Matt Cord

Weekdays 9:00am - 2:00pm

Two legendary gigs, two years apart: July 12th was the day to be at J.C. Dobbs on South Street. Nirvana tore up the tiny club in 1989 to a crowd of just over 100 people when their debut LP Bleach was only a month old. It was their very first show in Philadelphia, and you can stream it here in all of its early grunge glory:

On the same date in 1991, Pearl Jam played at Dobbs. We don’t have the footage, but Eddie Vedder remembers it well. You get an idea of how much energy was contained in the venue in this photo shared by the band a while back – it was small, but mighty! You can also hear bootleg audio from the night here.

A month after that show, Ten would be released, catapulting Pearl Jam into unexpected stardom and steering the sound of rock music further into grunge territory.

J.C. Dobbs hosted plenty of other acts in the 80s and 90s that are now household names; Green Day, Rage Against the Machine, and Tool are among them. The club since changed ownership numerous times, and we hear that the doors of 304 South Street may reopen in the near future.


Setlists via

Nirvana at J.C. Dobbs on July 12th, 1989

  1. School
  2. Floyd the Barber
  3. Love Buzz (Shocking Blue cover)
  4. Scoff
  5. About a Girl
  6. Spank Thru
  7. Paper Cuts
  8. Moustache
  9. Big Cheese
  10. Polly
  11. Sifting
  12. Blandest
  13. Dive
  14. Negative Creep
  15. Blew

Pearl Jam at J.C. Dobbs on July 12th, 1991

  1. Wash
  2. Once
  3. Even Flow
  4. State of Love and Trust
  5. Alive
  6. Oceans
  7. Jeremy
  8. Why Go
  9. Porch
  10. Alone
  11. Breath

— by Sara Parker