Review: Rote Fabrik

Unknown Publication
by ???

To catch the singer of Hole, Courtney Love, in concert recently at Rote Fabrik in Zurich was like watching your stomach unfolding in front of you the second you’ve swallowed it.

She had no gratitude for the flock of fans who waited in line 3 hours for the club to open because SHE had arrived late. Instead of thanking them after her band Hole’s tunes she would berate them if they didn’t yell loud enough at her belligerent ramblings or if someone threw “anything other than presents” at her, she’d walk.

The music was gut-wrenchingly loud, sheer rock, and Love played the wounded boozed-up woman archetype well. The widow led her band (which consists of all women except for her guitarist Eric Erlandson who does nothing but play and hang low) through a set of songs about diseased milk and pregnancies, abortions, drug addictions, love addictions.

From the opening riff of “Cinnamon Girl” that led into the hostile “Plump” where Courtney changed a lyric to “They say I’m fucked, but I’m bleeding all the time” to a wailing “Jennifer’s Body” to “I Think That I Would Die” she had enough capacity to scream until she ended up moaning out “When I was a teenage whooooore”, then decided she didnt want to do it, citing “I was never a whore anyway. Sorry.”

In her creamy white frock that came high on her thigh when she extended her leg on a stage monitor to her mess of bleached-out roots, Courtney Love gave us all something to remember, especially during her encore. She made up for any lack of not mentioning her late husband’s name or covering “Pennyroyal Tea” or “Smells Like Teen Spirit” like she was rumoured to by singing a song her and Cobain and Hole’s drummer Patty Schemel wrote while drunk.

Almost passed out and in the most comatosed state you can be while standing, Love finished the song and terrified several bouncers when she began to hurl stage equipment into the pit and yell “Why???!!!No! No!” Her bandmates stood by, watching their alcoholic mother regain herself, themselves prepped for any move she might make.

One last song. “Rock Star” became Love’s channel of fury as the crowd by this time stood motionless not doing much of anything. By the end of her slurred rant, the stage was flashing with psychedelic lights and discotheque warbled guitar sounds.

Her cries of “No!” returned until all but Erlandson had left and she then took off her guitar and threw it to the audience, walking off, shreds of hose dragging behind her.