Nirvana Live at Reading

NirvanaLive at Reading
Live at Reading is a monumental show in Nirvana's history and, after many bootlegs, it's nice to finally hear a mixed and mastered version of their headlining performance at the 1992 Reading Festival. Whether they earned the slot is unquestionable after even a cursory listen to the versions of "Drain You," "Aneurysm" and a fascinatingly off-kilter "Sliver" featured here; Nirvana were a charismatic fireball. As a straight concert record, Live at Reading works wonders but there's a subtext absent from the single CD package. Stung by media reports of his drug abuse and ill health (all of which were tragically confirmed), Cobain thought it'd be funny to take the stage in a wheelchair donning a hospital gown and a Garth Algar blonde wig, croak a couple of lines of Bette Midler's "The Rose," before collapsing in a heap. With Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl egging him on, the banter for this show is priceless, humanizing and sorely missed from an otherwise mighty document. (DGC)