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Concert Review + Photos: Courtney Love at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY

Courtney Love
June 27, 2013
Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
Review +
Photos by: Antonio Marino Jr.

There was a time when rock’n’roll was dangerous. We now laugh at the idea that Elvis’ gyrating hips scarred the hell out of parents. Sadly, somewhere along the way being a Rockstar became an acceptable, dare I say noble, profession. For the last 20 years Courtney Love has done her best to reverse the trend of  “cute loveable rockstar trying to save the world”.

That said, Courtney Love isn’t for everyone. The mere mention of her name elicits an instant response – an exasperated groan or a devious smile. Her detractors could go on for days listing their complains and her fans will read back that list and tell you that’s exactly why they love her. Never one to stay out of the limelight for long, Love has maintained a fairly quiet musical profile the past couple of years. In April of 2013 there was hope for a true reunion of Hole when Love joined  Eric Erlandson,  Patty Schemel and  Melissa Auf der Maur on stage for the first time in over a decade for the premier of  Hit So Hard. Hole fans rejoiced but it wasn’t to be.

Then in May of this year a handful of East Coast shows were announced. Billed simply as “Courtney Love” the fifth show of the tour came to the historic Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on June 27th. The newly re-opened theater hasn’t booked many hard rock or punk shows which may have lead to a less then packed attendance. The previous nights gig in Brooklyn, 30 miles away, no doubt had an impact as on the audience size as well but for the few hundred fans who did attend they were treated to vintage Courtney. Dressed in tight leather pants and a black lace blouse she looks every bit the rockstar that she did when she burst on the scene in 1994. Unphased by the crowd size she joked that everyone must have headed to the Hamptons to get a jump on the 4th of July weekend. She then asked that everyone press closer to the stage, that she was going to do her best to touch everyone (by the end of the night she had come close to fulfilling that promise). The audience which ranged from high school age kids seeing her for the first time to former riot grrls who dragged their husbands out to relieve a musical itch that they haven’t had satisfied watching American Idol.

Unlike most bands entering their second decade, Love never comes off as a nostalgic act. The set, almost equally comprised of songs from the last three Hole albums sounds fresh and far from dated. In fact it was the oldest material from Live Through This that sounded the heaviest and most raw.

Adding to the rawness is Love’s devil-may-care attitude. If Courtney finds a song boring she simply stops singing it and professes “That song’s boring” and she moves on. Save for some of the husbands who were dragged to the show no one minds. Nor does anyone complain when when her vocals are off or when she mistakenly thinks that she’s in Rhode Island – which is approximately 150 miles away. Coming from the mouth of a homespun princess like Taylor Swift, such behavior would seem rude and would be the lead story on the next days Access Hollywood. For those already indoctrinated in all things Courtney it’s part of the charm. Like watching someone juggle dynamite over an open flame she never lets you take your eyes off of her.

As the night played on Love’s voice sounded stronger and stronger culminated in a four song encore that included an impressive version of the Rolling Stone’s “Under My Thumb”. For the last song of the night Love declared that no one has a right to sing a blues more then she does. In what may have been the nights finest moment she pulled off a soulful cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie song ‘Codine.’

At one point in the night Love applauded those who came to the show and said “Just wait till your friends tell you that they should have come to the show, they’ll be sorry they didn’t”. She may not be modest but she isn’t lying.

Check out our gallery of live photos from Courtney’s show below:

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