- - - - - - - - - - - - -
FRIDAY, MAY 21ST, 1999, NAUTICA STAGE, CLEVELAND, OHIO
WHO: Hole/ Imperial Teen
WHEN: Friday- May 21, 1999 - 8 pm
WHERE: Cleveland, Ohio - USA
VENUE: Nautica Stage
Hole lot of swagger going on
Courtney Love steals attention as grunge band plays remarkable set.
CLEVELAND: Hole's Courtney Love is always the center of attention.
The moment she walked onto Nautica Stage Friday night wearing a spangled pink gown and angel's wings, all eyes were on her.
She is the girl with the most cake. And she knows it now. For 85 minutes, Love assembled her own version of "rock and roll high school," pulling moshers out of the pit onto the stage to sit adoringly behind her and the rest of the band.
When she wasn't doing that, she was shushing the crowd.
Or dissing Cleveland's status as Rock and Roll Capital of the world.
Or chain smoking.
Or talking about retiring and launching a talk show.
Or discussing how surprisingly cute Cleveland boys were.
Or, oh yeah, singing.
In the whirlwind of activity that generally surrounds Love, music almost seems secondary.
But Friday night she was on her game as a singer, taking large chunks of the bands last two albums - Live Through This and the underrated Celebrity Skin - and weaving them into a remarkable collection of alt rock.
The performance showed why Hole will be one of the few Grunge Era bands to have a future in the new millennium.
With all the attention set on Love, sometimes the rest of Hole - guitarist Eric Erlandson, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, and drummer Samantha Maloney - gets left behind. But that wasn't the case this time.
Opening with a rousing version of Violet that whipped the mosh pit into a frenzy, Hole balanced the loud and rough with tender moments like an odd cover of Material Issue's Valerie Loves Me and a touching acoustic version of Northern Star.
The show was a Northeast Ohio appearance delayed a few months by the band's early escape from its ill-fated hook-up with Marilyn Manson, who pushed on with its appearance at the Cleveland State Convocation Center last month, despite ticket sales that didn't meet expectations.
The rescheduled tour put the band back at Nautica Stage, where Hole put on a disastrous show five years ago shortly after Love's husband, Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, committed suicide.
Love apologized for that appearance.
"I was so messed up," she told the crowd. "Please don't look at me as a role model."
But all that falling down and unprofessional behavior seems like ancient history now.
With great versions of Celebrity Skin and hits like Miss World and Doll Parts as sing-alongs, it is clear that the Cult of Courtney with continue to grow.
Imperial Teen, led by former Faith No More keyboard player Roddy Bottum, opened the show with an energetic 40-minute set featuring noise-pop songs from its sophomore album What Is Not to Love.
- Glenn Gamboa, Akron Beacon Journal, May, 1999
- - - - - - - - - - - - -