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sxsw | courtney love & “hole”

sxsw | courtney love & "hole"

photo by eugene hernandez

Evoking the early to mid 90s, Courtney Love took the stage this afternoon at SXSW, fronting a band that she boldly branded, “Hole.”

Either willfully or playfully, Love was defiant about the new lineup for her group, despite the absence of her co-founder Eric Erlandson and others. In fact, former Hole member Melissa Auf der Maur is also in Austin this week but is not on the new “Hole” lineup.

“We’re Hole whether you like it or not you little suck shits,” Courtney Love said today, in between a set of old and news songs during a 45 minute gig at SPIN Magazine’s private day party for thousands at Stubb’s in Austin. “This is the way its going to be for a long time so fucking get used to it,” Love prodded the crowd, shortly after introducing her band. At one point she appeared a bit confused by who was backing her on stage today. Love seemed to start to introduce a guitarist and then, looking a bit puzzled, stopped and said that the guy wasn’t actually on stage.

“Hole” was the headliner and when she took the stage this afternoon, Love looked a lot like Stevie Nicks. The audience was with her, standing in the sun drinking beer from cans and singing along and cheering her on.

For fans of Hole’s first decade, like myself, the show was an terrificly entertaining blast. Courtney and her band dusted off hits like “Miss World,” “Violet,” and “Reasons to be Beautiful,” songs that gained Hole international attention in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. She wailed at times in that distinctive way that she has for years. At times her voice sounded solid, the in other moments it seemed a bit off. But, no matter. The set was a lot of fun.

In between songs Courtney kept the crowd laughing with any number of raunchy references and jokes. The set passed quickly and the end seemed to even catch Love herself by surprise. From off stage she was told there was time for just one more tune.

“Yo, make that go away, I’m in the mood,” she said, egging on the cheering crowd and almost begging to play longer.

“I was gonna bring it,” she added, pausing. “I’m not bringing it now if we have one more song…who do they talk to? Seriously?” Love paused, “Hey you know what, so what. We’ll play a really good song, it’s called ‘Samantha’. Fuck you.”

“I’d stage dive but I’m far too elderly,” Courtney Love said when her last song ended. She then curtsied with two middle fingers raised to the crowd. And with that she left the stage to another round of cheers.

Tomorrow night, Courtney Love and “Hole” will play a set at Perez Hilton’s annual private SXSW bash. She said that he’s asked her to only play the hits.

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