By Ellen Eldridge
A look of expected yet hopeless acceptance appeared on the faces of fans who enjoyed an entertaining and prompt show by opening act Foxy Shazam only to wait nearly two hours for Hole to take the stage. Voices in the audience discussed the anticipated act, “I heard this was gonna be a train wreck” was answered with, “I believe Creative Loafing used that exact phrase in its Go section announcing the show.”
A general feeling of will this be worth it? hung across the half-filled Tabernacle like heavy smoke, but Courtney Love, the babe of the brand Hole, arrived onstage confessing, “I’m a little late” with a giddy expression and pouty lips. (More pictures below)
Her performance with the latest lineup of Hole at Atlanta’s Tabernacle made it easy to understand why some fans were severely disappointed and others enjoyed a show they had waited years to get a chance to see. Though her arrogance and unprofessionalism were scorned by some, others enjoyed a good show despite hoarse vocals and a short set. The band opened with “Pretty on the Inside” and rolled into a Rolling Stones cover of “Sympathy For The Devil.” Courtney seemed in genuine form as she smiled and waved to her adoring fans; people who may not have noticed she barely strummed her guitar and the band behind her deserved most of the musical credit.
Again, her distinct vocals and personality are what make Love a tabloid, if not household, name. Additional covers included Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” which Courtney sang as if trying to punish Trent Reznor for some wrongdoing after introducing the song with, “We didn’t write this, but someone I slept with did.” The look of longing on Love’s face as she tousled her hair over her face and head gave the cover a bit more credit. Interestingly, Love dedicated “Letter To God” to “all ya’ll Baptists,” who had “better pay attention,” which may have struck some as odd because the song doesn’t appear to be much of an attack on any religion, but rather an honest cry for help.
Crowd favorites included “Violet,” “Asking For It” and “Someone Else’s Bed,” which Love gave new meaning to as she belted through her torn up throat to sing. She did complain to guitarist Micko Larkin that several of the songs on the setlist were “too throaty” and she “wouldn’t be able to sing in Miami,” but Love pressed on in the spirit of “Rock” and added a sentiment after the song, “I like this song; it’s literal.” For some, that sealed the fact that Love has little input to the songwriting process and she is merely a figurehead holding her drug-addled body up with the microphone stand. For others, the spirit and passion of a grunge rock queen shined through and held meaning. After a mere 90 minutes (approximately) and 18 songs, Hole closed the evening with “Never Go Hungry.”