Monday, August 5, 2013
Concert review: Courtney Love berates beer-throwing fan at Dallas’ House of Blues
The raging rocker showed off that temper fans have come to crave.
DALLAS Courtney Love’s current tour, “I’m Still Alive,” is just that, a declarative statement. Throughout her very tumultuous 22-year career, she’s released four records with Hole and one solo record (another is due out this year), fought an on-and-off-again drug addiction, raised her only child, and made it through one of the most highly-publicized and speculated overdoses from husband Kurt Cobain. Her confrontational approach and gut-punching vocals have built her rock star persona. Her Sunday night performance at the House of Blues stirred up the drama the audience craved.
Clad in a conservative, glittery pantsuit, Love stepped out with her pre-show cigarette. She performed both mainstream and forgotten tracks from her former group, including “Miss World” and “Plump.” Love's signature rasp has gotten bumpier with age and smoking, and screams took over many of the lyrics, making it more about how much her vocals can handle rather than which notes she can still hit. Her hasty cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” discarded the original singers' intent: Her over-zealous wails were like the last attempt of a speech that’s gone horribly wrong.
Halfway through the set, a member of the audience threw a partially-full can of beer at Love, almost hitting her. She yelled, “This hasn’t happened in 10 years — seriously? You get two songs and that’s it!” After directing a few more threatening comments towards the culprit, Love went on to sing more than a couple tracks, still shortening the set compared to recent dates on the tour.
Love also threw long-stemmed roses to the pleading audience throughout the show, giving away her thirst for fame. She sang a quieted number, “Softer, Softest” alongside an acoustic guitar, though the hushed style just didn't feel right. Thankfully, her chart-topping hit “Doll Parts” supercharged the encore, ripping open a few more violent screeches.
With or without new material, Love can still pull from the demons of her past to give crowds her signature stage presence -- especially when she takes her temper for a spin.
Starred, the opening band from Los Angeles, calmed the pre-Love crowd with jarring lullabies. The resemblance between front woman Liza Thorn and Love is scary — even down to her rolling alto and dazed expressions. The band's gritty, ambient style marched on through the 30-minute set, occasionally waking the audience violently with frenzied riffs.
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