Monday, July 5, 2010

Hole in DC...Another Take

"If you live through this with me I swear that I would die for you...and if you die through this with me I don't know...????" Wait Courtney, i don't remember that being a part of the song.

Place: 9:30 Club, Washington DC.
Time: June 27, 2010 - 6:30 PM - 1:15 AM (this would be time of arrival until end of the concert)
Event: Hole with Foxy Shazam
Cost: $45 for regular tickets...VIP, slightly more

Picked up my ticket at will-call and yes, I sprung for the VIP on this show. I REALLY wanted a spot in the front. 6:30, they start letting people with VIP tickets into the club. We are directed to the lower level which seems to serve as a waiting area with a full bar and plenty of tables and chairs. 6:45 PM, they tell us all that we are now able to go upstairs and may look at the merch table or go to the stage. Most wanted to claim their spots up front right away. Everyone who got in early was able to get a spot in the front row. Doors were supposed to be at 7:00, but the first people didn't start to trickle in until around 10 or 15 after.

The crowd began to grow and people began to wonder who Foxy Shazam was and if they were any good. I had seen them before at another show so I was able to assure the couple next to me and behind me that they were in for a treat. The energy that comes out of each member of FS is simply incredible. I was positioned right in front of the keyboardist. He is probably the most fun to watch out of them all so I had a great spot. Look at that beard! This is a band I probably wouldn't sit down and listen to, but I would go see them live in concert anytime the opportunity would present itself. Talk about fun and hilarious!

Foxy Shazam played from about 8:30 to 9:05. While most around me enjoyed them, one guy decided to keep shouting "You Suck." The band managed to work that comment into their performance and made the crowd laugh some more with the ridiculous anecdote about the "last guy who shouted out You Suck".

According to the 9:30 club, Hole was scheduled to take the stage at 9:15, but with Foxy Shazam finishing only 10 minutes prior to that, it didn't seem likely. One Hole fan behind me said he had seen the show the previous night in VA and said they waited an hour and a half between bands. We were all hoping that this wouldn't be the case here in DC.  The stage was being set, equipment was being tested, setlists were being taped to the floor. 9:40 looked like a promising time for things to get started. Then, stagehands came back up, ripped off the setlists and put down new ones. 10:15, still no sign of Courtney Love. WTF man? The crowd starts booing and chanting for her to come out on stage. Around 10:25, the show got started.  Courtney came out and immediately said that she was sorry and she knew she was late. I'm sure most of you have already read reviews about the entire show, whether it be the one from the Washington Post or the one by Perez Hilton which was based upon said review by the Post. The truth is, the quality of this show is going to be dependent upon whether or not you're a fan of Hole, Courtney herself and what you were expecting. Those hoping to receive the TRUE Courtney Love experience, raw and uncut, got their moneys worth. A casual concert-goer with the intentions of rocking out to a well-rehearsed set probably left early or felt ripped off.

While it is true that many people left before the end of the show, you have to also consider that the last train home for the metro leaves around 11:45 on Sunday evenings. I would've been in the same boat if I hadn't decided to drive down at the last moment. I would've been really upset if I would've had to leave early and miss all the craziness. Unlike the Post, I AM a fan of Hole, Courtney and the new album. When Courtney came out at 10:30 a few of us were convinced this would mean the show would be cut short. Halfway through the show, she stated that "we have the day off tomorrow, so we can stay up here and play all night if you want." The quote "I can't tell if this show is really terrible" as stated by the Post is not completely accurate. In fact, that's only a portion of what she actually said. Courtney did admit that the show was "weird" but followed the statement by "I can't tell if it's really terrible or epic." And as stated before, the answer to that would have to depend on what one actually wanted out of this concert. I have been to a handful of concerts in the past few years and the worst ones for me are when the band simply plays the song, moves on, plays some more, and then finishes with very little interaction with the fans. Reviews are implying that Courtney played more to the iphone and Lisa than she did to the fans. She played plenty to the fans. How many concerts have you been to where the artist actually plays what fans are shouting out. Most of the time I think they already know what song they are going to play and wait for someone to shout out the right title. It was obvious this wasn't the case here. She admitted she didn't remember fully all of the songs and how they went. In her defense, Live Through This came out back in 1994 and she does not have any supporting members of the band from that time. On the other hand, I do admit, if you're going to keep the name of the band, the least the new members could do is learn the old songs, otherwise, is this truly "Hole."

The Post also mentioned about the girl who came up on stage with a poster to have it signed. This fan in question was standing about 3 people to my right for most of the show until she was picked to go up on stage with about 25 other people throughout the night (mostly thanks to lending Courtney her bra during the "encore"). She did have a poster in her hand and attempted to give it to Courtney, but she wasn't asking her to sign it, all she wanted the entire night was to get it into Courtney's hands. It was a picture of when she met her back in 1998 saying she was her biggest fan. She originally just wanted it thrown on stage at some point, but the staff at the club said that nothing could be thrown on stage at any time. It was her shot, and she took it. Courtney did tell her to go sit down rather than take it, but what do you expect? She was simply saying that this wasn't the time for a meet and greet, show's not over.I think she was happy enough just being up on stage with her and the fact she was wearing her bra.

It's true that Courtney made the comment about the one fan being African American and wanting to know if she actually was a fan, but no one else remembers her making the Lil Wayne comment, including myself. I don't think she was trying to be mean. In fact the Post did fail to mention that Courtney did let her out of everyone else up on stage sing side by side with her. Although, when Courtney sat down to let guitarist Micko Larkin have a solo moment, the fan mistook that as an opportunity to take vocals alone. Courtney pulled her down before that happened.

I'll admit at first I wasn't sure how I felt about the show, but after thinking of the unique experience I just had and being able to be right there in front of Courtney (she even looked right at me and stuck out her tongue at me, but in a playful way) for over 2 1/2 hours, what more could you ask for? While many probably just don't care for Courtney anyway, I have always liked her. This show was more like an episode of VH-1 Storytellers. All in all, I was lucky to witness this now highly talked about show, and it's not a show I will soon be forgetting.

To see some video clips (not HQ due to equipment used) you can visit my Youtube page.

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