Indie songstress Chan Marshall (AKA Cat Power) recently graced Portland with her presence. The notoriously eccentric performer played a stripped down solo set that was nothing short of stunning. At times nervous, and at times goofy, Marshall took the Hawthorne Theatre’s stage armed with nothing but a guitar, piano and a whole lot of incense. Following the release of last year’s synth-driven Sun, it was lovely to see Marshall show her heartbreakingly raw talent again. Few performers can compel a room as she does with her smoke-filled voice and vulnerable lyrics. Fans frequently interrupted her set with “WE LOVE YOU CHAN!” and other endearing cries as if to let her know that it was okay to be so naked on stage. It was a performance that seemed to be on edge most of the show with lots of false starts and the possibility of abruptly ending at any time. But Marshall delicately navigated through the show for over two hours with silly jokes and a burning cigarette in hand. It was a beautiful performance and she should be praised for showing her bones to a packed house. Well done Chan, well done.
Words by Elizabeth Elder