Back in the days when MTV used to mean music television, they aired an irreplaceable series of concerts of bands playing acoustically. The series was called Unplugged and, when I finally got satellite TV, I lived for the reshowings on MTV 2.
On Valentine’s Day 1995, Hole hit the stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for a set of 11 songs. The band — Courtney Love, Patty Schemel, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and Eric Erlandson — played a host of their own hits. This set also included few covers like Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf, the Carole King-penned He Hit Me (And it Felt Like a Kiss), and a couple of Nirvana tracks.
One of the coolest parts about the MTV Unplugged series was how impromptu it was. The artists could break a song out in the middle of a set unexpectedly, thus leading to an impromptu cover of one of the last songs Kurt wrote; the as-of-then unreleased, You Know You’re Right.
Hole’s entire performance is raw, unfiltered. The difference between having a setlist that an artist sticks to and going out there guns blazing works amazingly.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. For Hole? It absolutely fuckin’ did.