What did Nirvana play at their final gig before Kurt Cobain died?

6 April 2024, 12:00

My Best Friend's Girl (Live In Munich, Germany/1994)

We look back at the legendary grunge band's last performance with Kurt Cobain, just a month before his tragic death.

Radio X

By Radio X

On 1st March 1994, Nirvana played an intimate show in Germany- not knowing it would be their last.

Hot off the success of their 1993 In Utero album, Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl took to the stage at Munich's Terminal Einz (1) to play what was to be their final live appearance.

Perhaps most significantly, the band's setlist didn't feature a performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit- the track that catapulted them to fame. By this point, the song had become a prison for the band, and Cobain in particular.

Kurt Cobain performing live onstage with Nirvana at Palasport, Modena on 21 February 1994
Kurt Cobain performing live onstage with Nirvana at Palasport, Modena on 21 February 1994. Picture: Raffaella Cavalieri/Redferns/Getty Images

READ MORE: How old was Nirvana's Kurt Cobain when he died?

The band kicked off proceedings with a cover of The Cars' My Best Friend's Girl. Watch them perform the track in the video shared from the NirvanaVEVO account above.

What followed was some of their most hard-hitting tracks, including Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, Drain You and Breed.

See them perform Drain You from their 1991 Nevermind album: 

Nirvana - Drain You (Live In Munich, Germany/1994)

READ MORE: Dave Grohl reveals difficulty dealing with Kurt Cobain questions after his death

However, the gig at the 3,000 capacity venue - which doubled as a small airport hanger - was fraught with technical difficulties...

Six songs into their set, they were forced to stop playing Come As You Are due to a power outage and start again.

According to several reports, it was during this awkward moment that Krist Novoselic used his humour to lighten the mood, shouting "We're on the way out. Grunge is dead. Nirvana's over."

Little did he know how prophetic his joke would be....

Nirvana's last ever song came in the form of Heart-Shaped Box, the first single to be taken from their final album.  

Watch the official video for the single, which depicts Jesus on the cross:

Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box

Just over a month later, Kurt Cobain tragically took his own life on 5th April 1994. His body was discovered three days later.

There was nothing remarkable about the show at Munich, but it proved to be Nirvana's last ever live performance with Cobain. The surviving members of Nirvana have since reunited at special occasions, including Cal Jam 2018 and the band's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014.

See the setlist for Nirvana at Munich's Terminal 1:

My Best Friend's Girl (The Cars cover) ("Moving in Stereo" by The Cars was sung by Krist and Kurt as an outro)
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
Drain You
Serve the Servants
Come as You Are (aborted due to power failure and played again)
In Bloom
About A Girl
Pennyroyal Tea
Polly (Acoustic)
Very Ape
Lounge Act
Rape Me
Territorial Pissings


The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie cover)
All Apologies
On a Plain
Heart-Shaped Box

READ MORE - Dave Grohl: Hatred from Nirvana fans spurred me on with Foo Fighters

How to get help with Mental Health: get some useful information here