If there's anywhere that one can access the Dionysiac it's at a good rock show.
The past few weeks I've been obsessed with Nirvana's In Utero album. I was alone this morning and cranked the stereo as far as the speakers would take it and listened to Milk It about six times straight. The pain of the lyrics and the rawness of Kurt's voice on this song goes straight to that fucked up space in my soul that I'd rather not talk about. There's this place where he does something between a sob and a chuckle that just slays me every time.
I got to thinking that there had to be something out there that captures a bit of what Nirvana must have been like live, and found this, from a show on February 6, 1994, in Cascais, Portugal. Two months later was the tragic suicide. It's funny how something like that can brand an inconsequential detail into your brain.
My wife and I had just moved to Seattle three weeks prior, on March 14th, and landed in a little student apartment near University Village. We went shopping at the QFC, where I got all nostalgic for my youth and bought one of those Chun King chow mein things, with the juice and vegetables in separate cans. On the way out of the store I saw the headline.
We went home and made the chow mein. It sucked.
As a newcomer to Seattle and not a huge grunge fan, I was unprepared for the city-wide paroxysm of mourning that followed. It wasn't until later that I grew to appreciate what Nirvana meant.
While the sound quality of this clip leaves a little to be desired, you really get a taste of the experience. On the first note of Heart Shaped Box there's a roar, and the crowd starts singing and clapping along, and then on the chorus, they come in full force. There's way more than just the music going on here.