My buddy Nathaniel is in UVA’s religious studies program, and the other night he went to see Cat Power in Charlottesville. Here’s his report:
Comrades–you know that gossip about Chan Marshall going nuts during live performances? Turns out it’s very, very true.
I saw her last night at the Satellite Ballroom. It’s a small venue, so when she came out she told the whole audience to sit down, which got everyone ready for a low-key, intimate show. She played at least three songs in a row on the piano, with literally no breaks in between. It was halfway through the third song when she got frustrated with the PA sound, banged her hands on the keys a few times, and simply stopped playing.
This went on for TWO HOURS. It was obvious that Chan wasn’t paying any mind to her set list and was playing off the top of her head. At several points she broke down into incoherent rants and even starting talking to herself at one point (“Whatcha gonna do now, biatch?”) She muttered how this night’s performance wasn’t very good because “it was only half of last night’s show,” how she felt “lots of judgement coming from the crowd,” and several other things I couldn’t make out.
When she finally played the opening chords of “I Don’t Blame You,” the crowd cheered. But she barely made it to the first chorus before she had a meltdown and stopped playing. A few minutes later, she muttered something about the KKK, claimed she felt “this weird energy,” and literally RAN off stage.
There was no explicit statement that this was the end of the show, but the audience had had enough. We got up and left without applauding.
That shit is bananas.
Thanks to Stereogum for the link.