Last Night: Hole At House Of Blues

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Photos by Groovehouse / Click here for a slideshow
House of Blues
July 6, 2010

It wasn't a train wreck. And we all had such high hopes.

Courtney Love and the four-man retinue she calls Hole these days - mostly distinguishable by their wardrobe (dreadlocked drummer, Scally-capped keyboardist/guitarist, and so forth), but who carried their share of the load - went onstage at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday night, a mere 25 minutes after their scheduled time.

And to the strains of Maurice Ravel's castanet-flouting aural-sex orchestral workout "Bolero," no less. It was the first sign of several that anyone who showed up expecting a show on the order of Love's June 27 meltdown at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, which you may have read about (and may not be entirely true), was going to be sorely disappointed.

But she had a little something for those folks, too. "I couldn't find a bra, so there was some panic," Love said before anyone had played a note. "Hi, Texas."

Hi, Courtney. Hi, "Pretty On the Inside," the title track to Hole's 1991 debut LP - well, the fragment that came and went in about as much time as Love decided she'd rather play the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" instead. Or as much of it as she appeared to remember, anyway, which was about half.

Firm footing came with the power-grunge sneer of "Skinny Little Bitch," the centerpiece of this year's Nobody's Daughter and the first song that showed off Love's greatest asset: Not the little-black-dress-clad body still firmer than it has any right to be, especially when it took that monitor-straddling stance it kept for most of the night; not the platinum hair that could have been a wig and looked like one but probably wasn't.

Not the bird-flipping attitude that came directly after the song: "I have to blow my nose... It's the humidity... Shut up."

Of course it's the humidity. Us Houstonians know all about that. But truthfully, it was The Scream - Love's vocal-chord roar that she should have patented a long time ago and should have been shredded to smithereens (blown?) along about 1998's Celebrity Skin.

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