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Once Chloe Chaidez ricochets onto a stage, there’s no going back. Kitten displayed every aspect of its namesake on this unassuming Monday night – eager and untamed, fueled with an unruly and reckless energy bestowed only upon the young and not yet jaded.
The Bootleg itself was surprisingly full upon walking in – when I turned around to scan the crowd from my front row spot around 9:15, the bar was completely packed. Surprising, for a 9pm Monday night show.
The band started off with a riotous first number, “Japanese Eyes“, leaving the phrase “easing into” behind in the dust. Chloe commanded the stage with the air of a manic yet mesmerizing conductor, thrashing about in time with the shredding bass, cocking a hip and pumping a fist in perfect timing with a heavy drumbeat and hitting the tambourine like her frenzied flapping might be able to lift her in flight. And fly she did, all throughout the show – upstage, downstage, onto the speakers, into bassist Christopher Vogel‘s personal space – she was a hurricane, and there was no stopping her force. Her shoes had come off by the third song (one of their first singles, “Chinatown“) and her vocals hit a riotous peak during the bridge of “Sugar“, howling and soaring over a wash of crescendoing synths (and surprisingly, managing to stay in pitch the whole time). The rest of the band – guitarist Andy Miller, drummer Lukas Frank, keyboardist Bryan DeLeone and aforementioned bassist Christopher Vogel – matched her ferociousness note for note, beat for beat, thrash for thrash. Much of the wistfulness found in their recordings was stomped out during this live show, instead replaced by ferocious yearning and dizzying energy.
What makes this band even more likable is their utter lack of faux pretentiousness – after all, there’s nothing worse than a young, new band pretending they’re already bored by their rising fame in order to channel a sense of false maturity. That being said, the highlight of the show was not the handstand at the end of “Kitten With a Whip” (though it’s a close second) – it was when Chloe beamed into the packed house after a surprisingly pop-y rendition of The Smiths‘ “Panic” and thanked everyone for coming. “I’m used to expecting nobody,” she says with a smile, “so when there’s somebody it’s really cool.”
If they keep things up (which I think they will), I have a feeling this will be one of the last times they’ll ever “expect nobody.”
Catch Kitten‘s newest EP Cut It Out when it’s release August 28.
Check their website here for more details about the album and their upcoming shows.