Cat Power sucks the life out of at least one live music aficionado
By Chuck Cox
I knew going into Wednesday’s Cat Power concert at Trees that the Atlanta songstress has a reputation of being very hit or miss live. To call what she threw out there for Dallas a “miss” would be extremely kind.
In my many years of extensive concert going, I feel pretty confident saying Cat Power (a/k/a Chan Marshall) put on the absolute worst show I’ve ever seen. So much so that I left early.
After nearly an hour set change — even though the stage settings for both her and opener Nico Turner were both minimal — Cat Power finally hit the stage a little before 10 p.m. with a cover of “House of the Rising Sun.” And it didn’t take long for the crowd to get a bit of foreshadowing, as she asked the sound man to make some adjustments. Nothing unusual there. Happens all the time.
But she just would not leave it alone, wanting more reverb and more vocals. The problem was apparently in what she was hearing on stage, because she sounded just fine from the audience. And, get this … she told the crowd she never does sound check. OK, stop. This is no longer on the sound guy; it’s on you, Cat Power. If you don’t take the time to work the sound out before the show, then that’s entirely your fault. And it’s incredibly unfair to the crowd if you’re not going to fight though it.
Instead of dealing with it, she held conversations with the sound man, who she had not even met before the show, while the crowd watched the equivalent of a spirited sound check session with growing boredom. The longer it went on, the more the already small crowd began to thin out. It really got to be ridiculous and incredibly childish.
On top of that, she was playing one song on the piano when she just stopped to talk to somebody who brought her a drink to the stage. It was clear she really did not care there was an audience in front of her. And when she started talking to the sound guy again a little more than an hour into the show, I had finally had enough. I can’t tell you the last time, if ever, I’ve left a show early because it sucked so badly.
Cat Power has a beautiful voice and some truly tremendous records, but to do that to an audience might be a pretty good indicator of why she can’t even fill up Trees for a show.
I wasn’t crazy about Turner’s short opening set, but she at least acted like she cared. It was a rare really bad night of live music. Luckily, I’ve got the Cult and Jay Z next week to get me back on track.
— Chuck Cox (@Axeemjacks) December 12, 2013