Laura Musselman
Nirvana's Krist Novoselic (left), joins the Presidents of the United States of America, last night at EMP.
Nevermind 's 20th Anniversary




The Seattle Music Community Says Thank You to Nirvana and Susie Tennant at Last Night's Nevermind Tribute at EMP

Laura Musselman
Nirvana's Krist Novoselic (left), joins the Presidents of the United States of America, last night at EMP.
Nevermind's 20th Anniversary


Tuesday, Sept. 20

Tuesday night's celebration of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind didn't have the feeling of the a concert event with a beneficiary as much as a night of genuine thanks and reverence. Friends of longtime music-industry personality (and Nirvana enabler) Susie Tennant and Nirvana came together to say thanks to the pair for what they've each done for the city's music community, and raise funds for the former's battle with cancer. Even Dave Grohl--the Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters frontman--made a special appearance via a video statement thanking Tennant for everything she did for him and the band.

It wasn't a slick, VH1-ready evening, and it was never intended to be. It was an open mike, a rare opportunity for 20 Seattle bands spanning multiple decades to play the songs that launched the city into the international musical consciousness. There were some flubs--most noticeably Champagne Champagne's shamefully glib performance of "Drain You" (learn the lyrics or use borrow McCartney's teleprompter, guys)--but the takeaway from the night is the way certain acts rose to the occasion.

The format of the evening was for a different band to run through each of the 12 songs on Nevermind, followed by 10 more bands pulling from the Nirvana songbook. The main draw of the evening was to see Nirvana bassist (and sometimes Reverb scribe) Krist Novoselic play a few of the Nevermind hits. He graciously delivered, sitting in with the Presidents of the United States of America for Nevermind's "On a Plain" and returning to close the show for a run through the single, "Sliver."

Other highlights included performances from Reverb's other contributors on the bill: the crowd-awakening performance of "Lithium" from Duff McKagan and his band Loaded, John Roderick's cello-fueled take on "Something in the Way."

During the second half of the evening, fans who hung around for all 3.5 hours of the tribute were treated to some performances that played up the pop aspect of the Nirvana catalogue. Pigeonhead offered a haunting rendition of "Heart Shaped Box," Young Fresh Fellows grinned and bopped their way through "About a Girl," and Shelby Earl damn near stole the show with her turn on "All Apologies."

It was the kind of night that most people only experience on DVD--or via a live stream, as many fans around the world did last night--and a sure treat for fans of the band who haven't had much in the way of live events to celebrate Nirvana for years.

Nevermind performances:

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Fastbacks)

In Bloom (Vaporland)

Come As You Are (Valis)

Breed (Ravenna Woods)

Lithium (Duff Mckagan's Loaded)

Polly (Campfire Ok)

Territorial Pissings (Visqueen)

Drain You (Champagne Champagne)

Lounge Act (Tacocat)

Stay Away (Vendetta Red)

On a Plain (The Presidents + Krist Novoselic)

Something in the Way (The Long Winters)

Endless, Nameless (Crypts)

Other Nirvana Favs:

Frances Farmer... (Seacats)

You Know You're Right (Calli Giraffes)

Heart Shaped Box (Pigeonhead)

Negative Creep (Tom Price Desert Classic)

Serve the Servants (Stag)

All Apologies (Shelby Earl)

About a Girl (Young Fresh Fellows)

Pennyroyal Tea (Cobirds Unite)

Been a Son (The Tripwires)

Sliver (The Presidents + Krist Novoselic)

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