Sometimes in rock ‘n’ roll, there are special moments of vital importance to the genre. At the time, they’re little more than a footnote on an average week, but when we look back we can fully understand the gravity of what took place. One such moment occurred on October 11, 1990, when Nirvana, led by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, took the stage at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, Washington. This show, in particular, holds a special place in the annals of rock history, as it marked the debut performance of Dave Grohl as the band’s drummer.
The video of this historic gig is a precious time capsule that allows us to witness the early days of a band that would soon become one of the most influential and celebrated acts in the world of rock. Here’s a breakdown of the setlist:
00:00 – Love Buzz The show kicks off with “Love Buzz,” a cover of a song originally recorded by the Dutch rock band Shocking Blue. Nirvana’s grunge-infused rendition set the tone for the evening, showcasing their raw energy and Cobain’s distinctive vocals.
03:00 – Scoff “Scoff” follows, a track from their debut album, “Bleach.” This song captures the essence of Nirvana’s early sound, characterized by heavy guitar riffs and Cobain’s haunting lyrics.
07:24 – Sliver Next up is “Sliver,” a fan-favorite that would later appear on the “Incesticide” compilation album. The crowd’s enthusiasm is palpable, reflecting the growing buzz around the band.
09:19 – Turnaround (cuts out) Unfortunately, the video cuts out during “Turnaround,” leaving us yearning for more of this historic performance. Nevertheless, what we’ve witnessed thus far is a testament to the band’s undeniable talent and promise.
Dave Grohl’s addition to the lineup injected a new energy into Nirvana, propelling them toward the mainstream success they would achieve with their breakthrough album, “Nevermind.” Grohl’s powerful drumming style complemented Cobain’s and Novoselic’s musical sensibilities perfectly, solidifying the trio’s iconic status in the rock world.
This gig at the North Shore Surf Club may have been relatively low-key, but it marked the beginning of a remarkable journey for Nirvana and Dave Grohl. In the years that followed, they would conquer the world with their music, leaving an indelible mark on rock ‘n’ roll history.
As we watch this video, we’re reminded of the humble beginnings of a band that would change the face of rock forever. Dave Grohl’s first gig with Nirvana is a momentous occasion that reminds us of the power of music to connect people and shape the course of history.