Nirvana | Live at the Paramount
Nirvana was just about to break into the world charts as this show was performed at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. They had just released Nevermind, which a week after the show would reach the Top 40. Within a month it was Gold and less than a year later, it would become a multi-platinum selling album. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” had just been released too and was climbing on the Billboard chart at the same time. The gig was captured on 16mm film in its raw entirety and the band was, understandably, a little freaked out.
Live at the Paramount is hearing and seeing the excitement of this moment in time. A great band on the make, still whirling and swamped with anxious adrenaline. Every single song on this setlist has already been featured once, or more, on some other Nirvana live record, bootleg or label. But it is still a priceless collection from a special time.
Kurt’s voice sounds astonishingly powerful here. As quoted by Pitchfork, “He sang in a way that was obviously unmaintainable, even with the aid of heavy cough syrup, there’s an excitement and buzz, although a slightly selfish one, of hearing his voice rip the air before he had begin to shout it down to bits. His unusual, wailing vernacular may have been a deliberate choice, or it might have been the only way he managed to fight and hurl those notes out from a constricted voice box, but there is a horrible, captivating intensity to it. Words feel torn from him, dragging hooks on their way out. Aneursym’s Love you so much/ It makes me sick” physically hurts to hear, as it always has, but it gives you some of the most devoted, vibrant performances of Nirvana’s well-recognized songs as you’re likely to get.”
Live at the Paramount is a live video released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc as part of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. It was also released as a music CD as part of a Super-Deluxe Box Set. [DJ Pitchfork]