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Watch Nirvana ruin their own show in Buenos Aires

Nirvana were at the height of their powers in October 1992, and they were unquestionably one of, if not the hottest band on the planet. Because of the success of Nevermind the year before, they gained the hearts of millions of people all over the world as a band. The Seattle punks have a history for putting on infamous gigs, such as their Reading headline event, but their show in Argentina’s capital is legendary for the band’s decision to self-sabotage it, which was not without reason.

They’d gone from an unknown Seattle band to selling out Argentina’s top-flight football team Velez Sarsfield’s José Amalfitani Stadium, which seats nearly 50,000 people. Kurt Cobain, on the other hand, was so enraged by the Argentinian crowd’s unfavourable reaction to their hand-picked opening act Calamity Jane that he nearly called the entire show off.

Rather than cancelling the gig, they decided to go ahead and do it anyhow, but they didn’t give their audience a Nirvana show. The presentation was substandard, with the band altering up their set list and including rare songs from their archive that they knew the majority of the audience wouldn’t know. Their last set included a few of unreleased songs, which isn’t what you’d expect from a stadium performance. Fortunately, the entire concert was recorded, and you can see the bizarreness below.

Kurt would later talk up about his thoughts on the show and why the band chose to do what they did. “When we performed Buenos Aires,” Kurt recalls, “we invited an all-girl band over from Portland called Calamity Jane.” “The entire audience—it was a gigantic event with like sixty thousand people—was throwing money and anything out of their pockets, mud and rocks, just pelting them during their entire set.” The girls eventually stormed out, crying. It was horrifying, one of the most heinous acts of misogyny I’ve ever witnessed. Krist tried to talk me out of lighting myself on fire or refusing to play, knowing my attitude toward such things. We had a great time.

“I’d play the start to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and then stop before every song,” he explained. They were completely unaware that we were protesting their actions. They didn’t recognise anything because we played for nearly forty minutes and most of the songs were from Incesticide. We ended up performing the secret noise song (‘Endless, Nameless’) towards the end of Nevermind, and since we were so enraged by the circumstances, that song and the entire set were one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had.”

Credits: Youtube