Hole Rips Don Hill’s a New One

Published on VMagazine.com September 16, 2010.

A seedy and auto-legendary rock ’n’ roll club has sprung up in one of the unlikeliest of places: downtown New York City. While rock ’n’ roll may be synonymous with NYC—via Google images, ‘80s movies, or photos on the wall of that retail boutique where CBGB’s used to be—it’s an element that has been noticeably absent from lower Manhattan ever since rents increased, the posh noshers moved in, and noise complaints became as daily a neighborhood ritual as a run for coffee in the morning and a perusal of the New York Post. Enter nightlife impresario Nur Khan, who’s stepped in with DeLeon Tequila at the newly revived Don Hill’s to stick a much-craved needle in the vein of live rock music below Houston Street.

“How many nights can you stand around and order expensive drinks in a nightclub somewhere? The kids don’t want to do that anymore,” Khan said Saturday night over a glass of DeLeon on the rocks. “They want a place where they can go wild and watch some awesome bands.” Awesome is putting it lightly. Amidst the graffiti’d interior and surrounding art pornography flashing on flat screens, Khan and Deleon had already hosted Guns ‘N Roses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Iggy Pop (Crystal Castles played Sunday, and tonight the Yeah Yeah Yeahs take the stage).

Saturday’s guests, Hole, re-affirmed the mission of the new, divey Don Hill’s: “It’s like 1992 all over again,” Courtney Love complained. “Nur, can’t I get a fucking guitar pick?” Courtney and her band proceeded to plow through a set of some of her band’s newer songs, their major hits, and some roof-shattering covers. A hoarse version of Leonard Cohen’s “Take this Longing” felt nostalgic, and a cover of Big Star’s “Thirteen” by Courtney and guitarist Micko Larkin (“Micko’s going to teach you all a lesson,” she warned) hushed the entire room into a transfixed and deserved silence. The most tweetable cover, however, had to be the band’s early-set rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, clearly aimed crassly toward the gut of the fashion crowd that Courtney couldn’t help ridiculing. Of course, Queen Courtney put her own spin on Ms. Gaga’s lyrics in order to make the song (with crowd-contributed “WHOA-OH-OH-OHs”) a bit more personal. “I want your psycho, your vertical DICK,” she hissed. “Come on and fuck me, ‘cuz baby I’M RICH, I want your love.” Love, love, Love!

Photos: Billy Farrell Agency