Courtney Love’s performance during the Hole show at The Tabernacle Wednesday night was pretty close to flawless, damn it. We all read the review in the Washington Post and were expecting a train wreck; even looking forward to it. But no... Courtney pulled the punkest move possible; she rose to the occasion and put on a killer show. Her banter with the crowd between songs was charming, her execution of everything from “Violet” and “Doll Parts” to a cover of Big Star’s “Thirteen” were pretty much impeccable.
She even came across as likable on stage.
Did I just step into the Twilight Zone? This was not the same woman that has been making a grotesque public spectacle of herself over the years, but a gracious, sweet 40-something rocker that had her act together. This was the good Courtney and she was backed by a band of hired guns. They looked like Sunset Strip studio hands, and their non-intrusive stage presence seemed to rein in the overall performance, and maintain an even keel thoughout — even the newer, acoustic guitar songwritery moments from the Nobody's Daughter didn't sound bad.
The show opened with a mid-length cover of the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and included more covers by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Nine Inch Nails. By the end of the two-hour set Courtney’s voice was fried and she was having a hard time getting through the screamier songs, but that’s a paltry thing to nitpick in light of her exemplary behavior.
Poor Courtney is an easy target, and it’s beneath me to attack her TMZ style. But what makes her such a lightning rod for so much contempt? This is something I’d been milling over during the week leading up to Hole’s show. Academically speaking there’s a laundry list of things to throw out here.
For starters, Love came up in the same time and region from whence the Riot Grrrls staged their third wave of feminism on a united front. But when given the chance she punched out that movement’s leader, Bikini Kill vocalist Kathleen Hanna, thus ending any alliances there.
She married Kurt Cobain, so there’s the Yoko Ono factor, and thirdly, there really aren’t any other women in shock rock that have drawn as much attention to themselves as she has done. Furthermore, Courtney has always been the missing link between the more legit Pacific Northwest take on “grunge,” for lack of a better term, and the whole heroin chic thing — Manhattan's co-opting of the grunge thing. She occupies a strange space that’s all her own and people just don’t know what to do with her. Acting out in public in a drug-addled haze has been par for the course. But her show on Wednesday night cast her in an entirely new light.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?