (with Joan Jett)
All Apologies (with Joan Jett) (Krist Novoselic on accordion, … more)
Drain You (with J Mascis)
Pennyroyal Tea (with J Mascis)
School (with J Mascis)
Lithium (with St. Vincent)
About a Girl (with St. Vincent)
Heart-Shaped Box (with St. Vincent)
Serve the Servants (with John McAuley)
Milk It (with John McAuley)
Very Ape (with John McAuley)
Scentless Apprentice (with John McAuley)
Tourette’s (with John McAuley)
Aneurysm (with Kim Gordon)
Negative Creep (with Kim Gordon)
Moist Vagina (with Kim Gordon) (Live premiere)