View more photos in Erin Broadley's “SXSW: Courtney Love and Hole Return” slideshow.
One of the most-anticipated gigs at this year's South By Southwest was the return (in name, if not in band members) of Courtney Love's group Hole, although it seemed as if the motives for the buzz weren't entirely musical.
Before the show, at the Spin magazine party at the laid-back outdoor amphitheater Stubbs, conversations weren't about what she'd sound like, or if her new songs would stand up to the older material, but if her well-publicized plastic surgeries and tabloid drama would take their toll on her onstage.
The short answer? Not really. Other than notably botoxed lips, Courtney Love was, well, Courtney Love: brash, offensive, and mostly likable.
[More on Courtney and Hole, after the jump.]
The teenage girls with caked-on makeup in the front row screamed “I love you, Courtney” just as they did during her peak in the '90s, though this time they were standing next to equally dolled up ladies old enough to be their mothers. Love, for her part, obliged them: despite an uh-oh inducing teleprompter plug-in, she stood combatively and confidently with one foot firmly planted on her stage monitor, blasting through tracks both old (“Violet”; “Miss World”) and new (“Honey,” which Love claimed would be played on the radio relentlessly this summer. Ok, maybe she is a bit delusional).
The fact that she not only held it together, but played with the abrasive gusto she showed during her heyday (towards the end, she argued with a stage manager about how much time she had left; before she left the stage, she said to the ravenous audience, “I'd stage-dive, but I'm far too elderly”) speaks volumes about how far she'll be able to take this Gen-Y nostalgia shot. The fact that there actually does seem to be a spot for her in the timid, Ke$ha-engrossed land of Gen-Z's is just an added bonus.