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Hole can't fill the void

Cannery Ballroom
Nashville, TN
June 29, 2010
Hole Hole Hole

Story and photos by Kate Seesholtz

There were no breakdowns, no drugs being inhaled off speakers, and only a small amount of incoherent rambling. Attendees to Hole's show Tuesday evening at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Tennessee that were expecting to see the crazier side of lead singer Courtney Love, left disappointed. Fans that were there to relive their '90s grunge rock memories seemed to leave fairly satisfied.

Hole reunited for this tour and a recent album (Nobody's Daughter), sans every member except lead singer Courtney Love. The other original members have been replaced with younger versions, at 23 the new lead guitarist is barely old enough to remember Hole's debut. Though it was this guitarist that seemed to have to carry Love through the set. They conferred before every song, and he assisted her when she forgot lyrics or guitar parts.

Love entered the stage smoking a cigarette, the first of many for the night, and leapt into a cover of the Rolling Stone's classic, "Sympathy for the Devil." The band tried to capture the sparse crowd early with recent hit "Skinny Little Bitch." Though, with a barricade separating the higher and lower priced ticket holders (by a span of fifteen feet), it was hard for the fans in the back to feel apart of the show.

The Rolling Stone's cover was the first of many for the band. Before the glassy eyed Love played Nine in Nail's "Closer," she told the crowd that "he (NIN lead Trent Reznor) would be so mad if he knew" she was playing it. Though halfway through she transformed the angst ridden hit into a bluesy version of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." It was a strange shift that left the crowd more confused than anything else.

Love engaged the small crowd in between almost every song. At one point a fan had tossed a glittery tiara onto the stage, prompting Love to remind the audience that "the '90s are over." She promised surprises for the set and often asked for requests off their new album Nobody's Daughter. When the crowd only shouted back hits from the band's older albums she got frustrated and threatened to walk off the stage.

For most of the songs Love and the rest of Hole sounded as good as ever. Radio topper "Celebrity Skin" had just as much passion behind it as it did over a decade ago when it was first released and an encore performance of "Doll Parts" had the crowd in a frenzy. There were times though that Love seemed to get bored with the whole experience. Halfway through certain songs she seemed to switch from this energetic girl rocker into an inebriated karaoke singer.

If Courtney Love had chose to bill this tour as a solo venture, it would have gained her more respect, and most likely higher ticket sales. Trying to pull off the evening as a concert by Hole though, seemed a little ridiculous. While the show was decent, it wasn't the great rock show long time Hole fans deserved.

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