Cat Power at Ogden Theatre, 01/24/13
Last night's show would feature none of those blog-worthy freakouts, though. She played it safe, even if that meant for a mediocre concert. "King Rides By," a 1996 Cat Power song re-released in 2011, fit squarely with the newer material. It was upbeat for the notably downbeat singer -- try to make it all the way through Myra Lee without having your happy mood deflated -- and it set the audience up for a very unexpected turn in the night's agenda.
About thirty minutes into the set, just when I began thinking, "Dear God, even the Wallflowers show was better than this," came a flurry of songs that reminded us doubters in the room why Marshall was indeed The Greatest. "3, 6, 9," from Sun, was played with passion and conviction, filling the room with all the soul that had previously been sorely lacking from the set. "Nothing But Time" did the same trick, swinging like hell and causing instant amnesia for those who'd thought Marshall had lost her way.
"Peace and Love" and "Sitting on a Ruin" ended the set, which, like the few previous songs, showed the band with a glut of energy unseen for the first half of the concert. Marshall banged on a snare drum, did some breakdance moves, laughed and waved good-bye.
And then -- it was over. Marshall re-emerged alone onstage, house lights now on, to toss T-shirts into the crowd. Hip-hop blared through the house speakers. Anyone hoping for an encore, however, would've been disappointed.
Personal Bias: Cat Power falls into a long line of bands I once loved (see: My Morning Jacket, Magnetic Fields) whose recent output has me reassessing our relationship. Sun has been off my iPod since a week after I got the album.
Random Detail: There was a girl in a crushed-velvet onesie dancing around with her baby. RANDOM.
By the Way: Chan Marshall's drummer looked like a younger Chan Marshall. Chan Marshall, meanwhile, looked like a young Annie Lennox. What's this all mean?