Review: Buffalo News

Courtney Love Ragged – but Little Frances Proves Heartwarming
October 12, 1994, by Anthony Violanti

Courtney Love was her usual outrageous self Tuesday night in the Marquee at the Tralf.

During her last song of an encore, “Rock Star,” Love jumped into a sea of hands in the mosh pit. Holding her guitar, she was passed above the crowd, hands clutching and grabbing at her body. Love, nearly defrocked of a short, white dress, finally landed on her feet in the middle of the audience and struggled back to the stage.

“That’s always the highlight of the show,” Love squealed. “In every town we go through, we like to test the crowd. . . . Sorry, you failed.”

But Love’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, 2, did not fail the crowd.

Little Frances, whose father was the late Kurt Cobain, was the center of attention while being watched by actress Drew Barrymore.

“Everybody say hi to Frances,” Love shouted from the stage while singing and playing guitar for her band, Hole. Her daughter was near the side of the stage, wearing a headset, while in the arms of Barrymore.

“Hi, Frances,” screamed a chorus of fans in the sold-out club. “That’s right, Frances,” Love said. “Now you know every girl should be in a band.”

Overall, Love and Hole were in ragged form. The singer was plagued by a poor sound system that seemed to distort Love’s voice on every song.

Love started slowly, forgetting and slurring lyrics. She seemed to gain energy as the night went on. One poignant moment came when Love dedicated a song to Kristen Pfaff, the Amherst native who played with Hole until her tragic death in June.

“This one’s for Kristen,” Love said in a solemn voice as she sang a powerful “My Beautiful Son.”

A cigarette dangled from her lips for much of the evening. The all-ages crowd featured plenty of junior high grungers, dressed in flannel shirts and torn jeans, and they seemed to delight in Love’s every move.

Hole also includes Eric Erlandson on guitar, who happens to be Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend.

Patty Schemel plays drums, and Melissa Auf der Maur is on bass.

In person, the band cannot match the tight, polished sound from its current album, “Live Through This.”

Love, though, did deliver faithful and rocking versions of three numbers, “Miss World,” “Doll Parts” and “Credit in the Straight World.”

She paid tribute to her late husband, who committed suicide in April, with a tender version of Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea.”

The crowd was rowdy but never out of control. On this night, the same could be said for Courtney Love.