I Was Not Expecting Post Malone’s Nirvana Concert for COVID-19 Relief to Be THAT Great


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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You know Post Malone as a hip-hop/pop superstar, a “Rockstar” in the general definition of the term, rather than the specific — that is, he isn’t known as a “rock” music artist. And yet there he was, in full “rockstar” mode on Friday during his live-streamed concert of Nirvana covers raising money for The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, electric guitar in hand, clad in a flowery summer dress that would make Kurt Cobain proud.

And for more than an hour, Post Malone delivered a rousing set of Nirvana classics and deep cuts with his pals Brian Lee (bass), Nick Mac (guitar) and Travis Barker (drums). This wasn’t just a stunt of standing up there and running through “Lithium,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come As You Are” as a brief distraction from the boredom of stay-at-home ordinances.

No, Post Malone delivered in a way that many — myself included — were not anticipating.

It even impressed Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who was watching from home and was clearly enjoying hearing and seeing these songs brought back to life in this manner:

https://twitter.com/KristNovoselic/status/1253816927220191232

Courtney Love was also moved by the whole thing, too:

And, OH MAN, was it incredible watching Barker smash his drum kit to Nirvana fills first made famous by Dave Grohl and, earlier, Chad Channing. To observe Travis Barker behind the kit is to see one of the most frenetic and energetic drummers alive — and mashing along to Nirvana’s alt/grunge classics was a treat all in itself.

Explaining at one point how this project came about — he would routinely “jam” on some Nirvana songs backstage before concerts with his band mates, he said — Post Malone put everything into his performance. Anybody who went into this tribute set with a raised eyebrow, perhaps skeptical if he could pull this off (as I was, admittedly), was made a believer.

https://twitter.com/KristNovoselic/status/1253817112444850177

Another angle of this worth considering is how many new Nirvana fans Post Malone created out of this performance. There are surely a number of Malone fans who were not familiar with Nirvana before this — after all, the man himself is still in his early 20s, with millions of fans even younger than that — so this whole thing inevitably led to more kids discovering Nirvana’s music for the first time.

And that’s fantastic.

The set list was an inspired bit as well, songs coming from each of Nirvana’s full-length albums, beginning with In Utero‘s “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” and its classic Cobain-ian lyric “I miss the comfort in being sad,” shrieked by Malone through a filtered microphone to great effect.

NOT playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was also a distinctly Nirvana-level decision, as well.

The full set:

Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
Drain You
Come as You Are
Lounge Act
School
Heart-Shaped Box
Something in the Way
About a Girl
Stay Away
Lithium
Breed
On a Plain
Very Ape
Territorial Pissings
In Bloom

https://twitter.com/KristNovoselic/status/1253824879893155840

Same, Krist. Same.


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