During the course of their Reflektor tour, Arcade Fire have been covering songs dependent on the city they’re playing in. This has included a cover of Boyz II Men’s “MotownPhilly” in Philadelphia, “Dust in the Wind” in Kansas City, and more recently “Axel F” in Los Angeles. So it only seems appropriate for them to cover Nirvana when performing in George, WA. Interpolating elements of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into “Rococo” sounds strange, but somehow they managed to make it work.
Win Butler has always said that Kurt Cobain is one of his biggest influences, so either way it was only a matter of time before a cover happened. It’s also worth noting that a lot of newer artists, or at least artists stemming from the early ’00s to late ’00s, are citing Kurt Cobain as a major influence more and more.
Annie Clarke aka St. Vincent recently spoke of her experience covering Kurt’s music: “The thing that was cool to remember was that they came up in that Olympia scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which was really feminist and queer and punk, which kind of gets whitewashed in their history.” She continued saying that covering Nirvana alongside Lorde, Joan Jett, and Kim Gordon “was a really nice way to honor that.”