Nirvana

Roma

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If, in the 1990s, you went to a CD swap meet that sold a lot of bootlegs, the amount of Nirvana titles could be staggering. The most obsessive collectors wouldn't hesitate to spend $500 or more on Nirvana alone and walk away with at least 20 or 25 Nirvana bootlegs, whereas collectors who were more budget-minded would try to determine which ones had the best sound quality and make their purchases accordingly. One Nirvana bootleg with which you can't go wrong is Roma, recorded live in Rome, Italy on February 22, 1994, the concert occurred less than two month's before Kurt Cobain's tragic suicide. A digital soundboard recording, Roma boasts excellent sound quality -- not just decent, but excellent -- and the band's set is outstanding. At the time, Cobain was battling his demons and losing the battle; he would unsuccessfully attempt suicide on March 4, but succeed in killing himself on April 5. Despite the emotional hell he was going through, Cobain gives first-rate performances throughout the concert, singing with as much conviction as ever on "Rape Me," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Heart Shaped Box," and other angst-ridden grunge gems. Roma was hardly the only bootleg that resulted from Nirvana's European tour of February 1994. There are many others, and the sound quality varies from one to the next, but those who come across the Rolling Disc label's version of Roma can rest assured that they won't be disappointed by either the sound or the performances.

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