Let me start off by saying that before Saturday night’s HOLE concert, I had little daydreams about Noel Fielding coming to the show (not realizing he had his own that night) and befriending Courtney Love. Because, oh man, what a pair they’d be. And lo and behold the universe had already brought these two pals together — though not that night and not in my presence.
I’d never seen Courtney Love perform live before and I was blown away. A total powerhouse. She had more personality in her voice than she does on the albums; she sounded beautiful; she was loud and powerful. Smoking on stage during a few of the slower numbers was somehow impressive and her only real ‘bad’ behavior. Maybe up close you can see she looks a little different than she used to but from the audience she looked effing amazing.
The set was full of stuff from (my favorite of the band’s albums) Live Through This as well as Celebrity Skin and the new record Nobody’s Daughter. They also did covers of “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Play with Fire” (Rolling Stones), “Closer” (NIN), ummm a Leonard Cohen song that I don’t recall the name of and maybe something else. All beautiful.
Of course, I had a giant nostalgia party. I was with two friends, one of whom was the girl who got me into Hole in the first place. She’s now a doctor with a family and a house and a grown-up life and there she was — jumping up and down with the crowd, scream-singing along to “Violet.” When we went to the record store to get Live Through This back in 1994, we went to the W section, looking for the Whole album. Yep. We were cool. Then back at my pal’s house, we listened to it while working on our extra credit math assignment (about mathematics in nature — the patterns of spider webs, etc) and my friend turned her stereo down whenever Courtney swore so her parents wouldn’t freak out.
Sixteen years later, the album stands up. As does Ms Courtney Love. Mad respect for her.