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Live At Reading Image
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 144 Ratings

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  • Summary: The entire performance by Nirvana at 1992's Reading Festival is released both as a CD and DVD.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Live at Reading presents the band at its post-Nevermind peak. Watching Kurt Cobain radiate so much life is bound to trigger some tears.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. 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.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. AndrewM.
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    All i can say is amazing! There is definitely something special about this show. It sounds better than ever and the video quality is great. All i can say is amazing! There is definitely something special about this show. It sounds better than ever and the video quality is great. The band rocks with an intensity that continues right through until the end. Kurt's voice sounds awesome, and it boggles my mind how it can last through 25 songs and sound just as great on the last song as it did on the first. The bass is full and clear, very solid playing from Krist. And Dave looks like he's really enjoying himself as he pounds out the beats and fills with power and precision. The guitar sound is massive as well. Kurt avoids playing the solos note for note like the album version, ( Save Come As You Are) opting instead to play as dissonant and random as he possibly can . Pretty cool light show during the solos as well. Very tight rhythm playing from kurt as well. Check this dvd out! You won't be disappointed. Expand
  2. AlexB.
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    This album really rocks! Live at Reading is a classic moment for Nirvana's fans. An amazing concert and a great album.
  3. FrankieB.
    Dec 10, 2009
    10
    Whenever something gets critical acclaim on this site im a little bit skeptical, but i have to say that metacritics rating is completely on Whenever something gets critical acclaim on this site im a little bit skeptical, but i have to say that metacritics rating is completely on the money. Nirvana in my opinion is the second best alternative rock band of the 90's (Helmet i consider the best overall 90's alt rock band, my criteria putting value on how much music they influenced, the bias of how well they speak to me as an individual, and the inevitable bias of "how popular they were". I understand Nirvana sold over ten times as much as Helmet but for some reason to me Helmet has a little more power). The ENERGY of this disc is FUCKIN AMAZING. Prior to hearing Live At Reading, it was AWHILE before i felt genuinely invigorated by a rock album. I was actually feeling depressed about the music industry in general until i heard this cd. When i heard the frenetic energy of this music, and Kurt Kobain's agonized, quirky delivery, I felt as rebellious and pissed off as i did when i was 15, and i mean that as the highest praise i can think of. I also recognize "School" as one of the most cathartic rock anthems ever made. All the material covered on this, which is mostly from Bleach and Nevermind and a handful of tracks from In Utero, are performed at the pinnacle of cathartic intensity. Expand
  4. DakotaG.
    Nov 9, 2009
    10
    Any rock band who dreams of hitting it big must watch this concert from start to finish.
  5. Aug 9, 2018
    10
    Forget about virtuosity and god's stage postures. The raw, direct, simple and full-of-message Nirvana sound appears here in a very irreverentForget about virtuosity and god's stage postures. The raw, direct, simple and full-of-message Nirvana sound appears here in a very irreverent and full-of-energy live show, which emulates punk's attitude but still with band's identity. An exciting spectacle. Expand
  6. JoseC.
    Dec 17, 2009
    10
    A Perfect Capturing of a Moment in Time in which Nirvana Captivated the World with their music, and we Forever knew no peer to Cobain.
  7. PaulS.
    Nov 26, 2009
    7
    I don't understand music critics. Why does nearly every single music album have a near perfect score? Nirvana isn't THAT good. I don't understand music critics. Why does nearly every single music album have a near perfect score? Nirvana isn't THAT good. Sure, it's an OK, but no where near the score it was given. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews