A live performance appears on the band's 1994 home video, Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! It was recorded at the Roskilde Festival on June 26, 1992 in Roskilde, Denmark. Another live performance of "On a Plain" from Nirvana's show at the Paradiso Club in Amsterdam on November 25, 1991 appears on the 2006 DVD re-release of Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!. An early 1991 rehearsal of "On a Plain" can be found after the credits have ended on the DVD version of Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!.
"On A Plain" was recorded in the key of D Major with Cobain tuning his guitar down to drop D. The song starts with a noise intro played by Cobain with an audible handclap. After a short pause the main riff comes in with the power chords D5-G5-F5-E5-F5-E5-D5 played twice then followed by the power chords D5-C5-B5-A5 followed by the first progression again. The chord progressions are played twice for all verses followed by the power chords D5-G5-Bbmaj7sus2 for all choruses. After the second chorus a bridge is played with the power chords F5-E5-A5-G5. The song then goes onto the third verse followed by a final chorus which is treated as the outro with the words, "I'm on a plain/I can't complain" being repeated multiple times until all instruments and main vocals start fading out until the last thing that's heard is a vocal harmony Ooooing.