Courtney Love ended a contentious-even-for-her week — in which she angrily accused Dave Grohl of creeping on her daughter Frances Bean Cobain — with a decidedly peace-and-love move, reuniting with former Hole bandmates Eric Erlandson, Patty Schemel, and Melissa Auf der Maur at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, last night. It was the first time since 1997 that the so-called classic lineup of Hole had performed together, and it lasted all of one song.
The reunited Hole’s surprise performance of “Miss World” came at the tail end of a short, covers-heavy set by Erlandson, Schemel, and Auf der Maur during the afterparty for the New York premiere of the documentary Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel. It was extra surprising because at a Q&A following a screening for the film a year ago, the four stood onstage together but Love seemed adamant that they’d never play together again. “If something’s not relevant, I don’t want to do it,” she said at the time. “So for me, as much as I love playing with Patty, and I would play with her in five seconds again, and everyone standing on this stage, if it’s not moving forward I don’t want to do it, it’s just my thing. If it’s not miserable and it’s going forward, then I’m happy with it, that’s all I have to say about that question.”
Last night, it appeared that one song was supposed to be the extent of Love’s participation, but the singer — looking natty in a black vest/black skirt/white shirt combo — couldn’t resist inviting herself right back up onstage for the closing number, a raw cover of the Wipers’ “Over the Edge,” with Yo La Tengo’s James McNew subbing for Auf der Maur on bass.
The most moving moment of the evening wasn’t a musical one, though. As Love began to break from a post-“Miss World” hug with band co-founder Erlandson — with whom she has publicly sparred over her right to continue performing under the name Hole — he pulled her in tighter, and the two shared a significantly deeper embrace. In a recent SPIN interview, Erlandson said he still has warm feelings for his ex-bandmate: “I still love Courtney.”