Watch Dave Grohl's first ever performance with Nirvana in this rare footage from 1990

Dave Grohl
(Image credit: KMazur/WireImage)

On October 11, 1990, Dave Grohl played his very first show with burgeoning grunge stars Nirvana. The performance took place in the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, Washington.

Vocalist/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic first caught wind of Grohl's drumming when Melvin's frontman Buzz Osbourne took them to watch him in action with his previous band, Virginia hardcore group Scream, in San Francisco in August 1990. On watching the set, Cobain said, “That’s the kind of drummer we need", and later flew Grohl out to the Pacific Northwest for an audition after Scream's disbandment. 

Speaking of his first impression of Grohol, Novoselic later recalled: “We knew within two minutes that he was the right drummer. He was a hard hitter. He was really dynamic. He was so bright, so vital, so hot. He rocked.”

After joining the band, replacing Chad Channing, who was fired in June of that year, Grohl was tasked with debuting his talents in a live setting just a few days later. Despite his obvious flair behind the kit, the short time frame would assumedly prove challenging, considering the amount of songs he was required to learn for his first show.

Nirvana played a total of 20 tracks across the night, kicking off with a cover of The Vaselines' Son Of A Gun, before continuing with Molly's Lips and D-7, both of which were played only in part due to power outages - it certainly wasn't the smoothest debut for the young Grohl.

In spite of the initial hiccups, the trio powered through, firing out material from their debut album Bleach and then-still-unreleased songs from Nevermind, which would be released in September '91. At the end of the set, Nirvana signed off with a four-track encore formed of Love Buzz, Scoff, Sliver and Turnaround. 

Watch rare footage of the gig below:

Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters have just released a second song, Under You, from their forthcoming But Here We Are album, which is due on June 2.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.