It was the beginning of the end of a decade when Hole headlined the Big Day Out in 1999.
The US band was riding the wave of their most successful album Celebrity Skin before imploding just months later.
The festival itself was in its heyday. Headlining the Big Day Out main stage alongside Hole that year was shock rocker Marilyn Manson and nu metal kings Korn, while Fatboy Slim and Underworld heated things up in the Boiler Room.
Courtney Love and her band courted the media. There were helicopter rides into shows, rumours of backstage rivalries with other headliners and interrupted sets. But on stage, they lived up to the hype.
Backed by long-time band members Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and Samantha Maloney on drums, they powered through feminist anthems of the era like ‘Doll Parts’, ‘Awful’ and ‘Celebrity Skin’.
Whatever your opinion of Courtney Love, there’s no denying her magnetism. This set captures her charisma as well as the confrontational style she’s so famous for.
In an interview with triple j’s Sarah MacDonald on that Big Day Out tour, Love reflected on the decade when alternative became mainstream.
“I think (it was) a better decade than the ‘80s in terms of growth in music and film and the arts in general.”
“It was a terrible decade for independence being purchased by Microsoft and Nike in the most intense, profound insidious way you can imagine.”
It’s Hole, taking us back to the 1999 Melbourne Big Day Out. Your Live at the Wireless this week on Double J.
Image by Sophie Howarth