Cat Power Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC - September 17

Considering her live reputation, going to a cat power show could make anyone a little nervous. Thankfully, this show surpassed all expectations, even though it got off to a rough start. While it’s not atypical for an artist to be somewhat late, as the minutes ticked away with no sign of Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), everyone in the audience started to worry. Finally, after almost an hour, she walked on stage. As soon as she started singing, it was so completely mesmerising that the last hour was forgotten. She played a selection of originals drawn mostly from her latest release, The Greatest, and covers, including an a cappella version of Black Flag’s "Nervous Breakdown,” seemingly poking fun at her "reputation.” It was astounding how similar her voice sounded live to her recorded work. Playing a solo show, Chan divided her time between guitar and piano, and the sound was impeccable. The audience was completely silent, as almost every sound in the building was audible. However, this did not stop Marshall from repeatedly asking the sound guy to make changes mid-song. Although it would have sounded better if she just played the songs to completion, it was kind of cute and surprisingly non-disruptive. Despite her concerns, she seemed surprisingly upbeat, making jokes throughout the entire night, including ones about songs she had screwed up at previous shows. She then spent her cigarette break chatting to the audience and signing autographs. The two-hour show ended with a selection of new material that has yet to be released, and Marshall seemed unsure if it ever would be. It would be great to hear them again though.