Arcade Fire’s homestate-band tributes have become a regular feature on their Reflektor tour, so it was no surprise that the band threw a little Nirvana into the mix during their show in George, Washington on Friday night. Rather than performing a straight-up cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” however, Arcade Fire chose instead to mix in lines from the song at the opening and ending of their own Suburbs track “Rococo” (via Consequence of Sound).
Frontman Win Butler has often discussed the influence that Nirvana has had on him. On the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death earlier this year, he shared with the Associated Press the impact that he and his friends felt with the release of Nevermind. “All of a sudden, the whole kind of social dynamic at my junior high changed where these kind of misfit kids who maybe come from a broken home and they’re smoking cigarettes in the back and they didn’t have money for nice clothes were in a weird way on the same level as everyone else socially,” he said. “I was sort of like a weird kid who didn’t know where I fit in or whatever and just to have that kind of voice be that big in culture, I feel like that was a magical period of alternative music where we had Jane’s Addiction and R.E.M. and Nirvana. It was like seeing these kind of freaks from all the different cities of North America and you’re like, ‘Oh, wow.'”
Arcade Fire’s string of geographically-themed cover songs have so far included Prince’s “Controversy” in Minneapolis, Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly” in Philadelphia, Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” in St. Louis and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Hey Tonight” in Mountain View, California. Last week, they shook things up with a funky, sprawling take on the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune during a show in Los Angeles.