Neko Case at the Nokia Theater – April 14, 2009

Red Siren Wailing


(All photos from Brooklyn Vegan’s night 2 pictures)

After joining John and Katie (plus eighty?) at the UWS Shake Shack and a brief drop in to Dive 75 we all met up with Kelly and Telis at the corporate sponsorship fest which is the Nokia Theater (great cell phone reception though).  We hung out in the lobby while Joan as Police Woman ran through her opening set which turned out to be quite good.  We were inside for her last few songs and this was the first indication that we would be in one of the best audiences I’ve ever been a part of.  I regret how often I’ve seen audience members unable to keep their mouths shut during ballads by a night’s featured performer and so I thought it was stage suicide for Joan as Police Woman to close with a solo ballad.  You could hear a pin drop.  Perhaps even more impressive than when Laura Cantrell and Amy Alison silenced a roomful of chatty hipsters at the Bell House to see Camera Obscura.

Neko came on not too long after and quickly reminded me why I had such fond memories of her 2007 Summer Stage show in Central Park.  She really puts it all out there from the start and comes across as totally genuine–a regular woman on stage with a great voice.  It wasn’t just the cold beer and warm sun that colored my memory.  She has a genuine affection for her audience.

Jon Rauhouse

Jon Rauhouse


I was also glad that like Passover, Neko made two nights special.  She was there with her usually band which included a seriously bearded Jon Rauhouse and a typically hysterical Kelly Hogan.  In fact I think I’d pay $30 just to go have beers with Kelly.  She was the biggest part of why this concert got an A+ for stage banter.  Neko also had a trip of special guests I was very excited to see: Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Norah O’Connor.  It was like a Bloodshot compilation live on stage.  Very nice.

Below the actual set list and mine which differ (she went of plan slightly during the encore) with some notes:


1) Maybe Sparrow

2) People Got a Lotta Nerve

3) Fever

4) Hold On, Hold On

5) The Pharoahs

6) Middle Cyclone

7) Deep Red Bells

8) I Wish I Was the Moon – What an audience.  Hung on every line and justly so.

9) I’m an Animal

10) Prison Girls

11) Tigers Have Spoken

12) Margaret vs. Pauline 

13) Red Tide

14) Don’t Forget Me – Harry Nilsson

15) Teenage Feeling – Do songs get any better than this?  You get swelled up in the emotion instantly.  Amazing.

16) This Tornado Loves You


17) Vengeance is Sleeping

18) Star Witness – Not Polar Nettles

19) Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth – This song has stayed in my head for the two weeks since the show.

20) Magpie to the Morning

– I don’t think she did Next Time You Say forever.

21) Knock Loud 

We concluded the night at a cool little underground yakatori place on 50th and called it a night.  It was a solid one.


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