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Kitten At Amoeba, Tuesday June 24th 2014

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Kitten’s Chloe Chaidez

Kitten is certainly a band that I enjoy much more for their live performances than for their music. Having seen a few times before, I know that Chloe Chaidez is a scene to see, she commands the stage, she is a meteor spinning everywhere, a fire ball jumping and climbing at the top of whatever is available, spiting water on people like a punk star,… so when I learnt that Kitten was doing an in-store at Amoeba, I was ready for some action. However, too bad for me, no stage antics no wild cat on Tuesday night, Chloe did an acoustic set just by herself, sitting with her guitar the whole time. Of course this was unexpected and very different from what I had seen before and a sort of disappointment for me. But not for the very young crowd already standing there hours before the show. Chloe is surely a local star (and probably more than local) and, at 19, she has already a large following as Kitten has been opening for bands like No Doubt, Paramore and Charli XCX.

Kitten had just headlined a show at the El Rey a few days before, and for having seen a few pictures, I can say that Chloe was loyal to her bullet-canon and stage-risk-taker reputation. There was nothing like this at Amoeba, may be it would have been hard to repeat the performance on the small stage, may be Chloe Chaidez wanted to try the intimate show for once, the sort of set that older stars do after wild performances, just to get very close to her biggest fans. For a girl who has declared ‘What’s going to make this band different is our live show’ it was an odd choice, but she probably knew she would not have to conquer anyone there, she was working with the devoted die-hard crowd.

Chloe sure has a great voice, she seemed suddenly transformed into the emotional chanteuse and, with breathy and modulating vocals, she did a rather short set (six songs including a cover) that the Chaidez clones standing front row religiously listened to. She did a signing just after her set, Kitten’s debut and self-titled album was released the same day, and I could see that this acoustic show was a very special treat for her fans, revealing another side of the music. She could hold the notes and play the songs, making me think, well is she the frontgirl or Kitten by herself? Is Kitten a solo project after all?

Sung like this, ‘Like a Stranger’, ‘I’ll be Your Girl’, ‘Cut it Out’ or ‘Kill the Light’ had very little of their electro-pop-ready-for-the-arena feeling, the songs were still melodic and more or less catchy but their massive sound had been ‘reduced’ to Chiadez’ power-chords. There is a strong 80’s vibe in all this, something much older that the young Chaidez, and unsurprisingly she covered her favorite song, Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’, that she ended with a few lines from Bryan Ferry’ ‘Slave to Love’ (another favorite song of hers, she added) and we were bathing in the mid 80s.

‘I love being onstage more than anything’, she declared in an interview, ‘When you are up there you can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want. If there’s one person in the back of the room not involved, then that’s my audience. I’ll do whatever I have to do to blow that person away. I want everybody in the audience to remember where they were when they saw Kitten for the first time.’ It’s an ambitious thought, but even sitting down on her chair, Chaidez had a strong and charismatic presence, probably more Pat Benatar than Lorde, to pick one of her peers,… there is no goth vibe with Kitten, Chloe Chaidez has adopted the electrifying glam-rock, new wave music scene, but really, next time I want to experience the wild cat inside her.

Setlist
Like a Stranger
Apples & Cigarettes
I’ll be Your Girl
Cut it Out
Don’t dream it’s over (Crowded House cover) Slave to Love Bryan Ferry
Kill the Light

More pictures of the show here.


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