Remember Whensday- Nirvana at Reading Festival

remember whensday

Written by Brenda Herrera

Every decade has its own voice that leads some phenomenal music revolution that is better than the last. Whether they wanted to be or not, Nirvana was the voice of their generation that not only defined the genre of grunge but influenced some of the most established bands today like Cage the Elephant, Foo Fighters, Green Day. On this Remember Whensday let’s remember August 30th, 1992 when perhaps the most influential band of its time headlined the Reading Festival in their most memorable performance ever.

Stage right in a wheelchair with the assistance of journalist Everett True enters Kurt Cobain dressed in a white hospital grown with blonde wig. As the crowd cheers the speaker sympathetically proclaims, “It’s too painful, this is too painful.” Kurt approaches the mic only to collapse onto the stage floor just seconds afterwards. This unexpected gesture occurred in response to the excessive amount backlash from media reports over Cobain’s mental health and drug addiction. By then Cobain had been accused of being as a useless drug addict by some journalists but despite the controversies surrounding the band at the time they still play through

Opening with the high-strung song “Breed,” Nirvana went on stage to give the audience a show filled with a high-energy set list ensuring the band was more than just the hype. Drummer of Nirvana and rock legend David Grohl recalls the endless sea of audience singing along to the sweet and solemn opening of “Lithium.” Aside from the controversy surrounding Cobain at the time, members from the band like Grohl did not anticipate Reading Festival to go as well as it did. It was reported that the band had only rehearsed once for it and the show was on the road to being disastrous. Fortunately for them it boosted them as a band tremendously and seemed to temporarily heal the band. However, a little more than two years later Cobain found the end in his own death. His demise left behind more than enough fans to appreciate the band’s short-lived legacy. Had it not been for Nirvana’s bold choices and defiance of society many would not hold them to such regards as they do now. Nirvana reminded their generation and generations to come to speak loudly and against society. That is why we will never forget Reading Festival 1992.

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