Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Cat Power - 7 March 2013, The Forum

I'm not sure if my experience is representative, but both times I've seen Cat Power it's been an awkward performance, not bad, just awkward. This time kicked off with the lights coming down and Bob Dylan's Shelter from the Storm blaring out. After five minutes the song finished, and still no band. A few minutes later the band came out and stood round. Eventually they started to play and a minute or two after that Chan Marshall appeared. It was an odd start.

The first couple of songs didn't help matters either - Sea of Love is an odd choice for early in the set, and this version of The Greatest doesn't compare favourably with the original. Fortunately, her new album Sun is great, and the show hit its stride once she played the first track off that album (it might also be that she is more excited about playing the new material). A few awkward mumbled comments to the audience were met with bemusement, but didn't stop the crowd enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, all the momentum was lost when she left the stage after Nothin' But Time. The band started playing the intro to I Don't Blame You. And kept at it for the next 11 minutes while everyone waited for Marshall's return. Eventually she made it back, saying she had felt dizzy. It would be unfair to criticise her for feeling unwell (and it didn't effect her performance), but it was a break that klled all the energy that had been built up.

Mick Turner from Dirty Three made an appearance for Metal Heart and a nice fusing of the Velvet Underground's Oh! Sweet Nuthin' and Rowland S. Howard's Shivers. The show ended with Peace and Love, and Ruin, which worked well as an end to the set. Chan Marshall seems to have joined the growing group of artists who don't bother with an encore (personally I'm a fan of them), but this show could really have benefited from one. She did come out a few minutes after leaving the stage to indicate the venue wouldn't let her play an encore, although it's hard to tell if this was an excuse or not (Okkervil River ran into the same problem though - shows at the Forum hardly end late, so it's annoying if band are prevented from playing for another 5 or 10 minutes).

I've had a few problems with distortion of late, so I've reduced the input when recording, this works well most of the time (the only problem is during the louder bits of Angelitos Negros), but means there can be a bit of static during quiet sections. I've done my best to remove the static, so hopefully this approach will deliver some good quality recordings. This time I think it worked well.

Sea of Love
The Greatest
Silent Machine
Human Being
King Rides By
Angelitos Negros
Always on My Own
3, 6, 9
Nothin' But Time
I Don't Blame You
Metal Heart (with Mick Turner)
Oh! Sweet Nuthin'/Shivers (with Mick Turner)
Do Ya
Peace and Love

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