7/25/06 - NYC, Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel
Incomplete setlist (unsure of order and exact songs played):
Love And Communication
House Of The Rising Sun
Wild Is The Wind
I Dont Blame You
Lived In Bars
Medley (including Crazy and Window Shopping)
Remember Me - These Arms Of Mine Medley
All I Have To Do Is Dream - Blue Moon Medley
I Cant Give You Anything But Love
This was the twenty-fifth concert and the eighth solo performance of the tour.
The Fader Review
I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to see the amazing Chan Marshall in concert. I guess I’m always weary because of some of the horror stories about her performances. But last night she played a solo show at Hiro Lounge in New York City and proved to me that she is perhaps one of the best and most important songwriters/performers in music today. Even her flaws last night seemed like perfectly planned spurts of awkwardness that only further enhanced the credibility of her songs.
Chan came out to a packed Hiro Lounge and immediately asked if everyone wanted to sit down so we could all see. You don’t say “no” to Chan Marshall, so we all sat down so we were all able to watch the striking singer perform. She immediately started playing a simple blues riff on her guitar that she would later explain that she played when she was happy. She sang a few songs on guitar including a cover of “House Of The Rising Sun” and “Good Woman.” Her voice was absolutely flawless and sounds considerably better live because you can see her amazing facial features while she’s trying to get her own instrument to sound perfect.
The concert seemed more like a space for Chan to practice than to perform. She stopped songs in the middle to talk. She stopped songs early and did a lot of giggling and joking around. She told the audience to “never fall in love” and kept swiveling around on her piano bench to make an embarrassing squeaking sound. But it couldn’t have happened any other way. Playing a full concert in which she would have started a song, finished a song, and so on, wouldn’t have seemed appropriate. She’s a complex songwriter so it only makes sense that she’s a complex performer. She doesn’t know how to stick to convention. She even waved and said goodbye into the mic for everyone to hear when Chris Lombardi, the president of Matador Records, got up to walk up the stairs.
The highlights of the show were many. She performed many covers including songs by The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Gnarls Barkley, and The Everly Brothers to name a few. It was her a cappella renditions of Hank Williams’ “Window Shopping” and her performance of “I Don’t Blame You” into “Living Proof” that were the defining moments of the show for me. Some people play covers that end up being the highlights of the show because simply put, the song they’re covering is a better song than they’ve ever written. But Cat Power’s songs are just as beautiful and complex and dense as any of the classic songs she covers. She also sang the first few verses of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” because as she put it… “ATL.”
I cannot imagine that many people can match Chan Marshall’s character, voice, songwriting skills, personality, guitar playing, piano playing, and stage presence. She was absolutely fantastic last night and made me believe as I said before, that she is one of the most important songwriters around. Her albums, if they aren’t already, will be classics and she herself will become a legend like the musicians she looks up to.
Review and comments
I missed both Cat Power shows at Town Hall in June, so I got pretty excited when Chan Marshall (Cat Power) announced another NYC show at Hiro Ballroom. That show was last night (July 25, 2006), and it was [insert a synonym for 'amazing' here].
It was just Chan on stage by herself with a piano, guitar and microphone. She was in extremely good spirts; she told us so. Everyone sat on the floor; she told us to (thank God). She covered "Crazy", part of it at least - half jokingly. Her voice is one of my favorites, and she has an uncanny stage presence and sense of humor to boot.
We were instructed not to take pictures, but it looks like Bao was able to sneak a few flashless snaps without anyone noticing. Please throw reviews and a setlist in the comments.
I didn't take notes, so the following is totally from memory. These songs were played, but this ordering is not entirely correct:
-Love and Communication
-House of the Rising Son
-Wild Is The Wind
-Willie (she introduced it as a really boring song so it'd be the "bathroom break" song and a great opportunity to sneak some coke, followed by her declaration of her own sobriety)
-I Dont Blame You (is that the name of it? brilliant song that starts "last time I saw you, you were on a stage".)
-Hate ("I DO NOT hate myself and I DO NOT want to die")
-Lived in Bars
-Extended extemporaneous medley ("um, what else? what else?")including Crazy (gnarls, not patsy: "ATL baby!") and an incredibly fun Window Shopping with some attempted Hank Williams imitation
-Why (song that "no one knows except for a couple". Lyrics along the lines of "why do you treat me the way you do?")
-All I Have To Do Is Dream - Blue Moon Medley
I thought it was a transcendent show and seeing as I was in the back of the room, I loved the sit down thing as I woundn't have seen a thing without it. Also great was that she told three dudes who coudn't find space to sit on the stage. How great is she? Captivating performance, physical beauty, bathroom humor, invites people on stage and off the cuff renditions of hip hop and classic country.
The show was nuts. I felt like ANYTHING could happen at any moment. There was no opening act (unusual) and Chan Marshall came out at 9:00pm. She immediately seemed very friendly...talked to a couple of people and looked around and said "why doesn't everyone sit down so you can see? everyone sit down." The problem is you cannot sit down when everyone is standing up against each other...so everyone started to slowly back up so the person in front of them could sit down.... Eventually almost everyone in the place was sitting...with their knees to their chests or Indian-style. Except four people in the front had no room to sit, so they were stuck standing...and people started yelling at them "sit down! sit down!" They were helpless and looked it. They couldn't move, they were stuck. Then Chan said "why don't you sit up here, come up here." So they went and sat on the stage. Everyone applauded. There were two older people (I would say in their 50's or 60's) and they couldn't or didn't want to sit..and she was like "Mademoiselle, mademoiselle you can sit here, on this bench" (there was some sort of ledge by the front of the stage I think)...but I don't think this couple wanted to separate, or move to the front...plus there was no way to walk anywhere...everyone was sitting all over the place....eventually the couple moved to the side and stood in the entrance way....
Then she sat down with her guitar (Danelectro - the one you see her with in all the photos) and started to play. As soon as she started singing Merin started to cry. Chan's voice is incredible! She played a really nice, slow version of Love & Communication...and then House of the Rising Sun. It is just like on her old records...the songs start out all disjointed and with her just noodling around...and then she gets into a groove and it just becomes this incredible gelled sound. She was reading the music or the words to House of the Rising Sun off to the side...but as soon as she got going she stopped looking over.
The music was great, the sound was fantastic. You could hear a pin drop in the place. Just Chan and her guitar. After a few songs she moved to piano, and then switched back and forth for the remainder of the set.
But people were uncomfortable sitting on the floor. I couldn't hack it. I had no room. The person behind me had his foot up my butt, or down the back of my pants or something. M had a skirt on. A person behind me kept complaining that his foot was asleep...his girlfriend kept telling him to move. He kept saying "I did move." Eventually I had a panic attack...I get panic attacks when I feel trapped...you couldn't get up or out if you tried...there was no path, no room to move, people sitting every inch of the place. We got up and stepped over people until we reached the entrance way/hallway. We stood there for the rest of the concert. Not as good a view / not as good sound.
People started to build up in the hallway where we were. You had to scale a small wall and jump a railing to walk through the seating area and cut through the back to get to the bathrooms...which apparently a lot of people were doing. M went out at one point to try and find the bathrooms and security said she had to go to the other side of the ballroom...M said "there is no way to walk, everyone is sitting, there is no path" they said "step on someone." I got really mad and was about to throw a fit, but M stopped me. I almost got into three fights while we were there.
The hallway got more and more crowded until it filled up... People were jumping the railing and making noise... But overall it wasn't that bad.
Chan stopped in the middle of (I think) "Willie" and hung her head and complained about the sound. Then she looked as if she was going to bang her head on the piano. But people started cheering and saying "It sounds great! Please don't stop" so she continued. I am sure if people had started heckling it would have been all over. She is definitely a loose hinge...meaning she can become unhinged at any moment. All someone has to do is knock into her or throw her for a loop.
She did a little acapella thing, complete with little dance-y moves and hand signals. She made lots of references to the fact that she is "sober"...but she also made a lot of references to doing cocaine ("This is a...song...so you can go to the bathroom....or cocaine"...also later announcing that she was getting a cold and then motioning as if she were snorting cocaine...etc.). There was an obnoxious guy at the bar screaming and yelling (mostly "I love you" type stuff)...and the two of them went back and forth for a while until he threatened to come up on stage and Chan said "oh, fuck" and said she was going to call security.
At one point she started to swing her guitar around (like in "I Don't Blame You" maybe?
Last time I saw you, you were on stage
Your hair was wild, your eyes were bright
And you were in a rage
You were swinging your guitar around
Cause they wanted to hear that sound
But you didn’t want to play
And I don’t blame you
People were screaming "Smash it! Smash it!" some "Don't smash it!" Eventually she sat down and started playing again. I knew she wouldn't smash it - she must love that guitar.
She did a few covers, a lot of originals, and ended with the Everly Brothers "Dream" ("All I Have To Do Is Dream" -listen b-side of "Could We" 7-inch single). She didn't come out for an encore (also unusual)...she made believe she was wiping her tears and flinging them into the audience. Waving goodbye and disappearing.
She is a bit crazy. It is hard to tell how funny she is. She is either hilarious, or completely nuts. Much better guitar player than I thought, just because it sounds so nice. She makes so much out of so little. Just picking out the bass notes with her thumb and strumming over simple chords. She is obviously better at piano. But great on both. I would love to see her with that band of Stax musicians she has been playing with.
I would see her again. It was an experience for sure.
PS - The Hiro Ballroom is beautiful. Even more so than the photo on the website.
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Date d'inscription : 2012-02-14
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