The Hole Review We'd Like To Write Next Week

Craig Hlavaty
"As we all waited, sweat-covered and parched, for the encore, something flashed over us in the crowd. Courtney Love had finally kicked her demons into the gutter, and we were all there witnessing it together.

"The lights dimmed a little more and Aftermath spied that shock of blonde hair in the corner of the stage lighting another cigarette and just as quick as it was lit, Love and the rest of the band sauntered out and the lights at the House Of Blues flared up and the opening riff of "Celebrity Skin" shot at us like the blast of a high-powered shotgun.

"We saw people who may have seen Hole the first time around in the mid-'90s were honest to God crowd-surfing. Yuppies, housewives and kids not even born when Kurt Cobain was alive all met at the top of the crowd, dripping with joy as if the past ten years had not happened to Love or us."

That's the kind of Aftermath that we want to write about Hole's show next Tuesday at House of Blues. We don't think we can stomach a bad show from Courtney Love, and we most surely don't like the idea of having to pound out a displeasing, vitriolic screed against her.

Call us a pie-eyed child of the grunge decade, the kind that grew up taping Hole songs off the radio to listen to on the school bus. Maybe we did romanticize the story of Kurt and Courtney, the first and last couple of alternative rock. We imagined that mythical self-destructive duo pounding out songs on acoustic guitars in a smoke-filled room, only stopping to shoot up or nod off.

We have an image of the grieving and stoic widow in our heads that somehow makes the past 16 years understandable. We - meaning pop culture at large - almost give Love a free pass because her husband killed himself, so we expect her to do bad things out of rage and grief.

It's the same way people might treat a child of divorce or even a shell-shocked soldier. But non-celebrities don't get a free pass to gloriously fail for more than a decade and a half. No, us little people are given a slim window of crazy we can act out on before we are told to get our shit straight.

Pop culture is cool with Love failing because it keeps her on the blogs and magazines as a train wreck that gets people to click, scroll and flick through pages. Music wags don't mind because we all like a good comeback or underdog story to prove us wrong so we can fantastically backpedal.

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