The lone support act was four-piece Melbourne outfit called The Mercy Kills who describe themselves as a mix of “two parts dirty rock with two parks sex punk”. They had the difficult challenge of warming up the small crowd that wasn’t at the bar before Courtney’s act, but they didn’t let this impair their delivery of pure rock riffs. One felt as though they had travelled back in time to a 90’s rock concert both aesthetically and musically. Their dramatic farewell included flaming drumsticks and power riffs, worthy of international rock stars.
Love was only two songs into her set before launching into an expletive filled rant at a member of the crowd who had the audacity to throw a beer can onstage. She claimed in her 20 years of performing, such an incident had never occurred and that she would “fucking kill” the “bullying shitbag” who was responsible, before commenting on the size of his… ego.
This is clearly a woman who takes no shit.
The set arguably peaked early with smash hit Violet which had the crowd moshing and screaming the lyrics back at her word for word. Clearly feeding off of this energy, she delivered the song with enthusiasm, approaching the small crowd and crooning the lyrics to them.
Love returned for an encore after her roadie came out and riled the crowd up, saying she needs to hear us scream her name before returning. She took to the stage, an ethereal figure barefoot and clad in a long, lacy white dress holding a bouquet of red roses, which she proceeded to hand out to lucky members of the crowd. She delivered a haunting rendition of ‘Northern Star’ as part of her stripped down and acoustic encore. She concluded with Doll Parts, written about her insecurities in the early stages of her relationship with Kurt Cobain.
The whole show had an undone kind of feeling to it, with Love even letting the crowd pick the next song to play out of ‘Dying’ and ‘Petals’. After resounding screams, ‘Petal’ was chosen and she informed the crowd that it “might sound like shit” because they hadn’t played it in a while, before delivering it whole heartedly. Instead of this making her appear unprofessional, it gave the show a raw feel, which is remarkably rare amongst the polished performances of current major rock bands. She is truly an enigma in herself and she is showing no signs of slowing down as rock’s badass in residence.
Review by Isabella Carbone
Photos by Melissa Donato. See the full gallery here