Tuesday, August 6th 2013
Shows: Courtney Love
Maybe a disclaimer is necessary or maybe it’s overdone, but when it comes down to it, anything involving Courtney Love sparks some sort of backlash. If you love her, great. If you hate her, I might have a few ideas why. I personally do not have the best of feelings toward the woman, but I can’t deny that her music is enjoyable. Maybe it’s my need for a woman who is willing to kick, scream, and fight for what she wants – because lord knows there isn’t much of that in 2013 – but that’s a different article to be written. For now, I’m setting all of my weird, conflicting, negative feelings toward the Hole front woman aside and genuinely admitting that she put on a fantastic show.
Given that Courtney Love has very little to promote at this point in time, aside from long running promises for future music, it was strange to hear the announcement of a tour. It was especially surprising to see the woman headline a tour without the word “Hole” anywhere to be seen. But while the setlist was heavily occupied by Hole hits, the majority being from 1994′s hit album Live Through This, Love kept the attention on herself and herself only.
Playing for just under two hours, Love and her band stopped only once for a short encore break, giving the singer enough time for a wardrobe change. While expectations of drama and controversy hung in the air, disappointment was quickly felt. It was evident that this show was going to be very tame, perhaps based on the fact that this is the most professionally Love has presented herself in the last twenty years. But that is not to say her attitude was the only noticeable change. I, myself, almost stopped in my tracks when I first heard her voice last night, considering the fact that her more recent vocal performances have rivaled that of mangled felines. As the minutes passed, I found myself more and more impressed.
One slight flare in the breezy evening, however, came when an audience member thought it would be a good idea to throw a can of beer on stage. Love promptly picked up the item and allowed her voice to strain. “This hasn’t happened in ten years, seriously?” she groaned before tossing her hands up, “Two more songs and that’s it.” Her threat was met with opposition, to which she gave in, but not before threating the offender with a “wheatgrass colonic, infused with Elmer’s Glue” and later that she would take “forty years worth of used tampons and shove them up his anus.” There she was. The crowd got what they came for.
Overall, the show was nowhere near mindblowing. If it were any other artist, I wouldn’t even take the time to speak about it, but for it being Courtney Love, I was pleasantly surprised. The performances might have been underwhelming and the setlist full of safe bets, but she was a new kind of performer and I won’t ignore that.