Note: Since these are personal reactions to a show I attended, I’m temporarily abandoning the royal we for I, so we refers to either collective audience or the me-and-my-friend duo who attended the concert together.
Last night, Cat Power played a live show at ACL Live in Austin. Despite past accounts of unsteady, mercurial live shows due to a variety of bad influences, she’s allegedly more consistent live now than she’s ever been, and her new album, Sun, is more winsome, positive, and actualized than anything she’s done to date.
Then again, that doesn’t mean her FANS are keeping it together.
I can’t imagine that row H in the ACL Live balcony is a representative row of showgoers, unless there were two people passed out in every row. But that’s what we had up in H — someone in my seat (perhaps 25, female, buzzcut dyed great, nosering) who had to be revived before she moved, upon which she instantly started hating me. (I have this effect on people.)
Then, a little later, as a couple was trying to get seated, there was another woman a few seats over who was passed out. The usher revived her, and escorted her out — at which point, Buzzcut and I had a brief conversation.
Buzzcut: That’s normal.
Me: Yeah, for this row.
Buzzcut: Well, sometimes you just need a nap and you’re Nazis.
My friend got lumped in with me as a Nazi, though she really had nothing to do with it. As with this reviewed “hypnotic” show the night before in Dallas, the show was heavy on atmosphere-absorption and rapt attention, and not so heavy on “motion” or “getting into it.” We got shushed talking during a song, christened the one guy-in-motion we could see moving in the GA standing section up front as “Nodding Guy,” and spotted only six people (out of several thousand) clapping along with Chan Marshall during a song late in the set.
Apparently, sometimes you need a nap far more than you need a rock concert.