01 September 2009

The Pretenders and Cat Power at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

Thanks to the friendly folks at Gigbot, I had a couple tickets to take my 12 year old daughter to go see The Pretenders and Cat Power. Juliette Lewis, I must add, was also on the ticket, but we didn't make it there in time to see what her performance was about. Mapquest sent us on a scenic route south of Tiny Town to a road of the same name, but not the right one. It took us a bit of time to figure out what had happened, turn around, call civilization for proper directions and get to the Kipling and C-470 location. We weren't the only ones with crossed signals. Apparently a lot of people's tickets said "gates at 4, show at 5" when it was actually an hour earlier on both counts. Oops.

Well, with the heat of the day, I truly wasn't heart-broken for not having another hour under the sun. Nope.

I hadn't seen the Pretenders since 1986. They were playing with Iggy Pop in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. It was a good show, from what I recall. But I was pretty stoked to see the Pretenders again. I expected there'd likely be a bunch of aging rockers I'd feel fairly at home with. My daughter was especially looking forward to Cat Power.

Chan Marshall did indeed look to be suffering a bit from the bright Colorado sun. I had heard stories of stage drama from Cat Power, but no such nonsense went on at this show. She sang a lot of low-key newer stuff with a solid backing band keeping it all together behind her. My daughter and I only have the first two Cat Power records, so the newer stuff was mostly unfamiliar. She does have a distinct voice and it delivers just as pretty live as recorded.

The Pretenders didn't let the heat bring them down. Well, the sun was set a little lower by the time they took the stage, but it was still plenty warm and sunny. Chrissy Hynde is an all around solid performer. Her voice and musicianship are as fabulous as always. But not only did the band deliver song after song of crowd pleasing favorite Pretender tunes, Hynde was really funny and engaging, commenting on a little guy's rocking out dance in the crowd and thanking the venue for not having to play with the wafting smell of barbeque in her face. Clearly a passionate vegetarian.
Pretenders played with their original drummer and rolled heavily with songs from Pretenders I and II mixing in newer songs here and there which held their own against the old familiars.

Though outdoor blanket-on-the-grass venues are not my favorite choice, it was a good place to take a kid to a show. Though, honestly, without the comps, it would've been out of my price range for a family outing. But my daughter was happy and thought it was really cool that she can now for always claim as her first national act concert two bands she likes: Cat Power and the Pretenders.

And I had fun too. But next time I'm bringing more water.

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