Friday, November 30, 2012

Cat Power @ Vogue Theatre

Cat Power
Vogue Theatre
Guests: Entrance
November 2nd, 2012

The crowd was buzzing with excitement.
Incense, candles, tarot cards and flowers littered the stage around Chan Marshall's microphone. It set the stage for the memorable night.

As smoke began to fill the stage, Cat Power finally set foot into the historic Vogue Theatre around 10:45pm and everyone showed their excitement. I couldn't believe that she was standing right there in front of me. This beautiful talented musician that I had always admired. I was fearful that she would cancel the tour after she had stated that she was dealing with health issues and was almost bankrupt!
I wanted to support her with all my might.

Cat Power was accompanied by 3 female musicians and a male multi- instrumentalist. The female musicians exuded an energy that grounded the audience. They were all clad in black and this set the stark contrast between stage lights and performers. They shredded on guitar, kept rhythm on percussion and added depth of sound with bass/keys and vocals.

From the moment Chan set foot on stage a smile crept onto my face and stayed there for the entire show. I had, unbeknownst to me, become really emotional. I had never cried at a show before but I was close to it. If an artist can garner that type of reaction from me, her music of course has been very influential in my life. This reaction to seeing her was strange, for me at least its uncommon to be this emotional. I suppose my body reacts to what the mind delays. Relief. Happiness. Maybe even disbelief. 

Chan Marshall had a bleached blond androgynous hair cut. I missed her gorgeous straight bangs and long hair but this new look really allowed her to transform. She squirmed and twisted her body while she sang strained lyrics into her microphone. She was sick that night and would cough away from the microphone and wouldn't miss a lyric. Dedication.

She pulled awkwardly at her black jeans and stood near the edge of the stage while performing. Making her way from one side of the stage to the other she claimed her space and it spoke to us, she spoke to us. She made sure that her eyes locked with each and every one of us. Pulling us in closer and engaging us-- we were all accountable -- we were not just shadows in the crowd. We were part of the show.

One of my favourite moments was during her song "Bully" the stage lights dimmed and the spotlight focused on her. Her band-mates were in shadows and she poured her hurt all over us.
This performance was chill and goose-bump inducing. I remember closing my eyes and rolling my head back. It made sense to pause and just listen.

Not all moments can be perfect though, during this intimate moment two people in the front row decided to bicker, this caught Chan's attention and her quick words of"It's terribly rude to talk [during the song]" shut them up. Good thing too, because not long afterwards an audience member fainted and had to be carried out, but not before Chan handed her a water bottle and called for security help.

I appreciated this-- as a fan of music you hope that the musicians that you admire are people with a conscious and have heart. Chan Marshal has all of this and more.

She played several songs from her new album 'Sun' and some classics. She re-worked most of her older songs and you had to really listen to recognize them. She opened with a re-worked version of "The Greatest" and followed with an incredible set list. One of the songs that received the loudest cheers were "Cherokee"as well as when she ended with 'Ruin', notably her strongest song off of her new record. She threw flowers into the audience at the end and we all reached our eager hands up to grasp some essence of her.
Cat Power didn't give an encore although most of us stayed after the lights came up and continued to clap. We were hoping that maybe they would indulge us with one more song. They understandably, didn't.

I left the show loving her more than I would have thought. She found time between songs to sign albums and posters from audience members. She graciously accepted gifts from the audience: gloves, letters and flowers. Giving away set lists and blowing kisses. I haven't seen many artists sign albums during the show before and seeing this warmed my heart.
I'm not sure why... maybe because it means that we in some small way matter to her and she needs us just as much as we need her.

Set list:
The Greatest
Silent Machine
Human Being
Kings Ride By
Angelitos Negros (Pedro Infante Cover)
Always On My Own
Back In the Days
3, 6, 9
Nothing But Time
I Don't Blame You
Peace and Love

Cherokee - Cat Power

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