Though 2020 hasn’t got off to the best start in most ways that matter, certain events still provide an important reminder that not everything out there totally sucks. Take, for example, a half hour set performed last Saturday during the Art Of Elysium fundraiser at the Hollywood Palladium that saw Nirvana’s Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear perform a reunion show with a little help from St. Vincent, Beck, and Grohl’s teenage daughter Violet.
YouTube channel Nirvana Lado-B uploaded a pretty decent version of the entire set, which includes performances of “Lithium,” “In Bloom,” “Been A Son,” “Heart-Shaped Box,” and “The Man Who Sold The World.”
The entire video is well worth watching not just because it’s most of Nirvana playing a bunch of Nirvana’s most recognizable songs, but also to hear how each track is transformed through the line-up of singers and extra guitars. St. Vincent and Violet Grohl (who previously joined her dad to sing Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” at the Leeds Festival a few months ago) sing the hell out of “Heart-Shaped Box” and “Lithium.” Beck, despite seeming to forget some of the words from “In Bloom” (which, considering the lyrics, is kind of funny) plays a solid solo, sings a great harmony with St. Vincent, and recounts getting fucked up in “the most insane mosh pit” at the Palladium during an old Nirvana show where they played “Been A Son” ... before taking the lead vocal part on the show’s version of “Been A Son.” Each song is faithful, but tweaked by slight instrumental differences and vocal changes.
Given how rare Grohl and Novoselic’s Nirvana reunions have been, we shouldn’t hold out hope that Saturday’s show is the first of many. But, hey, even if there isn’t another Nirvana revival coming anytime soon, maybe Grohl Jr. can link up with that 9-year-old “In Bloom” drummer to make a pint-sized cover band in the meantime.