(photo of the marquee at The (gorgeous!) Wellmont Theatre in NJ)
She's a bitch, she's a lover she's a child' she's a mother, and she is back and better than ever.Courtney's new face and revamped Hole lineup shredded the Wellmont Theater with no remorse last Friday night in Montclair New Jersey. It's safe to say that the coveted queen hot mess cleans up real nice playing a strong set of classic Hole favorites like " Miss World", "Doll Parts" and "Violet" amongst her brand new songs off of "Nobody's Daughter".
You can't deny that her musical, social and personal track record have replicated a similar feeling as to when someone views a car wreck on the side of the road. You are not sure you want to see the end result, but you know you don't want to look away. The ins and outs of rehab, coping with family crisis and confronting former hubby Kurt Cobain's death in 94, has definitely made for some interesting and often jaw dropping news coverage over the years, but America's grunge goddess has been clean as a whistle for over a year now and it shows powerfully.
(Courtney Love on stage)
Love's ability to rebuild and reinvent herself is an immense part of her alluring magnetism. As soon as she set stage and opened up with "Skinny Little Bitch", her current single off the new record, the audience found themselves pleasantly surprised. She was without question completely engulfed in her element, and appeared to lose all of her inhibitions. Courtney was sharp as a tack. Her time away from the stage was not wasted, and we were delighted with what she brought to the table. Love also threw in a couple of cover songs for good measure, including a strikingly raw and strangely sultry rendition of Nine Inch Nail's "Closer". The set was brought to a finale by paying homage to the late great Alex Chilton from Big Star with a sweet and raspy interpretation of "Thirteen".
Although the band's set was intensely enjoyable, complete with Love's coy piss and vinegar banter, her new line up left me feeling they were reluctant to interact with the audience or the other band members. It was almost as if they were content to stand in the background and let Courtney do her thing. Her delivery did make up for the lack of connection between her and the other band members, in fact the contrast really allowed her to shine. It was almost as if she herself had forgotten she was on stage, and suddenly her performance felt very intimate, even in a very large cavernous space.
(Lauren Rubin, author of this post on the left, Susan Juvet of BUST on right, matching leopard was unplanned!!)