I recently went out to Los Angeles to see Cat Power, Spiritualized, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds perform at the Hollywood Bowl. I went to the show with my family and a couple L.A. associates who’d been nice enough to acquire fantastic box seats and put us up for the night.
I’d been expecting Spiritualized to take the opening slot, so I was surprised when Cat Power started off the night instead. Chan Marshall and her band came on at 7:30 and played a 45 minute set. Chan was a completely different performer from the one I saw at the Southgate House 5 or 6 years ago. At that show, she sat huddled over a keyboard the entire evening with bangs that obscured her face. I don’t recall her looking up or saying anything to the audience all night. This time out, she pranced around the stage, smiled, and even walked out into the audience during “Ramblin’ Woman”. It’s nice to see how much she’s progressed; I felt kind of bad for her when I saw her the first time.
Cat Power’s set was heavy on covers, which makes sense considering her most recent release was Jukebox, her second covers record (after 2000’s The Covers Record). The interesting thing is that a couple of the best covers weren’t from either of those releases. I’m specifically thinking of the amazing versions of “Fortunate Son” and “The Dark End of the Street” that she performed back-to-back about halfway through her set. Other highlights of the night included Chan’s original tribute to Bob Dylan, “Song to Bobby”, and Moby Grape’s “Naked, If I Want To”. Oh, and let’s not forget the version of “Angelitos Negros” which closed out the set. It featured Chan reading the Spanish lyrics off a sheet of paper and then stuffing them into the back pocket of her jeans!
As always, here’s the setlist. I sincerely apologize for flubbing up the first song. I just can’t place it. The lyrics I wrote down in my notebook appear to be from “I Don’t Blame You”. I honestly don’t remember hearing that song, though.
Setlist: ???/Woman Left Lonely/Silver Stallion/Fortunate Son/Dark End of the Street/Metal Heart/Song to Bobby/Naked, If I Want To/Ramblin’ Woman/Angelitos Negros
Setlists and mini reviews for the other two performers will be coming up in the next couple days. I’ve got to work on my Spiritualized setlist and I’m still processing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Oh man, I don’t even know where to begin with those guys.