Review: Imprint

by Pat Merlihan
Friday, July 28, 1995, Volume 18, Number 7

Hole, 8:25 p.m.

It seems that the media and innuendo surrounding the antics and lifestyle of Courtney Love have not only boosted Hole’s recognition, but has launched Love into superstardom. Commanding the stage in scantly clad leather, a cigarette dangling, and the walk of a woman that would crush you if you got in her way, Love proved to be a minor superstar.

Literally living the “sex, drugs, and rockin’ roll” lifestyle doesn’t guarantee you a star on Hollywood Boulevard, and neither does having fans that pathetically sob and cry with the mere sight of you, which surprisingly was the case when Love screeched and pounded about on stage. All the while Love propped her leg up on a floor amp to bare her crotch for everyone to see. But even with the drugs, the explicit sex with who’s who in rawk n’ roll, and the brawling and hair pulling, Love is the chosen role model of a legion of teenage girls.

Even if Hole wasn’t headlining, they were the main act. There were Hole t’s on practically every teenage girl there, and the day seemed to build up expectations of what Courtney Love would do next. During Elastica, Love tried to catch a glimpse of their first Lollapalooza gig, staggering to a seat on the railing and smoking a cigarette. After making enough of a scene for people to notice, she finally got escorted and carried away from the stage. So, when Hole blasted on to a stage adorned with mirrorballs, twinkle stars, and a couple of dolls which she later threw to the crowd, the “superstar” put on a hard-assed show that delved into her personal problems, and oh…the anger.

Kicking off with the intro to Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” before launching into “Credit In The Straight World,” quickly set the energy that kept up for the remaining set. All the while Love’s unpredictable presence (not to mention an eyefull of panties) kept you glued to center stage. Between songs Love would habitually reach into her pack of Marlboros and light up, but would manage to get a leg up for the crowd for that in-yer-face crotch experience.

Hole kept to the tried and true song list containing mostly material from their ironically titled Live Through This, released last summer. However, a couple of new additions to the Hole repertoire were included which dwelled in Love’s many personal problems.

An uncomfortable moment came half way through the set, with Hole backing into the shadows as Love stepped up to do an acoustic version of Nirvana’s “Penny Royal Tea” (which she co-wrote, but still leaving one with an awkward feeling). Other than watching Love belt out hit after hit, the rest of the band seemed non-existent, which can be chalked up to Love’s incredible exposure with the shit that goes on in her life. I guess that was to be expected though.

Hole, or rather Courtney Love, was satisfying to watch, the sound was reasonably good, but still unmatched to their previous Toronto date. Although legions of Hole fans left before the main event, Sonic Youth had no problem outplaying, and putting on a good wholesome show of lights and sound, which Courtney Love “The Superstar” simply couldn’t match.