With her shoddy blond dye job, bright red lipstick and tight, tattered black shirt, Kelly Osbourne looked a lot like Courtney Love at the Black Cat on Monday. Especially when the 18-year-old introduced herself by dumping water on her head, spitting something gooey on the stage, and, with makeup smeared across her cherubic face, thrusting her middle finger at the crowd.
But rather unsettling appearances can be deceiving (yet another lesson learned from watching "The Osbournes" on MTV). There was nothing malicious or bratty about the daughter of rock's Prince of [Bleeping] Darkness. The sweet Ozzette giggled and grinned throughout her 45-minute set of likable but instantly forgettable pop-punk, engaging the half-capacity crowd in all manner of rock-pose, fist-pumping and silly shout-alongs.
As far as the quality of Osbourne's singing is concerned, it was hard to tell, what with her spiky-haired four-piece band nearly drowning her out on such bouncy guitar workouts as the Donnas-like opener "Disconnected," the suddenly hair-metallish hit "Shut Up" and the surf-boogie jam "Coolhead."
Of course, Osbourne's stage presense is so charismatic, so chipper, so gosh-darn cute, that as she bounced and shimmied around like a younger Belinda Carlisle, most in the female-strong crowd bounced and shimmied along with her, not caring that they couldn't understand a word she was saying.
The night's highlights came courtesy of two covers. "This is my favorite '80s song," Osbourne said as she launched into a cheeky version of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night." And for Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach," she invited a couple dozen crowd members to join her onstage. Afterward, Osbourne hugged a bunch of her fans, giggled a "good night" and skipped offstage.
-- Sean Daly