MTV Review: Courtney Love Hits London's O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Say what you will about Courtney, but she is a rock legend that continues to give an energetic show...
The second night of Courtney Love’s residency at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire saw her performing an incredible set of old and new songs to the delight of the packed crowd.
Feeling: The audience was a mix of grown up misfits, exactly as you’d expect to see. Some dressed in business casual, some in flannel grunge, but all eager to see the Love they love.
As the lights went down and a recording of Ravel’s Boléro began to play, the crowd started to pack toward the front of the venue…only to relax when the lights came back up revealing a false start! A couple minutes later, the lights went out and Boléro began again and the audience was ready for what was sure to be an amazing show.
The Look: Love is never one to shy away from slick attire, but this show focused on simplicity and rock music rather than fashion. She came out in flowy black dress with a lacy shawl and black fishnets and a huge paper flower in her hair (which was pulled out and tossed aside two songs into the set).
Another song in and the dress came off (“I’m feeling frumpy!”) revealing silky black shorts and a skin tight top underneath. For the encore, she ditched the Stevie Nick-esque wardrobe for a vintage Hole transparent white nighty.
Tunes: From classic Hole to her latest solo singles “Wedding Day” and “You Know My Name,” Love treated us to nearly her entire song writing catalogue. Packing in a set list of over 20 songs, fans were encouraged to sing along to “Malibu” and “Celebrity Skin.”
For the encore, Courtney came out with just guitarist Micko Larkin, performing acoustic versions of “Northern Star,” “Dying,” and Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Longing” before the band returned for “Awful” and “Jennifer’s Body.” The only songs missing were anything from her 2004 flop solo album, “America’s Sweetheart,” but no one seemed to mind, and Love made no reference to the album.
Banter: As one of the mouthiest rock stars out there, Love is known for insane tirades and bad behaviour onstage. However, Love indicated at the beginning of the show that she was on her best behaviour due to “friends in the audience.”
After a few songs, she seemed to warm up a bit, chatting with a fan in the front (“Are you following me? You’re everywhere!”) and encouraging the audience to scream profanities at her. When they did, Love proved she could scream louder. At one point Love solicited cheers saying, “I’m not feeling it yet!” The audience obliged, prompting Love to squeal, “Oh, there it is! I’ve gotten my rock and roll erection back!”
Sweat Factor: The audience wasn’t as raucous as they might have been when Courtney first hit the scene, but there was a lot of jumping up and down and rocking out. As Courtney has aged, so have her fans, and the once violent moshers have turned into responsible and courteous adult rockers.
Summary: Say what you will about Courtney, but she is a rock legend that continues to give an energetic show. Her voice, as gravelly as it always was, held strong and delivered powerfully rich vocals for the full 90 minute show. Her new songs fit in perfectly with the classics, and the audience left satisfied.
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
Reasons To Be Beautiful
You Know My Name
Letter To God
Skinny Little Bitch
Asking For It
I Think That I Would Die
Take This Longing (Leonard Cohen Cover)