Neko Case: NC Keeping It Real at the KF

Neko Case
The Knitting Factory
Reno, NV
July 5, 2011

Senior Reno Correspondent: Edie Hofmeister

Neko Case: NC Keeping It Real at the KF

Color of the night: Firecracker redhead
Drink of the night: Vietnamese Coffee (At least NC said she was high on that)
Theme of the night: Casual Intimacy

Fresh from headlining the High Sierra Music Festival, Indie rocker Neko Case played the Reno Knitting Factory on Tuesday night. Despite her High Sierra casual-osity (possibly fatigue?), her banged up 6-string guitar and dressed-down attire (NC wore jeans and a faded T), Neko sang movingly and in a deeply personal way about her life, loves, dreams and struggles. Harmonies were tight and songs were heartfelt and emotionally raw. From "Hold On, Hold On" to "Fever," her songs depicted her emotional journey from leaving home at 15 to later losing the loves of her life.

In range, style and age, Neko lands somewhere between Adele and Bonnie Raitt- which is not bad company. She was accompanied by a jamming band and a very solid, bluesy backup singer. Neko can sing a mean ballad and even managed a decent soprano falsetto, at one point, when singing about a flittering baby Sparrow.

Midway through her journey. the fiery redhead could not stop laughing throughout the song "Middle Cyclone." She jokingly labeled her bandmate the 'King of Divorce' and then the "George Thorogood of Divorce' for his three failed marriages. She tried to explain, "I don't know why 'George Thorogood,'" She chuckled, "I just imagine that everything he does is so... I don't know, wanky?" She blamed her loss of composure to Vietnamese Coffee but something else may have been at play.

The audience was swept along by NC and her band's own brand of fun and never wavered in their admiration and anticipation of the next song or offhand comment. My personal favorite of her observations: "I'd rather eat Cheetos in my car than be married to you."

In sum, a very good show, reminding us that the best moments at a show are often unscripted and the best artists are about being human.

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