Nirvana Played the Arizona State Fair Exactly 20 Years Ago Today

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alternativenation.net
Nirvana back during their Pat Smear days.
Were deep in the midst of the Arizona State Fair's annual spate of concerts -- including tonight's Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers gig at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum -- and wanted to take look back at one of the more significant shows to take place at the event, which happened to occur exactly 20 years ago today.

Back on October 18, 1993, grunge rock vanguards Nirvana played to a packed house at coliseum and performed what would be their final Phoenix show ever.

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YouTube
The show came approximately six months before singer Kurt Cobain's suicide and served the official kickoff to their In Utero tour and, as such, featured statues of winged pregnant women (similar to those depicted on the album's art work) on stage.

It was a lengthy show (which satisfied State Fair's penchant to book at least one tastemaking band each year) as Nirvana's set lasted 21 songs including the encore, and had tunes from all three of the band's major discs. Plus Germs member Pat Smear on guitar as he had been added to the lineup at that point, and even got an introduction by future Foo Fighter Dave Grohl.

The illustrate how long ago the show was -- other than the fact that Cobain was still alive -- the show was sponsored by the old KZRX (a.k.a. Z-Rock). While we couldn't find any footage of the show itself (probably because video camera were the size of bricks back then) there's an remarkably decent bootleg of the show that available on YouTube.

It picks up during the second song of the set and includes plenty of amusing between-song patter by the band. At around the 22 minute mark, Bassist Krist Noveselic even brought up the band's now-legendary gig at the old Mason Jar and possibly made a joke at the expense of its famously stingy owner Franco Gagliano.

"Did anyone ever come to a show in 1990 at the Mason Jar where Nirvana played with Tad? Are you one of the 10 people out there?," Noveselic says. "We had to pay rent on the microphones...and we woke up in front of strange houses."

For you Nirvana completists, here's the complete set list for the concert.

Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
Drain You
Breed
Serve the Servants
About a Girl
Heart-Shaped Box
Sliver
Dumb
In Bloom
Come as You Are
Lithium
Pennyroyal Tea
School
Polly
Milk It
Rape Me
Territorial Pissings
Smells Like Teen Spirit
All Apologies
Blew (encore)
Endless, Nameless (encore)

Find more Arizona State Fair concerts via our online concert calendar.

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4 comments
FRONTERA
FRONTERA

I  was at that show too, Kurt and Nirvana was going through the motions, little did I know.....

b2a1r1r2y
b2a1r1r2y

I worked security at the show, it was "fair".

teknik
teknik topcommenter

I remember those days and I was like, is this really what people listen to out west?

then I went in an listened to some more house music.


the next year  moved out here and got to see for myself.

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