Surviving Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear reunited Saturday night (January 4) for a one-off benefit set at Art of Elysium’s Heaven Is Rock and Roll gala in Los Angeles. Initially billed as Dave Grohl & Friends, the performance was only recently revealed to be a Nirvana tribute, and included guest vocals from Beck, St. Vincent, and Violet Grohl, Dave Grohl’s 13-year-old daughter—each of course filling in for Kurt Cobain.
The star-studded gala, which raised money for the Los Angeles arts nonprofit Art of Elysium, featured a five-song set from the supergroup. St. Vincent kicked things off with the Nevermind classic “Lithium,” followed by Beck’s rendition of “In Bloom.” Soon enough, the group proceeded with the Bleach standout “Been a Son,” with Violet Grohl joining in for “Heart-Shaped Box.” The band closed out the night with a cover of David Bowie‘s “The Man Who Sold the World,” with Beck on vocals, and St. Vincent on the guitar. The song was famously covered by Nirvana in their MTV Unplugged in New York set.
While usually front and center with Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl remained fairly tight-lipped behind the drums, introducing his daughter before “Heart-Shaped Box.” Krist Novoselic offered a few closing remarks before their “The Man Who Sold the World,” asking the crowd to cheer for Kurt, thanking Art of Elysium for hosting the event, and the guests and their management teams for making the performance possible.
Nirvana released three albums in their seven-year run—Bleach, Nevermind, and In Utero—before dissolving in 1994 following the death of Kurt Cobain. The band has reunited on multiple occasions in the last few years, performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2014 and at Cal Jam 2018.
Watch footage of their Art of Elysium benefit set below.
Holy smokes. @beck @foofighters @st_vincent lithium @ArtofElysium pic.twitter.com/s3BqqboBwf
— Jeff Miller (@jeffmillerla) January 5, 2020
“Nature is a whore.” @beck got in touch with his inner-#KurtCobain at @TheArtofElysium’s “Heaven” gala, which was more like a #Nirvana gala. But is that lyric from "In Bloom" eco-phobic? pic.twitter.com/ZuqwhTf3mk
— James Patrick Herman (@TheGlamourGuy) January 5, 2020
“Been A Son”
“The Man Who Sold The World” (David Bowie Cover)