Last Tuesday we went out on the town (not the town I live in since there isn’t much town to out upon) and saw Neko Case in concert. It took place at the lovely Meymandhi Concert Hall in Raleigh, NC. If you don’t know who Ms. Case is you might recognize her as part of the Canadian band The New Pornographers. In her solo work she veers away from the harder rock sound of that band and instead ranges from honky tonk and country-rock to haunting ballads. In general she’s hard to categorize as a solo artist but is well known for her powerful and lovely voice. When it was announced she was touring in support of her new album Middle Cyclone and a show was to be relatively nearby we made sure to grab some tickets.
Getting there is not half the fun when you have to drive two hours. Still we had additional motivation for the trek in the form of dinner at the Raleigh Mellow Mushroom location. After overeating and visiting a high end chocolate shop across the street (yay for dark chocolate with chili cream filling) we headed over to the concert. The last time we were there we saw The Swell Season fresh off of winning the Oscar for best song in the movie Once. What was great about both times was ease of parking. You have to love a place where you don’t have to pay too much to literally park across the street.
It’s a classy venue (probably too classy for me!) and the lobby had several bars set up with top-shelf liquors and beers plus big honkin’ cookies for purchase. We beelined over to the T-shirt area so I could pick up the mandatory concert garb.
When seated we found the opening act was not really to our liking so we twiddled our thumbs until the main event. Neko made up for that disappointment with a great voice and fantastic set of old and new songs. I was happy to hear cuts from her previous album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, which is a favorite of mine. On the down side we had a drunken hooting woman behind us with the amazing gift of projecting her voice with the force of an air horn. After professing her love for Neko several times she went into request mode loudly wishing the song “Prison Girls” be sung immediately since it “kicked ass”. The backup singer on stage had the job of being snarkstress to people like this who yelled by throwing out quips like: “Oh! Let me make a note of that (mimes pen and pad); Raleigh, 4/7/09, ‘You’re awesome’. Got it.”
Overall, a great concert.