The Animals I’ve Trapped

One of my favorite live videos. Seattle, 1991. You can hardly make out the band in the corner of the room, blocked by the lethargic crowd. Jean shorts. Bleached hair. “And the animals I’ve trapped…”

You can’t see Cobain. His voice is big and raspy and it commands the music store. You can see Novoselic’s arm rise up in the air and his face plunge forward at the front row as Grohl plays the heavy drum fill into the chorus. Heads banging.
The kids don’t know the lyrics, because this show took place one week before Nevermind came out, even though Nirvana played the song out since 1990.
“‘Cause they don’t have any feelings…”
The kids respond to drums and guitar amps twisting out distortion. As soon as the drums hit hard they all stop looking around and talking with their friends to bang heads. It’s involuntary.
I love the friends at the beginning of the video, dead center, before the song even starts, while Cobain tunes his guitar, who laugh at each other and point to the ceiling, indicating that they have every intention of lifting their bleach blonde friend up over their heads so he can surf the crowd, with that “you’re going up, dude,” grin. By the first chorus, a minute and a half into the song, he’s already being passed around in the palms of the crowd.
It’s righteous.


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