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(Credit: Subpop)


Revisit rare footage of Nirvana's first-ever New York City gig from back in 1989


It’s hard to imagine Nirvana as toilet circuit regulars but before they made their name, Kurt Cobain’s group were just like every other band trying to make it to the big time—they took every gig they could. Below we’re bringing you some rare footage of their escapades.

In 1989 the band were still in their infancy, the line-up included Cobain, Krist Novoselic, former-drummer Chad Channing and (the man who had financed their first record Bleach) Jason Everman on guitar. Still, they headed to New York ready to perform their first show in The Big Apple.

The footage below sees that moment happen back in 1989 as the band turn up to the Pyramid Club in New York’s Manhattan to perform in the city for the very first time and ready for action.

What happens next may not be the best Nirvana performance you’ve ever seen but as a historical document of their meteoric rise, it should be noted that this pokey show is only a short while away from Nirvana being the biggest band on the planet. We’re sure there are more than a few people who have remembered this night as an “I was there!” moment.

The Sub-Pop signees have clearly been on the road for some time when they arrived in Manhattan, Cobain, in particular, looks a little ragged. But they’re still ready to unleash a barrage of underground rock for the baying crowd. In the North West Pacific area, Nirvana had begun to gain a reputation as one of the best live acts around. But o this coast everything was different.

Buoyed by their debut album Bleach being critically loved, Nirvana are ready to show New York what Seattle had to offer. That night, on July 17th in 1989, the band would prove their mettle and hint that the future was bright. The group rattle through some classics including ‘Polly’ and ‘Dive’ bearing their teeth at every turn.

Below watch Nirvana performing in New York City for the very first time as they perform at Pyramid Club in Manhattan back in 1989.

1:02 School
3:52 Floyd The Barber
6:36 Love Buzz
10:03 Dive
13:58 Polly
16:37 Big Cheese
20:15 Scoff (cuts in)
24:25 About A Girl (cuts in)