Watch ‘Sirvana': Paul McCartney & Surviving Members of Nirvana Rock Sandy Benefit

Last night’s sold-out 12.12.12 Sandy Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden was one for the ages, as you might expect when 75% of the icons who define rock ‘n roll history convene in sonic unison under one roof. The Rolling Stones. Eric Clapton. Roger Waters. Bruce Springsteen. Kanye West. The Who. Pearl Jam. And of, course, Chris Martin of Coldplay, who is reliably present wherever a disaster needs to be relieved.

But the real stunner came when Sir Paul McCartney’s finely primed set took an experimental turn, and surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear, and Dave Grohl suddenly leapt onstage with him for a ‘jam session’. Shocking though this intrusion was (as witnessed by viewers’ slackjawed reaction), it was not as impromptu as it tried to seem; they’ve been practicing behind closed doors.

‘So recently, some guys asked me to jam with them’, McCartney joked onstage, before describing himself placed suddenly ‘in the middle of Nirvana reunion’. That unlikely collaboration yielded the brief, cathartic number, ‘Cut Me Some Slack’, which came off as both a shambolic yet engrossing live feat – one of those curious, afraid-to-listen-afraid-to-not moments that can only happen in hyperreal settings such as last night’s bonanza.

Photo: FACT Magazine

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