Neko Case


No pictures this time kiddos! Read on…

Despite being nestled in the bustling chaos of Times Square, contributing to the spectacle with its own flashy signage, the Nokia Theater isn’t actually all that bad. Sure, the lobby may look like the interior of a combination night club/food court with low blue light revealing a lunch counter and cell phone store, but at least the views are decent for the size of the place. Unfortunately, there was a camera situation. They asked me at the door if I had one, which I assumed meant a fancy professional camera, and I watched sadly as they rifled through my bag and pulled out my innocent little point-and-shoot. Then, they had a gentlemen actually escort me down the Space Mountain-esque escalator to the coat check area, where I was told I’d have to pay $3 to check the thing ($3 that could have gone towards a fine shot of Rumple Minze, which was on special for $5). I asked more about this absurd policy and they informed me that the artist had requested there be no cameras at this event. Now, I understand that constant flashing during a performance can be distracting, and even take away from the concert-going experience, but this requirement seems a little much considering how heavily blogs and such benefit the artist. And frankly, is it really the right time to take a stand against the changing nature of the concert experience, due to technology and lack of respect, when the performance is taking place in the corporate monster that is the Nokia Theatre?

That said, I still heart Neko Case, and she put on an excellent show consisting mostly of numbers from her new album, the fantastic Middle Cyclone. She seemed in good spirits, and opened with “Maybe Sparrow,” the climax of which sent the audience into an excited flurry and sent shivers down my spine as she hit the requisite notes without flaw. She was accompanied by a second guitarist, an upright bass, and two female backing vocalists with whom she seemed to have an excellent rapport. Neko’s banter was minimal but sharp as a tack, consisting mostly of silly one-liners that sent the audience into a tizzy each time – they really love her. Highlights included those tracks that allowed her voice to soar, hitting the notes as if it weren’t no thang, and reminding everyone why she’s got one the best voices in music (“The Pharaohs,” “Deep Red Beels”). She noted before “Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth” that it was a particularly hard song to sing, most likely because it dips between slightly awkward low notes, angelic cooing, and classic Neko belting. The number whizzed by without trouble, complete with awesome girl-group echoes of “Never turn your back.” The slow, Neko-and-her-guitar songs were particularly touching, with some fine slide guitar accompaniment for “I Wish I Was the Moon,” and my personal favorite “Vengeance Is Sleeping” opening the encore. Enjoying Middle Cyclone as much as I do, it being the focus of the evening was just dandy, though really, she’d sound good singing annoying commercial jingles or any bad pop.

Maybe Sparrow
Hold On
The Pharaohs
Middle Cyclone
Deep Red Bells
I Wish I Was The Moon
I’m An Animal
Prison Girls
The Tigers Have Spoken
Margaret Vs. Pauline
Red Tide
Don’t Forget Me
That Teenage Feeling
This Tornado Loves You

Vengeance Is Sleeping
Magpie To The Morning
Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
Knock Loud

2 thoughts on “Neko Case

  1. Bummer about the camera! If they’re going to make people check common items without warning, they certainly shouldn’t charge. Have a camera cubby!

  2. <3 Neko, </3 stupid camera rule

    Rumplemintz was probably the best/worst idea of the night.

    And “Favorite” is my Favorite. :)

    Nice write-up, Liz!

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