Arts + Culture

Music's Greatest Hits

by Kara Zuaro

New York City, November 18, 1993

The Moment: Nirvana makes an appearance on MTV's live acoustic show, Unplugged. Without its usual accompaniment of angry electric guitars, militant drums, and white noise, Kurt Cobain's voice evolves from a grungy growl to a spare, soulful instrument. The performance reinvents the band's lesser hits as well as unexpected covers—David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World," Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"—silencing naysayers who claimed that Cobain's talent couldn't hold up beyond walls of noise. It also marks the band's final live recording, six months before Cobain's untimely death.

Where to go now: Bumbershoot, Seattle's 36th annual music and arts festival, will take place on Labor Day weekend, September 2–4, 2006. Nirvana never played this hometown fest, but the surviving members, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear, surprised fans by reuniting on stage there in 1997. Check the website for this year's slate.

Seattle Center

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