As summer festival season heats up, we at The Smoking Jacket are reminded of the strange case of the Reading and Leeds festivals of 2011, and their choice to show, on a big screen, a video of Nirvana’s performance at Reading in 1992. We’re not sure why this seemed like a good idea, to ask festivalgoers to watch TV for an hour standing up outdoors at a venue with stages, lights, tons of gear, and great bands walking around everywhere, but we’re reserving judgement on that. The ’92 show itself has a lot of exciting bits and marks a moment in the band’s tough history where they really shined.
This sample of the ’92 show is gloriously rough, but it reminds me that taking a three-piece band and asking them to perform on a stage the size of a Wal-Mart parking lot, with speakers miles away from the musicians, who are standing ten times farther apart than normal, can lead to sloppy playing, out of tune singing and an uncohesive feel. What we at TSJ really enjoy is seeing a band play in a venue that fits their sound and style.
In that spirit we bring you a collection of videos of performances, of both rock bands and other kinds of music groups, in an intimate setting where they can really turn out a perfect performance of their song.
1. Dead Boys
2. Coachwhips @ Stinger
4. Dog Leather
5. Black Sabbath were sort of made to play stadiums. Here they are, through three eras of Ozzy years.
NIB paris 1970
Snowblind Never Say Die 1978
Sweet Leaf 1999
Stardust Ballroom pt 2
7. Nirvana record store gig
It’s interesting how Kurt looks older and more mature in this video from the 80s than he did at the height of his fame. This is a great performance of a hit song of theirs in a small room where they can each smell each other and feel the other’s breath etc. It makes it easy to understand why a band might self-destruct when their career reaches a point where the can’t do this anymore.