SPECIAL REPORT FROM BAO
As part of the ongoing Modern Age travel series, bringing you the DC shopping scene earlier this week, today we present the DC music scene. Well sorta.
Last night I had the fortune of seeing Cat Power at the 9:30 Club in DC. The Memphis Rhythm Band came out first warming up the crowd. After about 15 minutes or so, a one Ms. Chan Marshall steps out in her fitted black dress shirt and skinny black jeans. She goes through the entire first half of the concert playing songs off her last album, The Greatest, starting with the title track. During “Where is My Love”, a member of the Memphis Rhythm Band comes on to sing with her, and due to his bronchitis, sounded like he was doing his best Tom Waits impression.
Chan walks off for a moment as the band plays “Since U Been Gone”–no not that one. After that, Chan comes on solo and. I’ve seen her solo and with a band and I always enjoy the concert a lot more when it’s just her and the audience. I feel her music belongs in an intimate setting and with a band, it just seems like the stage is just overcrowded. Plus I think her voice really outshines any instrument onstage and sometimes with all those layers, her voice is drowned out. Honestly, I can’t think of any other singer in music right now with a more beautiful voice than her.
As she’s been doing most of the tour, she plays her cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” but the interesting part was not her rendition of the song but of what a member of the crowd was doing during it. Up in the VIP balcony was Sia, who was performing the later show at the venue, doing the robot to “Crazy”! Unlike New York shows, where other musicians are constantly spotted at concerts, it is a bit unusual to see this at a DC show and particularly rare to see them doing the robot to someone’s song.
The infamy of her past live shows resurfaced a bit at the end of the set, where she ended “Anything But Love” in the middle of the song, apologized to the audience and confessed that she “sucks tonight”. If the cheers and shouts from the audience of “Nooooo, you don’t suck!” were any indication, her own critique of her performance definitely wasn’t the consensus of the crowd.
The show was recorded as part of NPR’s Live Music Series.
More photos at Bao’s flickr