Elvis fronted Nirvana or Elvana as they are known took to the stage at a packed out o2 in Leeds to deliver a mammoth two hour set that was one of the strangest, most high energy but best performances I have seen all year.
First up on the stage was the Newcastle synth-pop band Bandaged Moon. The band delivered a fantastic thirty-minute set that got the crowd moving and dancing warming them up perfectly for Elvana.
After a short break it was time for the headliners Elvana. The band tore onto the stage and instantly turned things up to eleven with Nirvanas ‘Territorial Pissing’ getting the venue bouncing from the off. Elvana continued the high energy playing a range of Elvis and Nirvana songs with the front man Elvis expertly working the crowd keeping everybody jumping throughout.
It was around a third of the way into the set that things started to get strange with a phrase that I admittedly never thought I would hear was coined. However it did become reality and there really was an Elvis Presley circle pit which had the crowd spinning up a frenzy along to the song ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. This was quickly followed by the classic Nirvana track ‘Rape Me’ keeping the crowd bouncing.
Elvis took a quick break at this point and the crowd were treated to a song from the lead guitarist. One costume change later and Elvis returned to the stage and again powered through a range of Elvis and Nirvana songs keeping the energy at 100%. One of the major highlights of the night came when Elvana started playing the fantastic ‘A Little Less Conversation’ which really got the venue rocking however the band then transferred seamlessly into ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which figuratively and almost literally took the roof of the place.
After one more track he band left the stage however the absence was short lived and Elvis returned to the stage and treated the crowd to Nirvanas Acoustic track ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’. This was followed by another very strange moment. Elvis hosted the Elvana Miss World Pageant and introduced the rest of the band in a pageant style and even Elvis had to admit that this was weird. Elvis then left the stage again and the backing singer took the lead with the song ‘Miss World’.
After one final costume change Elvis returned to the stage for the final leg of the gig and despite Elvana closing in on the two hour mark the energy was not dipping and they were still going at 100% as was the crowd. During the Nirvana Song ‘Heart Shaped Box’ Elvis made the slightly risky decision to come out right into the middle of the audience and bounced and partied with the crowd.
Elvana closed the show with my personal favourite Elvis song ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and two classic Nirvana tracks, ‘Lithium’ and ‘All Apologies’. It was during he last two tracks that the giant balloons were released and these bounced around with the crowd until the end of the show.
All Reasonable logit dictates that an Elvis fronted Nirvana band should not work but for some strange reason it does and in spectacular fashion. It is also clear that whilst this is in effect a glorified tribute band these are clearly supremely talented musicians. If you have even a passing interest in either Elvis or Nirvana, or if you just want to have a fantastic action packed evening you should definitely go and see Elvana.
That’s Alright Mamma
School/In The Ghetto
Blue Suede Shoes
A Little Less Conversation/Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Where Did You Sleep Last night
Can’t Help Falling In Love/Heart Shaped Box
About a Girl/Now or Never