Fan Review: Steve Sharp

You’re not going to like this review, but believe me, I’m actually taking it easy on Courtney. The chance to see Hole was a _major_ factor in my decision to get up at 5:00 am and stand in line for tix the first day they were on sale. I was pulling for her, but she was obviously dealing with some kind of personal issues concerning Portland (which most of us neither knew about or cared about), and ended up just walking off about halfway through their set. Anyway, here are my thoughts…I called the show:


OK, so there were some empty seats at the Rose Garden Saturday night. What does this mean? Pretty simple…it means that the bill of Hole and Manson can’t sell the place out. How does Courtney Love see it? That everyone in Portland knows that she grew up here, thinks that she is a Bad Person, and consequently stayed away from the show. And furthermore, the people who DID show up all banded together and agreed to give her a lukewarm reception because they are, as she put it several times, “conflicted” over liking her music but at the same time not liking the fact that she’s from here.


It seems to me that she had built this date up in her mind to be some sort of glorious homecoming show where she would walk out to thunderous applause and banners reading: “Welcome Home, Courtney! We Love You!!”

There are a couple of, er… holes in this theory.

1) I would venture to say that, until she announced as much, fewer than one third of the audience was aware that she grew up in Portland.

2) Even fewer really cared.

3) Probably 80 percent of the crowd was there to see Manson, judging by the sea of torn black fishnet, smeared black mascara, and teased black hair. (And you should have seen the WOMEN! Ba-dum-bum.)

So, how does Courtney handle this situation? Does she charge ahead full bore and show these provincial ingrates what a REAL rock ‘n roll show looks like? Does she make some local references, get some good response (which she did get at first), and use that energy to work the audience up?


She begins to heap abuse on us. Lo and behold, this results in dampening a fair amount of enthusiasm. How does she handle this development? More abuse.

Finally, Courtney decides that she’s had enough and walks off. Nice. Take your frustrations out on the Portland fans who DID buy your albums and DID pay $30 each to come see you play!

At least Manson made a halfhearted effort to put on a show before he, too, threw a hissy fit and stalked off, after announcing that we just saw him play the last song of his career. OK, sure, dude….whatever.

I’m just glad that there are still bands around like Monster Magnet. They didn’t have glitter shot from cannons or fireworks going off overhead, but those guys rocked! Being the opener, they were looking at more empty seats than either Hole or Manson, but did they whimper and pout? Hell, no…they roared through their set like they were playing to a crowd of 200,000! That’s the way it’s done, boys and girls.

I’ve bought several Hole and Manson CD’s, and also shelled out $60 (plus parking) for the concert, but I don’t think I’ll be spending any more money on Courtney or Marilyn any time soon. Their next dinners at Spago will just have to be on somebody else’s dime.


My review was read on the air the morning after the concert by Daria O’Neill and Bill Prescott of KNRK in Portland. Pretty cool. I have a tape of it somewhere.

Another nice thing that happened is that Courtney emailed me – twice – and offered to refund my money! Her assistant never got the check to me (I wasn’t exactly holding my breath), but my opinion of Ms Love did improve a bit after that!