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20 Years Ago: Nirvana’s Last Concert

Five weeks before Kurt Cobain‘s body was found in his Seattle home, Nirvana performed their final concert. On March 1, 1994, the band played an omen-filled show at Terminal 1 in Munich, Germany.

According to Antiquiet, by the time Nirvana reached Munich, Cobain was suffering from bronchitis as a result of the rigors of their European tour. The night seemed to begin smoothly enough, with an impromptu cover of the Cars‘ ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ (embedded above) before moving into ‘Radio Friendly Unit Shifter’ and ‘Drain You.’ But a few songs later, during ‘Come as You Are,’ the power went out.

Bassist Krist Novoselic noted the Spinal Tap-like circumstances and said, “We’re not playing the Munich Enormodome tonight. ‘Cos our careers are on the wane. We’re on the way out. Grunge is dead. Nirvana’s over. . . our next record’s going to be a hip-hop record!”

After a brief delay, the power returned, and the band picked up where they left off, albeit removing the next song on the printed setlist, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ The 23-song concert ended with ‘Heart-Shaped Box.’ At 80 minutes, it was the shortest show of the tour.

Because of Cobain’s health, Nirvana canceled the rest of their European dates and Cobain flew to Rome to recuperate. Three days later, he was rushed to the hospital after overdosing on champagne and Rohypnol, which he had been taking to relieve the chronic stomach pain he had been suffering from for much of his adult life. At the time, it was suspected that overdose was accidental, but in the aftermath of his death, it was acknowledged that it was a suicide attempt.

A month later, on April 5, Cobain shot himself in his home. His body was discovered by an electrician three days later.

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