Denver got a double dose of throwback heaven in the form of Hervana on Friday, January 17 at the newest venue revamp, The Roxy, on South Broadway. The back-to-back, two-show evening featured the entire set of Nirvana’s iconically classic MTV Unplugged in New York live performance from the grunge gods off their 1994 album.
While Hervana may not be on your radar, you are likely very familiar with the local artists who made up the tribute band. Featuring Jen Korte of Lady Gang among other projects, Beth Rosbach of the Otis Taylor Band, Lauren Gale of Heart Nectar Healing, Kim O’Hara of Liptruce, Jess DeNicola of Jen Korte and the Loss among other projects, and Alana Dym of Coal Town Reunion, the band is star-studded to say the least.
Cozying up in the intimate and romantic space that is the Broadway Roxy, the room felt nostalgic and eerie. The memories that we all drudge up when we hear the name Nirvana carry with them an air of talent mixed with tragedy, and the group on stage preserved the honesty and raw appeal which the original grunge band embodied.
The rare, one-off set list that makes up Unplugged included more B-side tracks and unknown songs to showcase music that wasn’t on the top-ten list. Drummer Dave Grohl has been quoted as saying, “”We’d seen the other Unplugged’s and didn’t like many of them, because most bands would treat them like rock shows—play their hits like it was Madison Square Garden, except with acoustic guitars.”
Hervana transformed the space at Broadway Roxy into an emo, queer, safe haven, just as Nirvana did that night when they recorded the MTV Unplugged in New York session in exactly one take. The women decorated the space in candles and ruby red flowers, making it reminiscent of the funeral aesthetic of the live recording.
While Hervana was a one-off performance, just as the original Nirvana performance was, we are eager to see this collection of artists again, whether it’s playing their own music or covers.