3/21/03 - Carrboro, NC, Cat's Cradle

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3/21/03 - Carrboro, NC, Cat's Cradle

Post  Cokelike on Sun 10 Jun - 5:31

3/21/03 - Carrboro, NC, Cat's Cradle

Incomplete setlist:
Baby Doll
Knocking On Heaven's Door
Names
Evolution
Wizard Of Oz
Golden Age (incomplete)


This was the 29th performance of the tour. Entrance was the opening band.

Review from Indyweek.com
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/live/Content?oid=1189075

Live!
Cat Power and Entrance, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, March 21
by Daniel Cook Johnson

Of all the rambling performances I've ever witnessed, this had to be the most awkward show I've ever attended. Cat Power, pseudonym for the indie-rock torch singer Chan (pronounced Sean) Marshall, just could not get it together. It was almost midnight when Chan and band hit the stage, after opening act Entrance--a lone shaggy guitar player who could have passed as a clone of folk legend Tim Buckley, except that he sang more like punk screamer John Lydon--got off to a late start. With her new touring band, consisting of Will Fratesi on drums, Coleman Lewis on guitar and Margaret White on just about everything else (but mostly violin), Cat Power started with the pensive "Baby Doll." But there was a horrible buzz and the bass was overbearing in the sound system. The crowd seemed supportive but the sound quality was so bad most people continued talking.

Three or four songs into the set, the band left the stage and much of the audience left the show. People could sense things were going astray. As the crowd thinned out, Chan reappeared onstage, and began to go back and forth between piano and guitar, playing a random and sketchy assortment of songs, including a number of her own, but mostly covers like "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and even a snippet of "Golden Age" from Beck's most recent CD. This would have been fine if she played a song from start to finish and stopped mumbling incoherently. But no such luck.

I'm not sure what she was going on about--numerous apologies, complaints about the sound and random odd comments made up her stage "banter." I heard much talk among the remaining crowd that this wasn't just an "off" night. The fumbling and breakdowns are apparently common in Chan-land but this was a full-out cry for help that seriously made one think the remaining Cat Power tour should be canceled for Chan's mental health.

Perhaps the naked intensity that haunts Cat Power's excellent new disc You Are Free was too much live. It creeped out the Cradle-crowd just looking for fun on a Friday night. "I'll stick to her records from now on," a friend of mine said as we were leaving. I will too, though I'm sure the next time I crank up a Cat Power record or CD on the stereo, it will make me want to send Ms. Marshall a get-well-soon card.

------------------------------------------

Review from snappishproductions.com
http://www.snappishproductions.com/blog/archives/2003/03/cat-power-cats.html

Cat Power, Cat's Cradle 21/03/2003
March 22, 2003

That was...different.

I've heard all the stories about Cat Power concerts. About her chronic stage-fright which can sometimes lead to her spending two hours trying to play a song on her guitar. But this tour was supposed to be different; she has a backing band to provide some stability, and she was apparently looking forward to this tour.

The first signs were rather ominous; the band didn't start playing until 23:30, because they were late getting into Carrboro. They open with 'Baby Doll'. It becomes clear that something is bothering Chan. At the end of the song, she complains that she doesn't think the sound is right (to be fair to her, the monitors at the Cradle do seem to be rather abysmal). The next three songs continue in a similar fashion, with Chan breaking off at the end of the songs to ask for more "whoomph" on her guitar, to turn her vocals up, or to fiddle with her amplifier. It's not going well.

And then the backing band guitarist's amplifier dies.

The rest of the band leaves the stage; Chan says that they'll be back later (they never reappear), and continues alone with her piano and guitar. This turns out to be a mistake. She falls to pieces. For the next hour and a half, she manages to stumble through some songs like 'Names', 'Knocking On Heaven's Door', and 'Evolution', but for the most part she only can play snatches of songs before losing her place, saying that the piano is "too tight and bright".

She seems to get increasingly desperate; she spends the whole show sitting on the edge of a piano stool, tipping the other end up at a distressingly high angle (I really did think that she was going to fall towards the end). She tries to tap out a tune on her guitar using the lead when she's waiting for Matt to attach her amplifier directly into the sound system. She apologises again and again, and does her best to continue. She plays the first song she ever wrote, called "Wizard of Oz', and then lays her head on the piano. She confesses that she doesn't know what she's doing, and that she'll play all night.

After a glance at the long-abandoned set list, she manages to play a few more songs. As it goes past 1am, it's quite tragic; despite having spent money on the concert, all you want is for someone to go onstage, put an arm around her, and say "Chan, you can stop. You don't have to carry on." Eventually, at about 1:30, the tour manager does this, coming into the wings to say that she only has time for one more song. She gets through one last performance on the guitar, says goodbye, and runs upstairs to the dressing room.

As I turned from the front of the stage, I see that the sold-out crowd has dwindled to just a few die-hard fans. Some of the backing band are talking to the remaining audience. It's almost 2am.

--------------------------------------

Matador Forum member review -
http://forums.matadorrecords.com/showthread.php?t=333

I went with high but guarded expectations. To be blunt (and I hate to say this about an artist I enjoy), the Cat's Cradle show was terrible. If Chan's rep for having "good" and "bad" shows is true, this was a without a doubt one of the "bad" ones.

Evidently, the band showed up late & didn't get a sound check (Chan apologized because they had gotten in so late). After the opener by Entrance, the full band came out to start the set & the 1st 25-30 minutes were more of a soundcheck in progress. Chan was unhappy and continuously complaining about the sound (which is never great at the Cat's Cradle but got better after they fixed the guitar player's amp). As a result she stopped 80% of the songs half way through to complain about the monitors, the sound, the vocal & guitar effects (more reverb, less reverb, etc......) & the lack of "magic". Finally, 35-40 minutes in, she dismissed her band because the "magic wasn't there" and played the rest of the show solo. Even after that every other song was interrupted before it was over to complain more about the sound.

She announced to the audience 3-4 times that it was "the worst show ever." It was a shame because her voice is so beautiful & her lyrics so powerful, that I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders & say "shut up & let the music play". After they fixed the guitarists amp, things were starting to sound nice at points. Sadly, she couldn't seem to find a way to play through it & let the vibe take over. Over half the last 30-45 minutes of the show were just her wanking around on the piano, playing little refrains, tuning exercises & pieces of songs, saying that's what she spends hours doing when she's practicing.

Because of the way it turned out, I bagged going to the 9:30 Club show the next night although in some ways I wish I had gone if for no other reason than the fact that I like her sound so much & that show HAD to have been better.

Cokelike

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