– by Ivy Monique James
I have to say it was a pretty wild scene for a Wednesday night in Perth. Although only the first floor of Metropolis City was packed out, people from all walks of life were present. The audience ranged from hot leather clad milfs, old seedy grandpa types in floral shirts, purple mohawked punksters to big bearded men with shiny red boots. It was very clear that Courtney Love had a broad following.
After Courtney’s supporting act take their exit, the crowd buzzes with anticipation. A pink halo shines upon an unattended microphone while the crowd hustles to get their drinks and make their way closer to the stage.
The stage goes pitch black and the background music stops, signalling the arrival of grunge queen Courtney Love. The crowd erupts into cheers.
Courtney takes centre stage in an oversized black shirt and black tights. Puffing on a cigarette which she later puts out on stage by stomping on it with her foot, she opens her 90 minute set with a roaring rendition of Wedding Day.
Hole’s albums Celebrity Skin and Live Through This dominated her set. After belting out Miss World, she requests for some tequila which she proceeds to chug down. The wretched and tormented lyrics of Hole’s trademark songs echo in our tympanic membranes while her screams reverberate throughout the nightclub. I was honestly surprised she didn’t projectile the tequila with the intensity of her screaming.
A few songs in and Love casually begins to peel off her oversized shirt to reveal a grey spaghetti strapped lacy number to the crowds pleasure. “There’s nothing much going on here boys” she retorts coyly to the cheers and wolf whistling while giggling like a school girl.
As she transitions from one song to the next, we are treated to Courtney’s kooky, profanity-filled and sardonic sense of humour. There’s something very real and unique about Love that makes her likeable. People give her a lot of flak for her potty mouth and attention-seeking vile antics but the fact that she owns it somehow makes it classic Love and without it an integral part of her show would be lost.
Courtney changed into a slinky black glittery number that gave her a Liza Minnelli inspired rock star look for the second half of her set. The change of outfit also took on a change of pace. She stood barefoot and somewhat vulnerable while delivering a raw and powerful acoustic rendition of Northern Star.
Like a eulogy, she paints a story of self-destruction, unconditional love and the pain and misery of dealing with the loss of a loved one with Dying and Hole’s version of The Crystal’s He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss), no doubt a tribute to late ex-husband Kurt Cobain.
Courtney ended her Australian debut in Perth with Doll Parts. “And someday you will ache like I ache” – sung over and over like a vengeful promise.