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Review: Kitten, Kitty @ Highline Ballroom 7.8.14

Kitten band

In quite possibly one of the most confusing tour packages in recent memory, at least for the uninformed, Los Angeles rockers Kitten and NYC by way of Florida rapper Kitty made their way to the stylish Highline Ballroom in the heart of NYC's meatpacking district. With the show starting two hours after doors opened, it gave folks plenty of time to handle their business before heading into the 700-capacity venue.

Opening the event were Tempers, a NYC based duo featuring vocalist Jasmine Golestaneh and guitarist Eddie Cooper. The duo's take on downbeat electronica set to mood for that evening. With the exception of Eddie controlling the beat machine at times, there wasn't a lot of movement from the two during their set. Jasmine's presence made you think she was a model posing for the camera with her hips moving from side to side with the beat. While the act certainly delivered on the musical standpoint, their aforementioned stage presence was a bit lacking and nearly took away from the music. Jasmine's mellifluous voice, however, did send chills down a few folks' spines. The duo are set to release their debut album in the near future.

"I am having so much more fun than you guys are", declared rapper Kitty as she danced around on stage with a male audience member during her somewhat thorny set. The 21-year old, who looked like she stepped out of an anime on Crunchyroll, didn't really care what the critics, such as myself, thought as she crawled around on stage and sang songs about Tinder, marijuana, guys that don't want to have sex with her, and defunct Brooklyn venue 285 Kent. On certain occasions, she managed to stumble and forget words, but she awkwardly pulled it off in a way which made it almost feel premeditated.

"How much do you guys hate me on a scale of 1-10?", Kitty asked in front of a crowd that was mostly restless and perplexed by her onstage antics. At one point during her set, she called out a specific audience member and asked, "Are you mad?" which was followed up with her stating, "You look unimpressed". Seeing people leave during her set didn't really phase Kitty either; she just simply waved goodbye and kept everything rolling. For someone that has been touring for quite some time and has gained a ton of unexpected buzz, one would assume that Kitty would at least have a proper stage setup by now. That wasn't the case here; the only props on stage for the rapper were her laptop and a brown couch. At this point in her gauche music career, Kitty is simply in it for the self-indulgent thrills and new Twitter followers.

There's a reason why Kitten have received rave reviews from numerous publications across the country over the years. 19-year old frontwoman Chloe Chaidez is a sight to see; we noticed this during Kitten's 2011 Bowery Ballroom gig when she was only 16. For those in attendance at Highline Ballroom that evening, they were certainly in for an explosive performance.

Opening with the track "Why I Wait" from the new self-titled debut album, Chloe flailed her hair and body around as if she was being possessed. The vocalist certainly has a lust for dishing out energetic body movements much like Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O. Plenty of the guys and gals on the current Vans Warped Tour could possibly learn a thing or two from her about controlling the stage and giving the crowd their absolute best. Chloe's energetic actions caused her tight flower dress to tear on the side during the track "Like A Stranger". There was no way that the spunky teen would let a wardrobe snafu bring her spirits down; she proceeded to dive off bassist Omar Ahmed's amp during the following track "G#", which was then quickly followed by an astounding cover of Berlin's Oscar winning song "Take My Breath Away", aided by a nifty guitar solo at the end from guitarist Nick Perez. While the set was mostly material from their self-titled album, the band did manage to hit up cuts like "Japanese Eyes" and "Sugar" from their 2011 Cut It Out EP.

If the prior moments of the set were simple patches of rain, "Kitten With A Whip" felt like a massive thunderstorm. Chloe threw caution to the wind as she viciously banged on drummer Kameron Waters' cymbals with her hand, front-flipped to a roaring response, and howled in the faces of those in attendance. The only sense of calm during Kitten's set occurred during Chloe's acoustic takes of "Apples And Cigarettes" and their Sunday School EP single "Kill The Light". Kitten, specifically Chloe and Nick, ended things with a brief yet opulent cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over".