Cat Power blesses westside with free Marina del Rey gig

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The westside often gets overlooked when it comes to shows, but this past Saturday, Marina del Rey’s Burton W. Chase Park was treated to a free show from iconic indie pop singer-songwriter Cat Power.

Cat Power played to a packed crowd Saturday as part of their free summer concert series. Fans spread out festival style throughout the park with picnics, kids, and dogs in tow. She took the stage around 7:30 with Erik Paparozzi on acoustic guitar, and started off with the Nico cover, “These Days”. The cover led into “Song to Bobby”, which was a perfect way to start the evening.

She didn’t move much on stage, and at one point apologized for her “awkward hand gestures”, which I found endearing. I’ve never seen Cat Power live, and have heard stories about her stage fright and sometimes erratic behavior, but I saw none of this last night. She playfully, and through song, asked that the lighting be changed to “blue and red, not white and pink.” Though the lighting set a calm, melancholy mood, she seemed to be having a good time, smiling through most of the show.

Chan Marshall’s ethereal voice quieted the crowd as the sun set on the marina. The rest of the band (Alianna Kalaba on drums and Adeline Fargier on guitar) joined the stage for the remainder of the 16-song set, which included favorites like “Metal Heart”, and the upbeat, but bittersweet “Manhattan”.

Now six years removed from her last release Sun, Marshall has ditched the bleached blonde look that accompanied her during that tour cycle and has returned to her original brown locks. One of the highlights of the show was hearing Marshall sing the title track from her upcoming new album Wanderer, which drops October 5 on Domino Records. The album includes a Lana del Rey featured song, and Marshall even took time out of her set to cover the pop singer’s song “White Mustang”.

Cat Power will be going on a full tour to support Wanderer in the fall. This includes a November 21 stop at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel that you shouldn’t miss.

The free summer concert series in Marina Del Rey is a yearly event that features an array of music and is open to the public. The series continues August 18 with a performance from X, including all the original members.

Words by Michelle Andrade
Photos by Betsy Martinez

Cat Power tour includes Ace Theatre stop; new album in October