Lorde is among four women who are headlining a Nirvana tribute performance at this year’s induction ceremony of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The line-up, consisting of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark and Joan Jett will all perform songs with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. The induction comes about a week after the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.
Lorde, who released her masterpiece début album, Pure Heroine, last year, has dominated the world of popular culture with catchy singles like “Royals” and “Team.” In January, she won the Grammy award for best new artist. In 2012, nobody even knew who she was, even though she has been playing music with the help of a manager since the age of 12. Now, she is on the radio every five minutes and she is playing with members of the grunge-rock outfit Nirvana.
Annie Clark, who released an album this year as St. Vincent, has met widespread critical acclaim for her successes and talent. In Chicago last week, she covered Nirvana’s seminal song “Lithium,” which lampooned her public profile as St. Vincent even more.
The performance began Thursday night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe opened the ceremony before the new Nirvana went on. Having Lorde as one of the headlining stars is an interesting and very nice choice. This year, Nirvana’s Novoselic did his own cover of her hit song “Royals.” It makes sense that she would be asked to do covers of their songs.
St. Vincent’s Clark was ecstatic to join Nirvana for their induction ceremony, citing them as a major reason that she performs music today. She reported that Nevermind was an album that changed her life when she heard it. Kim Gordon’s attendance in the band is especially poignant, as is Joan Jett’s, since they both have a history with the band dating back to the late 1980s. Sonic Youth spent a lot of time with Nirvana, not only attending their shows in 1989 and putting them in contact with a label company that would lead them to stardom, but the two bands also toured together in a massive effort between 1990-1991.
Though Lorde may look like a small fish in a pond full of big stars, she fit in perfectly with the rock stars on Thursday night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame InductionCeremony. Her attendance carried so much importance that the original plan for R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, a long time fan and personal friend of Cobain’s, to sing “All Apologies” was scrapped to make room for Lorde and her contemporaries. Although she was not even born at the time of Kurt Cobain’s death, his art has no doubt effected her profoundly. She took to twitter, as did Annie Clark and fans such as Sleater-Kinney’s and Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein. They all raved at the remarkable performances and opportunities, and in Lorde’s words: “they were true f****** rock stars.”
Opinion by Tyler Collins