Watch Arcade Fire Cover Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Washington
By Matt Grosinger on August 11, 2014
With the amount of geographically informed cover songs Arcade Fire have been performing throughout their Reflektor tour, I am beginning to think that I would pay good money for a one-off show in which the band perform seminal rock and pop hits exclusively. From their version of Prince’s “Controversy”, which they played in Minneapolis, to their stellar cover of the Beverly Hills Cop theme song, which they played right here in Los Angeles, the Grammy winners have been reinterpreting and interpolating classic songs that hem together the very fabric of our music history (and, according to most scientists, the space-time continuum).
This past weekend, Arcade Fire performed “Rococo” in George, Washington and very subtly weaved in the most iconic alternative rock song of all time. After Win Butler begins to languorously sing the chorus of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, the audience gradually catches on (especially that guy who recorded this. He knew it, you guys. He knew it) the cover dovetails into the extremely chant-able “Rococo” and the crowd heaves upward.
After Nevermind turned 20 years old, Butler mentioned how personally significant Nirvana’s mainstream success was for him as a young misfit, so it is very cool to see the now-extremely-succesful former wallflower interface with such a historically and personally formative track. At some point in the night, Butler reportedly said “Thank god Nirvana made it to the suburbs,” which is both meta and a commonly celebrated sentiment among music lovers.
Very excited to see the rest of Arcade Fire’s covers as they finish up the rest of their tour.