Aftermath: Houston Radio Friendly Unit Shifters Bid Nirvana's Kurt Cobain Happy 43rd

This past Saturday would have been Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's 43rd birthday, and to celebrate, a band of some of Houston's best indie and hardcore cats got together to throw down a set of covers at Big Star Bar in the Heights, billing themselves as Danneurysm.

Opening with "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" from 1993's In Utero, the band ran through 12 songs from Nirvana's short but volatile career. Black Congress' Dann Miller subbed for Cobain, nailing every wail and stage nuisance we all remember from the live clips and music videos. Jordan Graber and Mike Theobald held down the Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear parts, with Montrose drumming laureate Ryan Chavez filling in for Dave Grohl on vocals and skins.

Everyone assembled knew most every line and fill from each song, from "Drain You" to "Heart-Shaped Box," "Aneurysm," and "School." There was nary a missed note nor a flubbed vocal throughout their nearly hour-long set, even as the excited crowd in front threatened to destroy the equipment. On underrated B-side "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," which first appeared on the Beavis & Butthead Experience release, Miller laid down Cobain's trademark throat-clearing cough from the studio take for authenticity.

The night turned every musician and fanatic in the crowd into sweaty and salivating nostalgia-drunk children. Even the Polo-clad interlopers who made their way over from Cedar Creek got into the act, jamming out with everyone else and buying six-packs of beer from the bar and heading into the humid pit.

At the end of the set while the last chords of "Territorial Pissings" were still echoing out of the PA system, Miller took a reverse dive into the drum set just like Cobain had started doing in the early '90s at the end of Nirvana gigs.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty