Cat Power live @ ECCI Theater (Bogotá) [07.5.2008]
You get there already expecting every second of the whole night, yet any new light manages to make you shudder a little bit more. Everything is set so you can lose all reference to the outside world, find that exact instant when you know your past is all gone. Look ahead, you will never get tired of that moment, waiting for the musicians to come out, every possibility laid out in front of you. A not- so-big venue, few lights, good attendance–enough to make you feel there's a chance in the city for more shows like this; enough to make you wish it was always like that. What's important, and you'd learn that at the end, is not losing your past for good but becoming one with it, thus leaving yourself open for the world.

Remember that article in the New Yorker about her, just six months ago. You wondered if you'd ever have an experience like that, see her playing live, get a glimpse of her thoughts, taste her fear on stage; felt like another world altogether. Yet, obviously, anything you'd expect would never be close to the real thing; you were even almost able to guess what the first song of the show would be: "New York, New York," from Jukebox, was played third, "Don't Explain" being the first one and setting an extraordinary, unexpected blues drive to the rest of the show. This is where your past and your present clash, making you feel at once far away but warm, totally in the right place. It's the lines, I tell you. "Woman Left Lonely" would be second and somewhere the Bob Dylan cover which she proudly announced. Everything going louder than the records, the Dirty Delta Blues rocking your heart out on every beat, you could anticipate and feel every note they played.

Then, as expected, you were just there, gazing at her, how she moved without any visible connection to the music, every single note preceded and followed by thousands of cut-up dance movements, hundreds of gestures coming through her face with every beat; yet you knew every movement she made was already inside of you, coming out at the same time, making you disappear in the air. The perfect moment, maybe after the short, sonorous explorations interlude played by the bass and the piano, when you were sure you were just born there, no past hanging on to you, no judgments ever made. If there was any past left then you'd understand the song she sang in Spanish, no need to crawl for the lyrics at the end. Along came "The Greatest" and "Lived in Bars," some old songs to make sure you don't just turn to ashes right there. Finally, she goes away throwing flowers, the same way she came in, as if to make that time-breaking night turn over and repeat itself forever holding you inside of that memory-free loop; extra blues drive included. - postbop


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