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Cat Power at First Avenue (Minneapolis, MN)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Performing a classic set of standards, rarities and originals Chan Marshall and her Dirty Delta Blues band played to a near-sold out First Avenue. Marshall’s theatrical approach to the performance lit up the dim stage with terrifying consistency, her movements brash and continually intensified by the night’s band which included The Blues Explosion’s Judah Bauer, drummer Jim White, bassist Erik Paparazzi and Gregg Foreman on the keyboard.

Opening the set with a series of songs from Cat Power’s latest, Jukebox, Marshall and the band induced a calm awe amongst the crowed, all packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the Minneapolis club’s main room. Seductively bellowing out Billie Holiday, Janis and Sinatra before settling into the heart of the set Marshall invoked visuals of her musical patriarchs as she dramatized her every movement, expression and glare.

As she introduced “Metal Heart,” a song she wrote when she was “just a little girl,” Marshall enveloped the crowd with a feeling that carries throughout Jukebox; Marshall’s voice is beautiful and transposes itself wonderfully over the songs of others but her own words and music make a far greater impact in terms of honesty and beauty. The song, which is a personal favorite of mine, does more to service Marshall’s voice than the majority of those heard on this evening – its bold moody flare recalling songstresses celebrated by fans long after their time has passed.

Throughout the evening Marshall slinked off and hid behind the speaker stack to the right of the stage, accepting a lit cigarette, and snagging an occasional beer. She was charming in her diversions however, no longer did she appear to be vulnerable or on the verge of a breakdown; her veteran band creating a setting for her to come and go as she pleased only helped matters.

Late in the set Marshall gave the band a formal introduction through the time honored tradition of roll-call solos, something that was entirely refreshing considering the professionalism that attracts such gestures. Closing a brief encore with a rendition of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You,” the band quietly exited the stage, leaving Marshall to wave and thank the crowd with appreciation of their packing the house for the show; and quite the show it was.

Cat Power & The Dirty Delta Blues Band Minneapolis Set List:

Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday cover)
A Women Left Lonely (Janis Joplin cover)
Silver Stallion (Lee Clayton cover)
New York (Frank Sinatra cover)
Ramblin’ (Hank Williams cover)
Lost Someone (James Brown & The Famous Flames cover)
Aretha, Sing One For Me (George Jackson cover)
Lord, Help The Poor and Needy (Traditional)
Metal Heart
She’s Got You (Patsy Cline cover)
Song to Bobby
Life of the Party
Could We
Naked (Moby Grape cover)
Dark End of the Street (James Carr cover)
Willie
Blue (Joni Mitchell cover)
The Greatest
Lived in Bars
The Moon
I’ve Been Loving You (Otis Redding cover)