The Fillmore Miami Beach
Friday, July 2, 2010
Nobody can blame Courtney Love of being fake and insincere. She always wears her emotions on her sleeve, a rare trait in rockstars these days. Love is dying breed of iconic stars that can command a stage without smoke and mirrors.
By now you've probably read The Washington Post's recap of Love's now legendary trainwreck at 9:30 Club, but those lowlights were mostly nonexistent at the Fillmore performance. If one thing was obvious is that age has tamed the grunge queen. She never got angry, didn't throw herself into the pit or roll around on stage, no up-skirt shots or bare breast. Instead, we got a pure rock show.
We did miss some things. Mostly Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf der Maur, and Patty Schemel (in my opinion, the best Hole lineup in its history), instead we got a new backing band consisting entirely of young men. And despite the show being billed as Hole, this was no doubt the Courtney Love show.
Love playfully teased the crowd, including warning us that we don't want to see her anywhere near a stripper pole (duly noted) and pow-wowing with guitarist Micko Larkin whenever she felt like it during the set by telling us to "hold on."
The Post trashed her performance in D.C., but honestly, if you don't get a trainwreck performance from Love, you really aren't getting the full experience. Her Miami stop wasn't as much of a mess as D.C.'s, but there were some forgotten chords, while other songs fell flat, most notably "Awful" and "Celebrity Skin." The latter having such a strong guitar riff, live it sounded like a karaoke version. Still, there were highlights, particularly anything off the Live Through This album ("Miss World," "Violet," "Asking For It," "Doll Parts," and "Plump"), while "Pacific Coast Highway" from this year's Nobody's Daughter, proved it has a lot more bite live.
Love closed the show with unplugged performances of "Thirteen" (a Big Star cover) and "Never Go Hungry," which takes from Scarlett O'Hara's famous line in Gone With the Wind. As Love declared she'd "never go hungry again," I felt just to have been luckily to have experienced seeing Love perform live -- even if it was a bit uneven.
Critic's Bias: Despite 16 year's of being released, Live Through This has stood the test of time. The album was and still is an important milestone in rock history.
The Crowd: To the dude in front of me who was acting like a deranged Courtney Love fan, I get it, you love her. I would have like to have heard more of her voice singing than yours. Love, you might want to get a restraining order. Trust me.
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Random Notebook Dump: Opener Foxy Shazam had incredible energy. But if you guys ever come back to Miami, try playing at a smaller venue.
Pretty on the Inside (Intro)
Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones cover)
Skinny Little Bitch
Letter to God
Pacific Coast Highway
Reasons to be Beautiful
Asking For It
Take This Longing (Leonard Cohen Cover)
Someone Else's Bed
Play With Fire (Rolling Stones cover)
Boys on the Radio
Thirteen (Big Star cover)
Never Go Hungry