Today in Philly music history: Nirvana headlined J.C. Dobbs in 1991

Collage of Nirvana at Dobbs, 10/1/91 |

Here’s a little slice of local rock lore: 22 years ago today, Nirvana headlined J.C. Dobbs’ for the second time, on tour in support of their newly-released Nevermind album. You can hear the entire set via YouTube below; according to the venue calendar you see pop up in the slideshow, the guys were performing (with The Melvins as an opening act) right after Scrawl headlined the venue and just before Yo La Tengo was set to play. Other events on the calendar, which may ring some bells with local music heads, include The Low Road, Dandelion, and the Mikey Wild Dance Party.

Additional tidbits and lore, per YouTube:

-The band requested extra monitors for the show because Kurt was sick with stomach pains, according to the venue’s publicist.
-The crowd was unhappy with the band’s choice not to play an encore, so they provoked the band with shouts of “sellouts!”

Listen to the set below, and check out the setlist after the jump. Previously: Happy 46th Birthday, Kurt Cobain! Watch Nirvana’s first Philly show at J.C. Dobbs in 1989.

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Drain You
Floyd The Barber
Smells Like Teen Spirit
About A Girl
Come As You Are
Been A Son


Documentary about J.C. Dobbs to screen at inaugural Liberty Music Fest

Not to be confused with the similarly-titled festival that the Phonographic Arts gang threw at The Level Room earlier this year, the inaugural Liberty Music Fest at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street showcases some 40 up-and-coming acts on two stages over the course four days. Some of the notable names on the lineup include Wilmington new-folk combo New Sweden (you can download their raging Key Session here), Philly rockers Black Stars, versatile local guitarist Ross Bellenoit and his band The Goods, emotive Americana trio The Parsnip Revolt, and many more. The festival begins on Aug. 16, runs through Aug. 19, and you can get the full lineup and set times here. Sure to be a highlight for longtime denizens of the Philly music scene is the opening night screening of Meet Me on South Street a look at the history of J.C. Dobbs by documentary filmmaker George Manney. Check out a trailer for the film below.


Happy 20th anniversary to Nirvana’s Nevermind; watch their set at J.C. Dobbs from July, 1989

Twenty years ago on September 24th, 1991, Nirvana released their seminal Nevermind. On October 1, 1991 they played at J.C. Dobbs. I was fortunate to be at the show. The song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was about to become a massive hit (thanks in part to the video the band made for it – see below) and you could feel the amazing energy in Dobbs that night as the band played. I remember thinking at the time that all of us were experiencing one of those rare “this is going to be really huge and potentially important kind of bands.” Turns out, we were right. You can download a bootleg of the show here via the Freedom Has No Bounds music blog. Below, watch Nirvana (as a four piece) from a show they performed at J.C. Dobbs in July, 1989.