There was an underground buzz building about this band from Seattle. My friends and I were frequent guests of Cabaret Metro in Chicago always checking the concert calendar there to see what was up and coming. Nirvana was coming it was announced and I called my friend Eric. We were both at work but agreed to run to Ticketmaster after work and get a ticket so that we could both go check this new band out. I purchased one ticket, went home, and later Eric called me to say by the time he made it to Ticketmaster they were sold out. At this point I was thinking about selling my ticket. Of course, I knew the reality of being a music obsessive, I was going it alone on this one. I was never one to be comfortable about doing things alone. Even though at this age I was starting to realize that my friends were growing into alcoholics or drug addicts, it was still more comfortable for me to do things with them, then do it alone.
I headed out from the suburbs so concerned about the way I was dressed, how my hair looked, how others would judge me, checking my self in the rear view mirror the whole way to the concert. The line was long and once inside this may be the most packed I have ever witnessed The Metro (A close second would be when I saw Peter Murphy with opening act Nine Inch Nails, but that is for another post). The “flexible” room capacity was not a lark. There was a reason why Eric didn’t get a ticket and this show was completely sold out. The band playing that night was about to change the course of current music. Nevermind wasn’t out yet when the tickets went on sale for this show. But little did we know in a couple months time Nevermind would be replacing Michael Jackson at the top of the charts. I pushed up towards the stage. I figured in a mosh pit others wouldn’t notice I was there by myself.
After Nirvana kicked into Aneurysm, it didn’t matter. You could feel the world changing. This was the new music. This was the band that would lead the change. They let us outsiders know it was okay to be ourselves. It was even okay to be at a concert by yourself in order to witness great music. There are a few memories for me of this show. I remember Kurt and his torn jeans and Mr. Rogers sweater. I think the best memory might be that Kurt seemed to be really enjoying himself. He was coming off the high of knowing he had written an incredible albums worth of music. Oblivious to the media attention and drug addiction that would follow. In the recording of this show you can hear him several times giggle and crack up while singing. The playful exchanging of instruments at the end of the show. I remember how it all ended with the destruction of Dave’s drum kit and the story of selling enough records that week that he could finally buy a new drum kit so they demolished his current set. Drum kit demolition is a strong statement for “there will be no encore.” You can hear from the recording how great Kurt’s voice was on this night. THANK YOU SO MUCH to sadlybadlyy5’s channel for posting this soundboard recording. Catching a young band just about to break out is like lightning in a bottle. It was Nirvana, Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL on 10/12/91. The fun lighthearted 80’s was officially over. This is what the 90’s would sound like. Courtney captured Kurt on this night. After catching her then boyfriend, Billy Corgan, with another woman. She had her sights set on Kurt. They would end up at the Days Inn-Chicago just blocks from Metro. Nirvana’s set list would never be this great again. What a night for rock and roll. I am glad I was there to witness.