Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. However delayed Live at Reading‘s official release is, thankfully fans can finally rejoice and celebrate its long-awaited arrival. Few live shows are able to communicate a band’s heart and soul the way Nirvana’s is brilliantly encapsulated here.
  2. So it’s good, but given the large amount of quality Nirvana concert stuff out there, does Live At Reading really have much by way of USP? Probably, yeah, if only because it's the band's sole full electric gig commercially available.
  3. This Reading appearance-released for the first time on the CD/DVD package "Live at Reading"-captured the trio's skill at turning simple power chords into some of the most memorable rock anthems of the '90s.
  4. The official release of Nirvana’s headlining performance at the 1992 Reading Festival feels at once indescribable and quaint.
  5. Live at Reading is a corrective to all that [i.e. journals, Guitar Hero], a reminder that nothing so trivial could ever sully music as irreducible as this.
  6. Live at Reading effectively grants you side-stage access to the band in their mosh-pit-stoking, drum-set-toppling, putting you as close to the action as the band's mysterious friend Tony, who's seen flailing onstage throughout the show like an epilpetic Bez.
  7. Hints of this could be heard on the live comp From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, but this is a complete document of Nirvana in full flight and one of the greatest live rock & roll albums ever.
  8. 90
    Nirvana's headlining gig at the 1992 Reading Festival looms infamously large because of (a) that amazingly creepy photo of Kurt getting wheeled onto the stage looking like Norman Bates' mother, and (b) the show was a mind-blower--sloppy indie rock as stadium-filling psychedelic punk.
  9. Reading is a far cry from pop-chart fodder. And while the jarring howl of Cobain's Fender and his gravelly delivery may alienate the more nonchalant corners of their fanbase, these ferocious renditions will be a godsend to the dyed-in-the-wool Nirvana following.
  10. 60
    This is a fierce live performance by a band who didn’t always manage to hold things together onstage. It catches Nirvana at maximum intensity, aware of, but not disabled by, the contradictions that tormented Cobain and would eventually tear him asunder.
  11. New DVD/CD combo Live at Reading rides the wave of mutilation that was Nevermind, but its best moments dump Bleach, the busy shoot pausing to catch Cobain picking out debut detention "School."
  12. Live at Reading presents the band at its post-Nevermind peak. Watching Kurt Cobain radiate so much life is bound to trigger some tears.
  13. Nirvana launch into a 90-minute onslaught of fugly-beautiful grunge-guitar fury.
  14. It’s a monster of a concert film in any case, with a band at the height of its powers--and not yet totally sick of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'
  15. 93
    Songs like these are why Nirvana was king and this show proves why the band was peerless. Suddenly Nirvana is everything to me all over again. [[Holiday 2009, p. 92]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Apr 10, 2012
    A brilliant live album from a brilliant band. Personally I find with most recorded live performances the quality isn't that great, but Nirvana is an amazing band both in the studio and live and this album reveals that. A must have for fans. Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2012
    I'm not really one for live albums to be honest but this is one that's really worth having and is a must have if your a Nirvana fan. Where the sound quality isn't always up to scratch on their "Muddy Banks" live record, it's top quality here. Cobains vocals are as clean as you could hope for as well. Tracks from Nevermind dominate the setlist but you've got the best tracks from Bleach on there as well as the few from In Utero that were around at the time. Its a great snapshot of the bands live energy for those who (will) never get to see them in the flesh. Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2012
    I wasnt alive when Nirvana was around and when they ended. But after hearing my dad listen to there albums when i was 5-6 i fell in love with them. This is a classic album enough said Full Review »