A rapper whose music I cannot stand, playing a setlist full of songs from of one of my favorite bands of all time? What could possibly go wrong?
*New Text Message at 6:55pm*
David: "Are you watching this Post Malone Nirvana live stream?"
Michael: "Absolutely not, lol" David: "It's weird, his pitch is a little off for parts of it but there's something about his voice that that just makes it work" Michael: "Maybe I'll check it out later when it get posted to YouTube"
Let me start out by saying that I've always held Post Malone, as a person, in the highest regard. I've always viewed him as an absolute sweetheart, down to earth and musically passionate guy with not a single negative quality in regards to his character or personality. However, like most, if not all of today's rap music, I find Post Malone's music insufferable, it's just not for me. Then again, just about everybody knows me as an overly opinionated, pompous asshole when it comes to music, so no surprise there. Even though he's predominately a rapper on his records, one thing I've always admired about Post Malone is that always been extremely vocal about his love for rock music and occasionally plays acoustic covers at his shows. So what actually happened when Posty took up an opportunity to be a rock star for charity?
Being the judgmental prick that I am when it comes to music, I have to critique the performance and overall presentation, because that's just who I am, sadly.
My first impression, both him and his bass player were both wearing floral dresses, similar to the kind that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain used to don at shows. I thought it was pretty cool, but I thought he was trying a little too hard. Second, both Post and his rhythm guitar player are both playing Les Pauls.... Kurt Cobain NEVER played a Les Paul on any live or studio recording during Nirvana's existence, and Krist Novoselic never once played a Rickenbacker. Finally, Travis Barker is on drums, he's known for being the mesmerizing, virtuosic drummer for Blink-182 as well as the most popular and requested drummer to collaborate on rap/hip-hop songs; very cool, I love Travis as a drummer, but his style is the exact opposite of Dave Grohl's. Travis is more of a very quick, very clean drummer that can play a beat on top of anything and pull off mind-blowing drum fills as opposed to Dave's power house, hard and heavy hitting, play like you wants to break every single can of your kit kind of drummer. Off to a great start *eye roll*
First song plays, one of my favorites, "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle," a gritty, aggressive song with a self loathing chorus, driven by the lyrics of the tormented life of famed Seattle actress of the same name, Frances Farmer. Right off the bat, I was cringing at Post's attempt at trying to replicate Cobain's trademark raspy vocals. At first, he was rather shakey, and tried too much emulate that Cobain rasp. The analogy that was frequently used to describe Cobain's vocal style was as if he was boiling nails in his throat. As the song went on, his vocals were getting progressively better? I was honestly surprised. I figured, "am I even going to get through two songs here? Let's see what else he pulls out before I bail."
The second and third songs, "Drain You," and, "Come as You Are," the same issues arose, putting too much into trying to his vocal approach, completely out of tune, putting emphasis on lines that don't call for it, he was singing the wrong lyrics and I was ready to stick my head in the freezer. However I powered through it and gave it one last shot. I was then completely thrown for a loop when they broke into the fourth song, "Lounge Act," one of my absolute favorite Nirvana songs, they absolutely nailed this one and I couldn't have been any happier with it, I was now pulled in.
As the guys went though other Nirvana staples, "School," and "Heart Shaped Box," I couldn't stop smiling and enjoying every second of it. During the middle of the set, they did a few acoustic, very gentle and beautiful covers of, "Something in the Way," and, "About a Girl," even with a violin, and it was pure bliss.
Now, here's the turning point. This is where the, "review," stops, because it's completely unnecessary and rather shitty of me to be ridiculing a very sweet, great-spirited guy and his friends raising money for charity, for a frigging pandemic. At the end of the day this is just a very talented, very humble artist living out his rock star dream, playing his favorite songs from his favorite band with his friends, all while raising MILLIONS for the World Health Organization. This is fucking awesome.
This is the approach that I should have taken all along before even getting the first inkling of wanting to critique something as this, because its just evil. So, Post Malone, hats off to you, you're an incredible dude and took it upon yourself to shine a positive light on this crazy time we're all going through together, so why not bring the world together with great music and great vibes. This performance is going to change people's lives. I remember it like it was yesterday when I was a sad, scrawny and confused 14 year old boy and had stumbled upon Nirvana and changed my life forever. Post Malone is now opening that same door to millions of his fans all around the world to new music that they may have never discovered had it not been for this tribute gig.
For those of you that are of the legal drinking age, crack open an ice cold Bud Light, sit back and enjoy some great vibes, great music and a great performance for a great cause.
*Please Drink Responsibly*
Finally, for those of you that aren't overly familiar with Nirvana (which I hope are very few of you), if you find yourself really enjoying and of these songs and want to hear the originals, here's a playlist composed of every song played during the performance, enjoy!