Final Nirvana Show in Philly Remembered on its 30th Anniversary
30 years ago today, November 8th, 1993, Nirvana played their final show in Philly on the “In Utero” tour. The show was at the Armory at 32nd and Lancaster Ave. in University City. The Breeders and Half Japanese were on the bill in support.
The historic National Guard armory and multipurpose venue is also known as the 32nd Street Armory or Drexel Armory due to its close proximity to Drexel University’s campus. The building was built over 100 years ago dating back to 1916, and houses administrative offices, a gymnasium, and a drill hall.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, two years prior to Nirvana’s last Philly show. The Armory is still currently used for concerts, art gatherings, conventions, and more. The venue holds about 3,000 people with bleachers and standing room areas.
Concerts at the Armory
The Armory held all sorts of cool shows over the years, including Cypress Hill with House of Pain, Funkdoobiest, and The Whooliganz in October of 1993. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Ruder Than You, Love Seed Mama Jump, Mr. Greengenes, and others played there that same month.
It also hosted Run-DMC, Method Man, Wu-Tang Clan, Warren G, Naughty By Nature, Dogg Pound, Craig Mack, Notorious B.I.G., and Kid Capri in December of 1994, Goldfinger in 1996, and many more legendary shows.
Nirvana had just released their third studio album In Utero a little over a month prior to this show. The songs were still fresh in the minds of the fans in attendance. The Breeders were touring in support of their recently released sophomore album Last Splash, which was a huge album for the band featuring their biggest hit “Cannonball.”
The very next night, November 9th, 1993, Nirvana, The Breeders, and Half Japanese played the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, marking the final area appearance ever from Nirvana.
The band would remain out on the road touring in support of In Utero through most of January and February in 1994. Nirvana would play their final show ever with Kurt Cobain on March 1st, 1994 in Munich, Germany. Cobain was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound a little over a month later in April of 1994.
Whether you were fortunate enough to see Nirvana early on in the JC Dobbs days, or maybe you were at The Armory on this day 30 years ago, consider yourself very lucky!
With only three studio albums released, Nirvana is on of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, their first year of eligibility.
Nirvana – “In Utero” Tour 1993 @ The Armory Philadelphia (November 8th, 1993)
- Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
- Drain You
- Serve the Servants
- About a Girl
- Heart-Shaped Box
- In Bloom
- Come as You Are
- Pennyroyal Tea
- Milk It
- Rape Me
- Territorial Pissings
- Smells Like Teen Spirit
- All Apologies
- Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam (The Vaselines cover)
- On a Plain
- Scentless Apprentice
Nirvana @ Stabler Arena (November 9th, 1993)