Unfortunately, those that attended Marshall's performance last night at Grand Central bore witness to what might be described, gently, as a less than stellar performance. However, we're not especially gentle, and we're cool with saying that Chan Marshall was a complete train wreck.
A pretty well-packed club chatted away through Cat Power's only support act, California-based rapper Addiquit. The fact of the matter is that (regardless of how hip-hop infused the new Cat Power album may be) even the highest caliber, rowdiest rapper in hip-hop would've made for awkward direct support to Marshall's smokey ballads and introspective bedroom rock.
And as such, Addiquit was anything but. The young female MC's fusion of semi-cool, danceable beats with insubstantial rhymes and a super-suburban stage presence didn't do the trick. The set was met with indifference, even after the young woman leveled with the audience about "just being a cali-girl that wanted to share her art."
The Cat Power band broke onto the stage around 10 p.m. to a boisterous crowd that could not be quelled by the now-dimmed blue lighting and gentle piano. Marshall entered after what felt like an eternity of smooth, vintage electric piano, sporting a blonde mohawk and a look of sheer, unfiltered terror. Despite the odd entrance, Marshall's gossamer vocals silenced the crowd -- for the most part.
The first song was the victim of an early end at the hands of Marshall's apparent displeasure with the stage sound, halting the band with a sheepish mumble of "I can't sing this," or something of that nature, though exact quotes were hard to come by between Marshall's mumbling and the crowd prattling away.
As the band attempted to sweep away the shattered pieces of the first number with an uptempo second song, we could see the sound man scrambling away behind the board, looking concerned and frantically twisting knobs.