Jun 27, 2010

Hole / Foxy Shazam - 9:30 Club

By Bob Suehs



June 27, 2010

9:30 Club

Washington, DC

People enjoy a train wreck & if you want proof, look at the career of Courtney Love! Courtney Love is currently touring under the name "Hole" & the interesting side note is that this version of the band is TOTALLY new, & I might be totally wrong in my opinion, but I always thought Eric on guitar was what made Hole "HOLE"....the current version of "Hole" is Courtney Love solo with new people covering Hole songs...that's my take on the current version of "Hole"!

I'll talk more about the Hole set in a bit, first let's set the scene outside the show.

The weather was pretty damn warm, upper 80's in the shade, but it felt decent, it wasn't super hot nor was it chilly, it was just a decent warm day on a lazy Sunday in Downtown DC. It was around 6:30 PM and there was roughly 25 people waiting in line to get inside the 9:30 Club to see Hole & Foxy Shazam, the show never totally sold out, but by the time Courtney took the stage it was definitley close to sold out.

The high ticket price was what most people bitched about, tix were $45 + service charge & the thing is, with a Courtney Love show, you never know "If" she will show up, "if" the show will be good, or "if" she will play an entire set! Courtney did pretty well I'll assume based on the fact that there was NO major effects or "things" that would raise the cost of the show; I definitley understand that the more "stuff" a band brings with them on tour, the more they put into a show "effects" wise, that stuff can raise a ticket price, but with this tour, the stage set up is simple; One 1/2 stack & head per each playing member & a guitar or two...no major lights, no pyro, no effects, probably the only thing they spent $$ on other than their limited gear was the teleprompter that Courtney read her lyrics from & the band back drop. Hole did NOT have monogrammed guitar pics, the band name was not on the bass drum head, nor were there any of the usual trappings a professional rock band will utilize to give a professional feel to their live show.


The pre-show ritual is always fun if you're a social & out going person because it's where you meet new, interesting, fun, weird people & start up random conversations about anything and everything. This particular night I met a cool person who was in the military & we had a conversation comparing Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears & Courtney Love to each other; the funniest part was when the analogy was made that techincally, Britney is around the right age where she could possibly be the illegitimate child of Ratt or Motley Crue band members & that might explain her behavior the past few years because her actions would be explained best if she was actually spawned from Stephen Pearcy or Vince Neil's DNA in some way. Anyways, I know, that was totally off topic, but it was a funny conversation that I felt was worth repeating partially because it matches just how off the wall this entire evening was!


Doors were supposed to open at 7 PM but they ended up opening about 30 minute late & Foxy Shazam were supposed to take the stage at 8 PM but they took the stage more closer to 8:30. Foxy Shazam was the band I was really interested in checing out & it had to do with all the hype I've been hearing about this band of misfit ragamuffins!

Foxy Shazam is best summed up as "interestingly unique" because they garner all the energy that 70's glam rock had, while also conjuring up some exploits of 90's rock as well. The bands lead singer is a cross between a 70's porn star & Freddie Mercury on acid; he's super skinny, has spastic dance moves, LOVES to throw his mic down & dance, does onstage rolls, & he's got the energy of a hyper 5 year old little boy!

The bands keyboard player looks like an evil voodoo priestess, the guitarist looks very 90's with his "Big in Japan" guitar, the bass player has hair that would make Buzz from The Melvins proud, their drummer is amazing, & the horn player/back up singer is surprisingly entertaining! Foxy Shazam played a solid 45 minute set & there were several weird moments where the bands singer addressed the crowd & said the most random things; one rant was about how he worked at a thrift store while another was how he could sniff out people who hated his band...it was weird banter but fit this band PERFECTLY!

Weirdest moments of the Foxy Shazam set were:

When the bands singer lit 3 cigarettes, smoked them all at once, them proceeded to eat the while still lit & he ate them for real, onstage & he actually swallowed them too! He later tried to smash a keyboard which didn't work out too well, then jumped on the neck of the bands guitarist while he played, then the closing stunt was he took off the largest cymbal from the drummer kit & he let the bands drummer beat him in the head with his drum stick while he did his best impersonation as a human cymbal stand! Foxy Shazam are the most entertaining band out there!


Hole were slated to originally take the stage at 9:30 but the actual stage time ended up being closer to 10:30 give or take a few minutes. Hole's set was a whopping 2 & 1/2 hours total, but let me give you the rough break down on that set, it wasn't all music!

Courtney took the stage wearing a black slip dress with lace shorts on underneath, she declared that her panties cost $300 at one point...she looked grown up compared to her prior tattered babydoll dress era & up close you could see how the process of substance abuse & hard living has really weathered her; her face has lines up close, her arms are slightly wrinkled, her body shows serious signs of age, but her demeanor is still the same as it always was...bitchy, crazy as hell, weird & fun. The set list that was posted on the stage meant nothing in all honesty because as fans would call out songs the band would "Try" to play them & when I say "Try" I mean that it was literally the band trying to figure out how to play songs!

Courtney stated that the show was like a giant rehearsal & it was true too, the show was slightly embarrasing for someone who's supposed to be a professional musician....Ms. Love's guitar playing sucked & it was sad that she didn't have a set list that she could play that made her look professional, instead, the set was loose, sloppy & I'd say 75 minutes of the set was Courtney talking! The show was entertaining none the less & during the 2nd half of the show she started to bring kids up onstage...she allowed about 20 people to set all over the stage & during the 2nd 1/2 of the show Courtney changed clothes, she wore a totally sheer, see thru top & allowed the entire crowd to see her saggy boobs & white laced panties.

Interesting songs played this night were a cover of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails, a Judy Garlin cover, "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones, & the hits were covered including "Celebrity Skin", "Awful", "Malibu", "Miss World", "Doll Parts" & "Skinny Little Bitch".

The crowd was unique overall....I never knew Courtney Love had such a huge gay following, but indeed she does, then there were the older riot grrls, the aging grunge guys, & the most interesting sidenote was that there was NO pit action, no moshing, I saw probably 2 bodies go over the barricade total, there was no crowd surfing, it was a rather mellow, sedate crowd.


When Courtney came out for the 2nd set in a totally see thru outfit she asked the crowd after if someone could loan her a flesh colored bra & a random girl tossed her one but it didn't fit...it was very saggy on Courtney; She wore it for about 15 minutes before taking it off & exposing her boobs once more.

My end of the night analysis of the show is that Courtney Love is entertaining to some degree, BUT, Foxy Shazam's set was the real deal, those guys could really play, had a set list, rocked hard, they nailed it & were NOT sloppy!