Review: The Boston Herald

Music; Love is Hot and Cold at Orpheum; Hole, at the Orpheum Sunday, with Helium and Milk Money.
December 6, 1994, by Geoffrey Kula

By choosing to open Sunday night’s concert at the Orpheum with a halfhearted version of “Plump,” it seemed Hole lead singer-guitarist Courtney Love was subconsciously signaling her transformation into a bloated rock star unconcerned with entertaining her audience.

Throughout the evening, Love played listlessly, showing little zeal except when complaining about Nine Inch Nails, local singer-songwriter Mary Lou Lord (whom Love alleges stalked her and her late husband Kurt Cobain) and-or the audience. In addition, Love’s voice played a perpetual game of hide-and-seek, as if she were drowning in a sea of overamped guitars.

All this forced the rest of the band – bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, guitarist Eric Erlandson and drummer Patty Schemel – to carry the weight, which they did as best they could.

While Love’s “angry woman” shtick – she led the crowd in a chant of unprintable slang and spoofed the Nine Inch Nails frontman by bringing a female concertgoer onstage and promising to make her a rock star “just like Trent Reznor” – grew tiresome quickly, her emotions surfaced during “Pretty on the Inside,” “Teenage Whore” and “Violet,” producing the concert’s highlights.

Seething with rage and angst, Love convincingly delivered these songs and filled the lulls of “Teenage Whore” with guilt and persecution.

The band was a cohesive unit for these numbers, and “Violet’s” chaotic clatter was every bit as tuneful as it deserved to be.

Hole ended the show with “Rock Star,” its ode to the sameness of Olympia, Wash. As the song wound to a close, Love dropped to her back and engaged in a spacy, Hendrix-like guitar noise duo with Erlandson.

Overall, Sunday’s show paled in comparison to the outstanding performance Hole gave in October at Avalon.