Nirvana doing “Come as you are” at the ANU bar

johnboy 24 November 2010 20

[First filed: Nov 23, 2010 @ 16:15]

YouTuber Methstories has posted a bunch of videos from Nirvana’s infamous 1992 performance at the ANU Bar here in Canberra.

To give context to a night Canberra seems to want to forget he added this note:

Due to the low capacity of the venue, many people (more than a thousand, by one account) were left outside, trying to get in. Amidst the chaos, fights broke out, venue doors were broken down, and the police arrived in riot gear.

Those were some days.


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20 Responses to Nirvana doing “Come as you are” at the ANU bar
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dpm dpm 10:21 am 21 Sep 11

I was there standing outside. Not sure how many there were…
And the door/glass originally got broken by people trying to get out, as it was over-cramped and hot/steamy. There was plenty of condensation dripping off the door frames and windows and people! Of course, once 10 or so people came out, about 100 tried to get in. To which, Kurt said: “Whoa, we’re taking in water!”.

Didnt see any riot gear….

Skidd Marx Skidd Marx 10:10 am 21 Sep 11

Nirvana had agreed to play ANU while they were still relatively unknown. They reluctantly came back a year or two later to honour their contract by which time they were one of the biggest bands in the world.

djk djk 8:02 am 21 Sep 11

Just wanted to bump this thread after all the talk about the gig on JJJ this morning, and the 20th anniversary of the release of Nevermind on Friday this week.

Still get goosebumps listening to this record.

red_dog red_dog 9:55 am 24 Nov 10

Clown Killer said :

Oh the memories! I was in my Honours year at ANU, living in a share houe on Froggat St. in Turner. I picked up a ticket from a house mate who had just spilt with his girlfriend and was stuffed if he was going to let her use it. Didn’t really know Nirvana but enjoyed the show – if only for the complete and utter kaos!

Ahhhh … share houses in Froggat St! I spent many years living in one of those … now neatly replaced by a late-90’s monolith. I’d moved to a share house in Ainslie by the time I went to this gig. I’ve never seen the Refectory so packed … it was solid all the way back and up the stairs. They were most the loudest 3-piece I’d heard in there and when the lads ripped into ‘Teen Spirit’ the place went off. I remember the rush of cold air following the particularly solid crowd-surge which smashed the windows.

The days before the fire-regs. That was some gig!

Other great gigs from that period were Disposable Heroes supporting Sonic Youth. Public Enemy and Radio Birdman were superb gigs at the ANU Ref too.

aidan aidan 9:55 am 24 Nov 10

Huh?

In that last post:

Moderated = “Oh, and Violent Femmes at the Uni Bar (about 88, I think) must have been one of the most boring bands I have ever seen. They came across all born-again-christian.”

aidan aidan 9:53 am 24 Nov 10

CraigT said :

Did Nirvana come twice?
I saw them at the Uni Bar in 1991, don’t recall any police or window damage. Best concert I ever saw, just ahead of The Cure at the Uni Bar a couple of years earlier.

It was the summer of 91/92. So maybe someone has confused their dates.

I went. Don’t remember much except the sweat and broken windows when we came out at the end.

I’ve also seen Dinosaur Jr and They Might Be Giants at the Uni Bar . Giants were really really good. Seemed to be having heaps of fun. Dinosaur Jr (and the infamously introverted J. Mascis) were .. well .. somewhat remote.

Oh, and Violent Femmes at the Uni Bar (about 88, I think) must have been one of the most boring bands I have ever seen. They came across all born-again-christian.

I saw them at a different venue in 92. Best gig I have ever been too. Musicianship was top notch, they were tight as, and Gordon had this fabulous rapport with the audience.

lobster lobster 9:07 am 24 Nov 10

I bought this poster from a guy at the Jamison markets a little over a decade ago.
I framed it and it is now in my living room.

Chupachup Chupachup 8:23 am 24 Nov 10

Awesome. I was a massive Nirvana fan growing up, luckily I was only about 8 when this show happened so I don’t feel bad about missing it

The show that got away for me was Tool at ANU bar – Ænima era, think it was around 97 and sure I was only about 13 at the time but I would have gone along if it hadn’t sold out

I also cam across this interesting old thread on Riot
http://the-riotact.com/?p=6757

vg vg 7:53 am 24 Nov 10

There were no Police there in ‘riot gear’.

“Still blows my mind that Nirvana played the dingy refectory that is the ANU Bar. “

I’ve seen Midnight Oil (1985) and Iggy (1989) play there as well. Plenty of people who have played in far bigger areanas have played at the ANU Refectory

Clown Killer Clown Killer 6:58 am 24 Nov 10

My addled memory serves me not. The Violent Femmes would have been 1992 not 2002 (only a decade out).

CraigT CraigT 11:37 pm 23 Nov 10

Did Nirvana come twice?
I saw them at the Uni Bar in 1991, don’t recall any police or window damage. Best concert I ever saw, just ahead of The Cure at the Uni Bar a couple of years earlier.

Oh, and Violent Femmes at the Uni Bar (about 88, I think) must have been one of the most boring bands I have ever seen. They came across all born-again-christian.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 10:33 pm 23 Nov 10

I’d have to say that my favourite would be the Violent Femmes – would have been late February 2002 if my substance addled memory serves me correctly. Great show.

Brindabella Brindabella 10:24 pm 23 Nov 10

I remember seeing Faith No More at the uni bar. The bass player did the entire gig in his y-front undies.

Great show. I still have the guitar picks I took off of the top of their amps after the show was over.

Good one.

2604 2604 9:17 pm 23 Nov 10

Still blows my mind that Nirvana played the dingy refectory that is the ANU Bar.

No Doubt also played there back in the day IIRC.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 6:34 pm 23 Nov 10

Oh the memories! I was in my Honours year at ANU, living in a share houe on Froggat St. in Turner. I picked up a ticket from a house mate who had just spilt with his girlfriend and was stuffed if he was going to let her use it. Didn’t really know Nirvana but enjoyed the show – if only for the complete and utter kaos!

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 6:14 pm 23 Nov 10

where’s the video or did I get impatient too early?

    johnboy johnboy 6:27 pm 23 Nov 10

    it’s just audio with a poster, take what you can get.

TVStar TVStar 5:11 pm 23 Nov 10

I know a guy who did security for it: people just ran at the windows trying to get in!

Disposable Disposable 4:58 pm 23 Nov 10

3.43 – I did a radio interview with a station called Kix FM today….

That was awesome. I’d always read about him saying that.

niftydog niftydog 4:34 pm 23 Nov 10

Guy in crowd to nearby girl: “Well I can’t talk on performance, but I don’t think there’s anything exceptional about them!”

I wonder if she was more impressed by his trendy 90’s nonchalance or by Nirvana’s performance.

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