Surviving Nirvana members perform together for guest-fronted reunion
The remaining members of Nirvana have performed the band’s music for only the second time since Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. The band - Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and In Utero-era touring guitarist/Foo Fighter, Pat Smear - reunited at Foo Fighters’ second Cal Jam festival on 6 October, joined by Joan Jett and Deer Tick’s John McCauley taking the place of the late Cobain.
The line-up last performed together in 2014 when Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, choosing Joan Jett, St Vincent (Annie Clark), Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Lorde to front the band. The same night, they played a secret club show including Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and John McCauley. The band’s Cal Jam appearance was rumoured as Foo Fighters, Novoselic’s latest project, Giants In The Trees and Deer Tick were all added to the festival lineup, and was further teased by Foo Fighters’ and Nirvana’s social media accounts in the days leading up to the festival, posting clips from the 2014 club show.
On the night, the band took to the stage after Foo Fighters’ headline billing to rip through a six-song set of
InUtero and Nevermind classics. John McCauley taking ‘Serve The Servants’, Scentless Apprentice’ and ‘In Bloom’, before Joan Jett took over for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘Breed’ and ‘All Apologies’, the latter also seeing The Distillers’ Brody Dalle join on bass, while Novoselic played accordian.
Sporting drumming gloves, Grohl - who has been playing DW since joining Them Crooked Vultures in 2010 – sat behind his Laser Blue Jazz Series kit, stripped back to his classic Nirvana four-piece configuration with an equally simplistic Zildjian setup of hi-hats, two crashes and a ride to deliver faithful renditions of his most-famous beats and fills.
Dave Grohl has had a flurry of public outings behind the kit in recent months. First was his Play documentary, which saw seven Grohls jamming with each other for over 20 minutes. Next up was his sit-in with Trombone Shorty for a run through Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’.