The heavy serving of cover tracks could be explained by the new backing line-up. Gone are long-time guitarist Erik Erlandsen and fashion-mag-pretty bassist Melissa Auf der Mar, and though Hole always had a reputation of being sort of a girl band (despite Erlandsen's presence as player and co-songwriter), Love has rounded out this new incarnation with dudes: guitarist Micko Larkin on guitar (a Pete Doherty doppelgänger, though lankier), Stu Fisher on drums, and Shawn Dailey on bass (the target of more than a few curious beer tosses at the HoB).
"This is no rent-a-band," Love said on stage. "We lived in the same house for five years, so shut up!"
It's strange that though grunge is still a staple of rock radio, Hole are generally left out of the picture. Bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots are revered while Hole are relegated to random plays. Courtney Love has already experienced one successful music career, a life in the tabloids, and a fairly impressive run as an actress — and her story is far from finished. A few more hits seem inevitable; so do more acting gigs.
"I'd like to do acting, and I'd really like to direct," she said at the Ames. "I really need my reputation to be back." And, uh, what reputation is that? From Hole to VH1 to her flirtation with Hollywood to her notorious tweets, there's room for argument. But however you want to think about Love, she's back.
: Music Features
, Stone Temple Pilots, Judy Garland, Larry Flynt, More