I remember watching `Live! Tonight! Sold out!' at the peak of being a Nirvana fan and it was an amazing experience. If you are a Nirvana fan, then this is a great watch; but if you are a MASSIVE Nirvana fan, then this is so good it will make you crazy. I was expecting a concert style show with the band playing a set list of songs (which, if you look at the back cover of the case, is what you'll expect, too), but, because Kurt was behind the making of the video (there were no DVDs in 1993), we get something so much better. I get the feeling that Nirvana's record company wanted to cash in on Nirvana's popularity at the time and put out a simple live video to showcase the band live. Nirvana, however, probably thought that if they had to release a live video, then they would use it as an opportunity to make some points.
It starts off with an advert for a group of yuppie, pony-tailed consultants who are supposedly the cogs behind the live shows of any slick, well-oiled, big permed hair, Kiss make-up, big drum, mainstream rock band. This is exactly what Nirvana hated about rock - the commercialisation of it; the way that cutting loose and raging about something had become so contrived and phoney. The concert then looks like its about to get going as we see the band play a great version of `Aneurysm' in a small, intimate venue. At this point, you sit back, get comfortable, and look at the case to see what songs are coming next ... but then, at exactly the halfway point of the song, we cut to the band dressed in women's clothes and playing `Aneurysm' in a huge outdoor arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The vocals and the sound are no way near as good and it's as if the band is using the contrast to say 'this is why we hate playing at huge venues'.
The entire film chops and changes between various live performance of the supposed set list and interviews with the band. With the songs, the band have a number of surprises up their sleeve, and these will make your jaw drop ... and then make you grin. An old performance of `Love Buzz' seems to be going along as normal, but then Kurt dives into the crowd and smashes his guitar in the face of a bouncer. Krist confronts Kurt about this on stage and you see Kurt earnestly trying to get a point across to Krist. If you've read some Nirvana books, you'll know that the bouncer had been threatening him from the crowd all night and Kurt was simply pre-empting an attack. Other standouts include the screaming performance of `Territorial P*******' on the old Jonathan Ross show when the shocked host had just announced that Nirvana would be playing the milder 'Lithium' and the Top of the Pops performance of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' when the band sabotage the song, hilariously change the lyrics and blatantly mime playing their instruments.
The interviews and intermittent footage of the band messing around is equally as funny. No one really appreciated just how funny Nirvana was - for example, you see Kurt playing on his junkie image by frailly entering the Reading Festival stage in a wheelchair and a big blonde overgrown wig. He slowly pulls himself up out of the wheelchair by the microphone stand, faintly sings `Some say love is a river ...' and then collapses. The audience realise he is having some fun when he gets up and rips into `Breed' at full force. There are lots of other funny clips and also some very insightful moments when Kurt talks about the music, the industry and how he likes to write vague, open lyrics.
All in all, this is probably the best and most unique music video I have ever seen in my life. It's sad to think that no act in the music industry today would be creative enough to do something like this and, therefore, it is a great reminder of how special Nirvana was.