rappin' to the fuzz: cat power @ terminal 5 - 2/7/08
  • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2008

  • Posted by:


Cat Power’s performance at Terminal 5 was one of those shows you wish you could take a mulligan on. It’s not that it was particularly horrible. Quite the opposite, as there were many moments of brilliance when Chan and her fantastic touring band - Dirty Delta Blues - were locked in offering up tight soul and jazzy grooves. Unfortunately there were just too many hiccups to make the evening memorable for the right reasons – namely the myriad of technical problems that plagued her set.

If you haven’t been to Terminal 5, a former dance club tucked away on Manhattan’s West Side, it’s positively cavernous. The three-level venue can be best described as a boxy industrial-sized warehouse, dotted with two wraparound balconies and funky sightlines that make attending a show there slightly frustrating. Settling in on a piece of the packed floor Ms. Marshall emerged decked all in black opening appropriately with her sexy take on “New York, New York” the lead track off her new covers-filled album Jukebox. In the past Marshall had been known to experience horrible bouts of stage fright, making her shows quite hit or miss. From reports of recent tours Chan has gotten past her fears delivering some her best live performance, though she had a lot of nervous energy on this night seeming almost jittery as she bounced around the stage.

The night’s set list was peppered with selections mainly from Marshall’s two most recent releases. Unfortunately for everyone involved the real story of the show was the microphone feedback problem, which started relatively early on and continued through most of the show. There was a constant back and forth struggle between Chan and the person manning the soundboard to get things right even switching over from a wireless to a hardwired microphone in hopes of solving the problem. Visibly frustrated Marshall forged on, maintaining her composure despite the grumblings of the crowd who also wanted to a resolution.

About mid-way through her set Ms. Marshall disappeared backstage leaving the audience in the very capable hands of Dirty Delta Blues who showed off their chops with an impromptu jam session. When Marshall returned to the stage - about ten minutes later – she was decked out in a new outfit with armful of t-shirts in tow, which she proceeded to toss into the crowd, seemingly as a way of making amends for the technical glitches.

I will give credit to Marshall managing to keep things together without a full-blown meltdown. The sound problems really stalled any kind of momentum that she built from song to song and on another night in another venue this very well could have been a captivating performance. - Jeffrey Greenblatt

Setlist:
"New York, New York"
"Ramblin' (Wo)man"
"Don't Explain"
"I Believe in You"
"Aretha, Sing One For Me"
"Lost Someone"
"Silver Stallion"
"Woman Left Lonely"
"Lord, Help The Poor & Needy"
"Metal Heart"
"The Moon"
"Where is My Love"
"The Greatest"
"The Tracks of My Tears"
"Could We"
"She's Got You"
"Naked, If I Want To"
"Song to Bobby"
"Dark End"
"Willie"
-----
"Lived in Bars"
"I've Been Loving You Too Long"

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Cat Power @ MySpace

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