06 April 2006

Neko Case @ The Roxy

Going to hear Neko was definitely not what I, as a good little grad student, shoulda been doing last night, but damn am I glad I did.

First off, I'd never been to The Roxy before. Aside from the lame-ass ads for Chippendale shows they apparently have, it is a cool, cool place. The layout is complex enough that you can find your own little corner that suits what you want to do (stand or sit or see or drink or dance), which makes for a nicer evening.

But Neko was way nicer. Her backing band was tight--Kelly's vocals were a remarkable fit as always, and the drummer (whose name I have forgotten) was noticeably brilliant on "The Dirty Knife," adding a palpable sense of threat and dread. I was happy when they did my favorite song off of Fox Confessor, "Star Witness" (streamable here), and the deft turns of melody there and on "That Teenage Feeling" were just as nimble live as in the studio recordings. Neko's a fun presence onstage, too, joking about how she missed a chord because she caught a whiff of her own tour funk.

I'll have to review her older CDs to be sure, but I think Fox Confessor is the next level for her--the songs are so elegant and dark, a little obscure but not nonsensical, and her sound is consistent and perfectly on target.

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