Friday night, Los Angeles rocker Chloe Chaidez and her band Kitten went so hard at The Troubadour that the singer strained her voice and had to postpone the second of two scheduled nights at the famed Hollywood venue.
Those that were able to squeeze into the sold-out show on Friday were treated to a memorable performance. Chaidez went the extra mile to make the show extra special — overcoming a number of technical glitches and a voice that at times wouldn’t cooperate — really solidifying her reputation as one of LA’s premier performers.
Kicing off the show with a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” is a high bar to set, but Chaidez and her band kept the energy high until the very end. Kitten played mostly material from the full-length debut album that came out last year. Chaidez said in an interview prior to the show that a couple of songs were getting played for the first time live. Many of the fans that packed the front area of the pit already knew all the words.
Chaidez engages her fanbase mid-show unlike most other performers I’ve seen. At one point, Chaidez brought up a fan on stage and basically slow-danced with her while a saxophonist delivered a sweet solo. You’ll have a hard time finding a more confident performer, and it is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that she’s not yet 21. Chaidez knows how to play to the crowd and is bold enough to put herself IN the crowd at times.
Some of Kitten’s songs fall in that ’80s synthpop keyhole, while some of her stuff (like “G#”) falls in the more Phantogram / The Naked and Famous wheelhouse.
Chaidez’s skills as a songwriter were on full display. A large majority of the crowd knew the words to the hook-filled “Kill the Light,” “I’ll Be Your Girl,” and “Like a Stranger.”
“Kill the Light” got the slowed arrangement as opposed to how it sounds on the album. “It’s gonna hit you when the light goes out, they don’t even know your name,” the crowd sang along with Chaidez in unison, hearts melting simultaneously.
“Apples and Cigarettes,” one of Chaidez’s slow ballads stripped of the synth, was hindered by the fact that the acoustic guitar wasn’t turned on, so she had to basically perform the heart wrenching song a capella. While still ultra powerful, a lot of the emotion in the song comes from the varying oomph used in strumming the guitar, something that might have been lost on the people in the back of the room.
“I’ll Be Your Girl” and “Like a Stranger” were two of the night’s finer movements. During the latter, the crowd jumped up and down in unison while singing the chorus, Chaidez immersing herself into the crowd during the song. Chaidez even came face-to-face with a dedicated male fan during the final moments of the song, singing it back to each other.
During the show’s final moments, Chaidez crowd-surfed and later a fan jumped on stage with her. It was nice to see a fan seize the moment like that without being glued to their phone, and Chaidez helped make it extra special.
Though Chloe now has to take a few weeks off from singing, she and her band Kitten delivered a memorable night that left fans wanting more. Let’s just hope that thing about kittens having nine lives rings true, because these guys sure perform like it.
Words: Mark E. Ortega