At the 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which took place last night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, one of the featured performances was by a band that’s famously and sadly incomplete. Nirvana was scheduled to perform, to mark their induction this year — almost exactly twenty years after the April 5, 1994, death of Kurt Cobain.
So the matter of how exactly that performance would go down was for a long time, according to Rolling Stone, a “tightly guarded secret.”
Now, the answers to that question — the multiple answers — have been revealed, and there’s video to go along. After a speech by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, the band took the stage with Joan Jett standing in as frontwoman to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” After that, Kim Gordon came up for “Aneurysm,” Annie Clark of St. Vincent for “Lithium” and Lorde for “All Apologies” (video above). Also in attendance was Courtney Love — a noteworthy fact for Nirvana fans, who’ll recall that she and the remaining band members have not always been on good terms — but Love did not sing.
The idea of having women step in for the absent Cobain fit well with what emerged as a theme for the evening. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, the evening’s inductees were largely male (as Rock Hall of Fame inductees tend to be), but women “owned” the ceremony.
Watch the Joan Jett video below: