Thursday night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn saw the last remaining Nirvana members – Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear – reunite and perform together live for the first time in 22 years. The group released their debut album, Bleach, 25 years ago and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
Legendary frontman Kurt Cobain’s slot at lead vocals was filled in by four female rockers. Lorde joined the group for All Apologies. Kim Gordon performed Aneurysm. St. Vincent sang Lithium, and Joan Jett took the lead on the signature hit Smells Like Teen Spirit. Dave Grohl was at his familiar place for the band on Drums, with Krist Novoselic handling Bass and Pat Smear manning the guitar.
The event was a celebration of current and past members. While the brilliant and tortured Cobain is not with us to accept the honors after his 1994 suicide, his legacy lives on in the sounds and messages that he helped to author. R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, another iconic figure in early 90’s rock who formally inducted the group, said of Nirvana’s style, “They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original.” Absent from the celebration was original drummer Chad Channing, who left the group becasue of crative differences around 1990.
Other notable inductees Kiss, Peter Gabriel from Genesis, and the E Street Band joined Nirvana at the 28th annual ceremony. The performance will air on HBO on May 31st.