Monday, June 24, 2013

Courtney Love Review

Courtney was amazing.  I cannot believe how much energy she put out there, despite a less-than-packed house.  Her outfit made perfect sense for her - a white wedding dress, outrageous red lipstick, and black undergarments clearly visible through her dress.  I shot a bunch of video, but I'm not going to post it here.  To me, the ubiquitous use of cameras at concerts is a bit disturbing, and when videos of entire songs end up on the internet, it seems that something has been stolen from the artist without permission.  I shot some video simply as something to remember the show by.

Here is one photo, but because I wasn't using a flash, things are kind of washed out.  Regretfully, it's not even possible to make out her red lipstick here.

But, if anyone is on the fence about seeing her, please go.  The show was short but she put everything she had into it.  Here is the set list:

Main Set:

Miss World (Hole song)
Skinny Little Bitch (Hole song)
Pacific Coast Highway (Hole song)
Violet (Hole song)
Malibu (Hole song)
Honey (Hole song)
Codeine (Buffy Sainte-Marie cover)
Asking for It (Hole song)
For Once in Your Life (Hole song)
Celebrity Skin (Hole song)


Awful  (Hole song)
Plump (Hole song)
Northern Star (Hole song)
Thirteen (Big Star cover)

I pretty much knew the songs she would play, although both of the covers were very nice surprises, especially Codeine.  So many of these songs are such raw punk songs that by the end of the show, Courtney's voice had taken a beating from screaming and growling her way through the songs.

Skinny Little Bitch was a surprise in the show.  It's a nice song on the last Hole album, but she just snarled her way through it.  The lyrics vary from R-rated to nearly X-rated (Baby, just go slower, Baby, just go lower) and she clearly had fun with this one.

Mono was a song I really wanted to see.  I think it's the best song on her solo album Nobody's Daughter, and it's got some scathing lyrics directed at God and (I think) at Kurt Cobain:

Oh god you owe me one more song
So I can prove to you that
I'm so much better than him
Oh god just gonna listen fast
Here comes the crash
We're gonna rise above
We're gotta smash it up
You won't abandon us again

The next verse is even more scathing in some ways, but it's clearly inappropriate to post here.  Plus she really just wails her way through this brilliant song.

Everything about the show was amazing.  One of the topics among fans on the floor was her current musical relevance.  The venue was not close to sold out and it was just the hard core fans that were there.  But, I pretty much defy anyone who likes this genre of music to see her and think she is irrelevant.

After the main set, she took off the wedding dress (it had been slowing coming undone anyway), and came back to stage wearing a white jacket (part of the wedding dress ensemble?) over some black lingerie and some very campy and ripped black stockings.  And at age 48, she could still pull it off.  She lit a cigarette very defiantly and started into the encore songs.  I was disappointed when Northern Star came up third, since this is her usual closer.  But, the Big Star cover was a bonus.

Worth every penny.  One of the best shows I've ever seen (and I've been to 100s of shows).  Certainly most intense ever.  Maybe Oingo Boingo could give her a run for intensity.  That's about it though.

I am so glad I made it to this show.  Yeah, if I'd missed it, I wouldn't know what I would have missed.  But knowing how amazing this was, I'm simply grateful for 75 or 80 minutes of live music by Courtney.

And for the record, the opening band, Starred, is also worth checking out.  In some ways, they were like Julee Cruise meets an early Jesus and Mary Chain wall of sound.  Very hypnotic in many ways.

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