Posted in music | pictures on November 16, 2009

photos by Chris La Putt

Neko Case

Neko Case's tour hit The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ last night (11/15). The show was on the short side, possibly due to some electric shocks Neko got from the microphone earlier in the show. According to Mike Van Den Broek, it was "18 songs, 65 Minutes. Zero Encore. Disappointed to say the least." Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico opened the show, and will do so again tonight (11/16) at the Beacon Theatre in NYC.

Neko did play an encore two nights earlier at the Calvin Theatre in Massachusetts...

Case was certainly in excellent form Friday in Northampton, where she and her band played an 80-minute set that focused on songs from her latest album, this year's "Middle Cyclone," and mixed in older tunes, too.

Hers is the sound of vast, twilit skies and distant freight trains, weed-strewn industrial lots and deep sighs. It's enveloping, unknowable and sometimes powerfully lonesome: Her voice, strong and clear, intertwined in harmonies with backup singer Kelly Hogan, the band surrounding them with rippling waves of trebly guitar, dense silver curtains of pedal steel or the low groan of a bowed upright bass.

At times, Case sang as if to herself, musing quietly at the start of "Maybe Sparrow" and mournfully recounting an ill-fated infatuation on "Polar Nettles." Other times, her voice filled the room, ringing with authority on "Deep Red Bells" and spilling over with indignation on "The Tigers Have Spoken." [Courant]

The setlist from that show, and more pictures from NJ, below...

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico in NJ...

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Joined by Jon Rauhouse and Paul Rigby

Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico

Neko Case in NJ...

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case

Neko Case in Northampton, MA 11/13/2009 - Set list
1. Things That Scare Me
2. Maybe Sparrow
3. At Last
4. People Got a Lotta Nerve
5. Fever
6. Hold On, Hold On
7. I'm an Animal
8. Middle Cyclone
9. The Pharaohs
10. Polar Nettles
11. Deep Red Bells
12. A Widow's Toast
13. Margaret vs. Pauline
14. Prison Girls
15. The Tigers Have Spoken
16. Favorite
17. Red Tide
18. Don't Forget Me
19. That Teenage Feeling
20. This Tornado Loves You
21. Vengeance is Sleeping
22. Train to Kansas City



Comments (137)

Sorry to hear that she got shocked, but 18 songs over 60+ minutes seems like an acceptable set length. Always keep'm wanting more.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 2:32 AM

I agree. Sure an encore always makes you feel special and loved and all that, but, "18 songs, 65 minutes" followed by "Disappointed to the say the least" sounds like a whiny whiner who's never satisfied and is just looking for something to complain about.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 6:34 AM

no... she definitely left in a huff. she had a meeting with the band towards the end of the set, which seemed like she was choosing a couple songs in the setlist to skip.

then when she left, the house lights were down for a while... then the abruptly came up to a house of 'boos'.

she also yelled at some guy because she thought he said 'go' midway through the set when she was putting on a sweater. not sure what he really said.

all and all... very pissy neko last night. lackluster set. they should offer us tickets to the beacon show tonight to make up for it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 7:02 AM

I have seen Neko perform on many occasions and the show at the Wellmont was definitely her at her worst. She may have lost more than one fan.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 7:39 AM

The last poster is correct.

I was there in the front right and agree it was an uninspired show throughout. Dropping an f bomb on a guy who was actually supporting her was uncalled for. In addition to that she never engaged the fans and clearly was just punching her ticket. She correctly commented that the crowd turned on her after that - as it should have. Bragging about the fact that she had a rock band and he didn't so he should shut the f up. Someone ought to kick her ass. I had been a huge fan, and had fond memories of her Central Park Summer Stage show a few years ago.

This was different, and extremely disappointing. The lack of an encore was only icing on the cake. Hogan tried to lighten the mood and helped a bit, as you can see on this clip -

but this was probably the high point of the show. Certainly not worth $32.

I wouldn't make the trip to NY to see her tonight even if the show was free. I have better things to do with my time that put up with a diva who's been reading too many of her own press clippings.

She should get over herself.


Posted by Jon Bonesteel | November 16, 2009 7:40 AM

I agree with JB. She was plain nasty and pissy. It was as if she was angry at the audience that she got shocked and that comment to the guy who shouted, "Go!" was beyond overreacting. She did not say goodnight, I don't even think she took the time to introduce her fellow band members and Kelly Hogan had to interact with the audience in a pleasant manner because Neko had no interest.

Her voice is amazing but last night it was overshadowed by her impetuous, bitchy demeanor.

And no encore? C'mon, that's practically unheard of.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 8:39 AM

Perhaps every performer has an off night but it sure was strange to be on the receiving end. I think everyone was stunned when the house lights went up. She didn't so much as say goodnight. Since she didn't seem that into it, maybe putting an end to the show was the best thing she did all night.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 8:52 AM

Overheard outside after the show: "Any cranky bitch t-shirts left?"

I was surprised that so many people up front left early. I also knew that Neko would not like all the photography going on - especialy the flashes.

Joey Burns and John Convertino were excellent. As a major Calexico fan, I was worried that the music would sound weak without the rest of the band. John and Joey re-arranged the songs very dynamically.

Posted by Juanita Moose | November 16, 2009 8:52 AM

The song performances themselves were very good if not inspired, but I also left very disappointed. I've been to many Neko shows as well, and this is the first time she hasn't come out for an encore. Nobody says you have to play an encore, but she didn't seem at all appreciative of people that payed $32 and travelled to see her. No 'thanks guys' or 'goodnight.' Just a wave and an FU.

Also, I believe the guy she yelled at said 'No' as joke for putting her sweater back on.

Neko could learn a bit from Kelly on how to treat the crowd.

Posted by GN | November 16, 2009 8:53 AM

She handled getting shocked twice by the mic very professionally. I would've been in a pissy mood if I had to worry about the mic shocking me for the entire set. The sound wasn't right after that as well.

Give her a break.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:00 AM

The whole thing felt off somehow before the shocking incident. No one even really introduced the band. Maybe she wasn't feeling well, in which case I appreciate her coming out at all, but it would have been nice if someone had said something to that effect. It didn't seem to me like she was being a diva or punching her ticket, but that something had gone very wrong. I don't know if the audience turned on her, but I definitely got the vibe that she turned on us. Kelly Hogan was totally gracious.

We were so excited because we had front row seats, and I left with this bizarre feeling that Neko Case was mad at us! Whatever it was, I hope she's feeling better and that she will come back to the Wellmont (it was an awesome venue to see her in), but it was one of the strangest shows I've seen in a long time.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:09 AM

Yes inded she lost fans, myself included.

It was a lackluster show, and the stunt walking off at the end left a sour taste.

The very least she could have done was introduce her band and say she could go on, if indeed that was the case. Instead she walked around the stage and told her band to skip a bunch of songs. The oddest part was the backupsinger, not Neko, was ackwardly engaging the audience all night and she was corny.("Attention NEKO CASE please report to the stage")

As far as the songs were concerned, Neko has a killer voice, but the songs were extremely monochromatic. Her set sounded too similar, perhaps it was because she phoned her perfomance in.

I saw the Cowboy Junkies in South Orange less than a month ago, and Margo Timmins also has a stelar voice, and their show was varried and broad and wonderful!

This show was narrow and dissapointing. I'll never pay to see her again! Not quite the way to win friends and influnce an audience.


Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:29 AM

A bit of a stretch to say she wasn't feeling well. Nothing mentioned about that, and she (Hogan) did say they were out and about Montclair earlier in the day.

She was never really gracious with the crowd - no turn for her at all. I've never seen a back up singer assume the role of point person for the band. I got the sense that Case had Hogan do that because she couldn't be bothered.

Granted being shocked by a mic is no fun and I feel for her on that, but take a break, fix it, and move on. If you brag about having a "rock band" (her words), then live up to those words a bit better.

I stand by my diva comment.


Posted by Jon Bonesteel | November 16, 2009 9:45 AM

Dont why people are complaining. I'd be more than happy with a 60min set especially if it contains People Got a Lot of Nerve. Great song and love the video!

Posted by Jerry | November 16, 2009 9:47 AM

I'd give her a shocker....Wink wink nudge nudge.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:51 AM

Kelly is always the kinda "M.C." at Neko shows. That said... Neko was EXTRA cranky last night.

They really should do something to make up for such a shitty show last night. Free tickets to tonight's show would be a nice gesture.

The free Central Park show a few years ago was a million times better.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:52 AM

Electrocution ain't no joke-anyone remember Les Harvey or Keith Relf? They each died from it.

Posted by donn | November 16, 2009 9:56 AM

This was my first Neko experience. Not sure I would have liked it even on a good night. She has a nice voice. Don't know about the lyrics. I found the music to be pleasant, well performed and incredibly boring -- think 10,000 Maniacs without the catchy hooks. Just one man's opinion.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:58 AM

Get a sense of humor & some melodies...she's got the voice & the attitude...what I was hoping for was Kelly Hogan doing her Poppa Was a Rodeo...Kelly is NO back up singer...a great artist in her own more Neko for me.

Posted by zeke | November 16, 2009 10:06 AM

I was at the Wellmont, and I too was surprised at how little she engaged the audience. I've seen her be totally hilarious and chatty at New Pornographers shows so I was a little surprised. But she sounded great, and I thought she handled the mic shocks pretty well. I didn't even think her 'fuck you' to that guy in the audience was that bad; found it funny, actually.

So, I was pretty shocked when she just left the stage after their final song with nary a word. No one said anything at that point, not even the lovely Kelly Hogan. A reason for her leaving so abruptly would've been nice, even if they just threw us some bullshit excuse.

It should be noted, that even with Neko's mood, the crowd was clamoring for her to return to the stage. So if it was just the mic malfunction, why couldn't she have switched it out with another one? Shared a mic with Kelly? IDK...

Posted by rj77 | November 16, 2009 10:13 AM

I was the one who called Kelly "her backup singer" because I didn't know who she was. Neko didn't introduce her. And yes you are right zeke - she has a great voice. (maybe Kelly's notes as band secretary will reflect that snub too.)

for those of you shooting from a distance (i.e not there) and saying 60 minutes 18 songs and we should be grateful have never heard a show phoned in before.

I go to dozen of shows a year - (and I see Mr. Dylan who doesn't 'talk' to an audience too and love it just the same;) but this was different. It was like Van Morrison at his broodiest without the rights (or catalouge) to brood.

Also The 10K Maniacs comparison is dead on!

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 10:21 AM

worst show ever!! absolutely horrible!!
never again, neko. never again.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 10:26 AM

It definitely seemed like she took a second near the end of the set to speak to the band about cutting a song or two.

That being said, I thought it was a fine show. The band was tight, her vocals were spot on and encores are kind of silly anyway. I give her credit for continuing with the show despite being shocked, twice. It would probably make me a little microphone shy too.

And really guys, if she was in a bad mood, oh well. I think Lynyrd Skynyrd is playing at the Wellmont next week. You can get your audience appreciation fix at that show.

Anyone else on the second level? There was this one guy in a bad blazer and ripped jeans who was an absolute terror, yelling out totally random stuff. I wanted to throw my cup at him. More loud crazies than I expected.

Posted by Marty | November 16, 2009 10:28 AM

Wow - what a great set of pipes. However, it is too bad she decided to piss off the Jersey faithful with bad attitude and a completely unnecessary F-bomb to the guy in Row G. First time I've seen her perform live (and likely the last) - certainly not an endearing stage presence. Kelly Hogan and the band were the reason I would consider going back.

Posted by ES | November 16, 2009 10:30 AM

Does anyone want to join a "class action suit" to demand a refund? ~smirk~

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 10:36 AM

Neko Case gets pissed off all the time.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 10:41 AM

anyone know what the set times at the Beacon are tonight?

Posted by pedantic redcoat | November 16, 2009 10:52 AM

I think the guy said "Nekooooo!", but she misunderstood it as "Go...". I guess like "hurry up". She said if he wanted to 'go' he could get his "own fuckin' band". Did leave a bad taste in the mouth. I completely got the "diva" claims made against her that before this i'd never seen. But who cares; everyone doesn't have to be soft and cuddly. It was stupid, but I'd see her again. Another thing, since we're kvetching, what a mess! Straight out of bed, she looked. Wonder if she'll be turned out any nicer for the NYC crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 11:04 AM

Was at the Wellmont last night. Agree with Marty, although I'm sorry "Vengeance is Sleeping" was one of the songs that got axed. I had read that review where she seemed to have an issue with the promoter before the Boston show, perhaps she was still in a foul mood. Not sure about the guy in the upper deck, the folks around us up front seemed to be into it, didn't notice anyone "leaving early". Joey and John were fantastic, btw! Can anyone post their setlist? I recognized "news about William", their cover of "Cortez the Killer" and "Frank's Tavern", I think they did "He lays in the Reins" as well. @ pedantic - Joey and John went on just about 8.15p and Neko at about 9.15p (or so)

Posted by RadioNed | November 16, 2009 11:11 AM

My friend also heard the guy yell out NEKO, which Neko misunderstood as GO. It's too bad she f-bombed that guy like that. I really believe that things had already gone south for Neko after the microphone shocking. She even said at one point that she was terrified of the mic. She was a champ to even continue singing after that. And half-heartedly or not, she sang beautifully...her voice is amazing. I left happy. I bought some pins.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 11:20 AM

Granted, Nekko wasn't the only one who had an off night... sound engineer was awful. the mic incident didn't help... but she could have made up for it with better 'tude.
this was the worst concert i've ever been to. and i'm not talking only about the (lack of) encore--we got up and left as soon as she finished her last song because we'd had enough. to then see the rest of the audience walk out and the house lights go on was shocking to say the least. uninspired. the backup singer tried to make up for it, but she was talking so much that she came off as obnoxious. i guess she's there to make up for nekko's lack of something.

Posted by disappointed | November 16, 2009 11:27 AM

Sorry I got there too late to see Joey and John - would have loved to see "He Lays in the Reins." Agree that her yelling at the guy who said "no" or "go" or "Neko" -- (I took it as "No" - like he liked the way she looked in a t-shirt but that's lecherous old me) -- left a bad taste. Never fun seeing misdirected anger on an inappropriate target.

Here's an informative article about her -- She is not soft and cuddly, and had a hard-assed "upbringing." I will definitely buy her future albums. Her voice is one-of-a-kind. Still not sure I would see her solo again. Her abrupt end and half-assed wave was a little too "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night" for me.

Posted by Zachary | November 16, 2009 11:33 AM

Joey & John Set list (so glad you asked)
Bend to the Road
Man Made Lake
News About William
Across the Wire
Fractured Air
Black Heart

w/John & Paul from Neko's band:
Cortez the Killer (covering Neil Young)
In the Reins

Not Even Stevie Nicks (with a little bit of Love Will Tear Us Apart thrown in the middle)

Posted by Juanita Moose | November 16, 2009 11:56 AM

I was there and heard the guy yell out, but he said, "Neko!" With the emphasis on the end of her name, I suppose it could sound like he said, "Go," but come on -- your name ends with "o"!... I think she was already thrown by the shocks.

Posted by SB | November 16, 2009 12:01 PM

Her attitude makes me glad I downloaded her music illegally. She should learn from the half as talented and half her age Taylor Swift and appreciate her audience. It's hard enough to gain a fan these days - no need to lose the ones you have.

Posted by Bubba | November 16, 2009 12:05 PM

You never know, Neko might have super powers now after getting jolted with electricity twice.

I think people left just for the fact that it's 10:30 on a Sunday and people have to go to work, watch end of Pats-Colts, pay off babysitter, etc.

Posted by MusicSnobbery | November 16, 2009 12:09 PM

We've seen Neko Case dozens of times and last night there was something wrong with her from the start. We've never seen her run thru 3 songs without having some witty banter between songs.
As for the guy yelling, we were two seats in front of Neko and it sure sounded like "lets go" from there; people around us all thought the samething.
Usually her shows are alot better but everyone is entitled to an off night.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 12:48 PM

I was also very disappointed that there was no encore, because I was really hoping Neko might play something from Furnace Room Lullaby, my all-time fave. As much as I enjoy Neko's music, I much prefer her older stuff and her covers to the last two albums. Also, part of the reason I go to see her live is because I love her stage banter. Kelly did a fine job, and if she hadn't been there to add some cheer, it would have been a grim night indeed, but I missed Neko. There was definitely something missing from the whole show, even before the terrible incidents with the electric shocks. I was dismayed to see that it wasn't until the second shock, when Neko stopped the song, that someone finally came out to fix the mic. I don't know who is responsible for taking care of these kinds of problems, but if it was my venue, someone would have been sent out RIGHT AWAY, after the first painful shock. Why the apparent wait? All that said, and whatever Neko was actually thinking at the time, I felt like she was punishing us with no encore.
Joey and John were a wonderful surprise, and now I am kicking myself for having missed years of Calexico. Definitely going to check out their stuff post haste.

Posted by lurlene | November 16, 2009 12:49 PM

I was there last night as well. After getting shocked twice she was clearly upset... and the guy yelling def set her off. I thought he might have been yelling Neko as others had mentioned... which she misunderstood. I thought it was kinda funny she told him off.

I personally dont blame her for being pissy. Take two electrical shocks to the face and just about anyone is going to be a bit crabby.

On our way out my girlfriend lil suey asked the sound guy how many songs she skipped. He said she dropped 3 from the planned setlist. He also said he thought she was really hurt from the shocks and that's why she cut the show short...

Posted by mike | November 16, 2009 12:55 PM

I'd give her a shocker....Wink wink nudge nudge

For the win!

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 12:57 PM

Neko Case is anything but a diva.If you know anything about her and are familiar with her work you know that she is an incredibly down to earth real woman.Touring can be exhausting and dealing with the ins and outs of promoters,roadies,snotty fans etc can be draining.Everyone has off days especially when you perform.When one thing goes bad it can snow ball and train wreck the show.Im sure the Beacon show will rock.

Posted by Ian | November 16, 2009 1:07 PM

Fair enough Mike, but would it have been so hard for her to say so?


"I'm sorry all, but that shock is still hurting me and I need to cut things short. Thanks for your patience and thanks for coming out."


Posted by Jon Bonesteel | November 16, 2009 1:08 PM

She sucked ass.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 1:21 PM

Also at the Wellmont last night - she definitely phoned that one in and cut the set, so I doubt I'll be wasting my time with Neko any more. Uncommunicative and unprofessional.

Posted by Phil | November 16, 2009 1:35 PM

she's been looking quite haggard lately.

Posted by beast | November 16, 2009 1:38 PM

She was boring at APW....I expected much much more from her.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 1:44 PM

Every performer has an off night... and that doesn't mean they're a terrible performer, or that they hate their fans. It sucks to be on the receiving end of one, especially when you've paid. But, shit, if I was being electrocuted by a mic, I'd probably be a little pissed, too.

And do you listen to the woman's lyrics? She's not the type to take shit from someone. I probably would've found it hysterical to watch her bitch out some dude.

Posted by Taylor | November 16, 2009 1:46 PM

I actually thought it started off great, and lite, and they seemed to be having a blast.. it sounded pretty great (i was sitting on the left side)
but it certainly took a turn after the shock, just not the same after that. I was near the yelling guy.. I thought he said "Nooo" meaning don't put on a sweater, which frankly, is kinda like 'let me stare at your tits'.. She may have reacted to a misheard "go", but now i kinda shudder to think what she'd have said to that dude if she thought it was in reaction to her covering up.
It was a bummer to end it that way, but it's a first in a lot of Neko shows.. maybe there'll be something about it on her website.
THree was a posting about making something up to another town awhile back, which i thought was cool.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 1:58 PM


Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 2:10 PM

"...maybe there'll be something about it on her website.
THree was a posting about making something up to another town awhile back, which i thought was cool."

Are you referring to the following?


Dear Buffalo,
We want you to know that we will be back in the area to make up the show that was canceled on July 24. The rain had been coming and going all day, and we were planning to play and fight it, but it was right before doors were to open that the promoter decided to cancel the show. Thank you for understanding, we'll be back!
Love N

It doesn't look like they made it back to Buffalo on their recent swing through the region.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 2:10 PM

Meh. Neko has read too much fawning press about herself. Really, she is the very definition of mediocre.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 2:19 PM

Did anyone notice all the unsold seats? Maybe that pissed her off. The shocks & Mr. Go just made things worse.

Posted by Mr. Magic | November 16, 2009 2:39 PM

Rochester close to Buffalo? My geography is a little rusty.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 2:42 PM

After she got shocked the first time she even joked about Montclair and Thomas Edison. I know the second time hurt - but a roadie fixed the mike - the sound system was humming all night so she should have been pissed off at her staff. She sang lots of songs after her being shocked so it wasn't as if she needed medical care or anything like that. And as stated above she could have shared a mike or swaped in a new one.

There was NO excuse for her abrupt ending, all she had to do was say something or send someone out.

The show was phoned in from the start, her beautiful voice carried her for most of the night but I'm thrilled to know it wasn't just me who was irked.

I'm done with spending money on her. Give it a year or two and we all will be saying that one album the fox something by that red headed singer was great. what was her name again?

Posted by give me my money back | November 16, 2009 3:18 PM

So, had a looksie around and found this:

which shows a much more positive spin on the same tour. And she actually wore a dress in London.

Will be curious to hear what transpires tonight.

Posted by We was dissed | November 16, 2009 3:38 PM

No brand loyalty these days. Unless your brnad of music lives on always being unprofessional live, like Cat Power or better yet, Wavves.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 4:11 PM

Neko had three choices: Say to the audience, "you suck, we're done"; say "I'm hurting, and I gave it my best shot, but I'm done; or walk off the stage after a short set without saying so much as "have a good night." She chose the third, probably because of the second, but giving everyone the impression it was because of the first.

Posted by Bebuck | November 16, 2009 4:21 PM

does this fire crotch ever smile?

Posted by albino pubes | November 16, 2009 4:37 PM

Hey everybody! Let's hate everything and bitch ! it's fun.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 4:44 PM

What a tired, haggard, booooooooooooooring act. Who goes to see this crap?

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 4:59 PM

The guy yelled JUDAS! And he said play fucking loud. .....whoops wrong decade wrong singer.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 5:08 PM

The show was a rip-off, sorry, but that's the truth. No interaction with the audience. Love the voice, but act like an adult and if you need to cut the show short say something to audience. If it's because of the shocks, fine - say so. People will understand. Leave and offer CD's at $5 off or something. Total lack of common courtesy that would be expected from anyone. She took the money and ran. Drove from Maryland to see the show with my roommate, gas, tickets, 5 hours sleep before work Monday morning - all a waste.

Posted by rc | November 16, 2009 5:14 PM

I'd bang her if not for her old vein-y man hands.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 5:15 PM

i'd put her tits in my mouth

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 5:24 PM

Nice, classy.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 5:47 PM

I like tits.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 5:50 PM

I've seen both sides of Neko. Saw her back in '98 or '99 at Mercury Lounge as part of CMJ, and she was freaked out, admitted as much and Kelly Hogan really stole the night with her opening set.

Neko opened for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at the Beacon back in '02, she was great. Then saw her at Bowery in '05 on the second night of two in NYC, and she was hungover and sucked.

Then she was great when she played the Allen Room two (or was it three?) years ago.

Hopefully, she's in better form tonight.

Posted by Freepster | November 16, 2009 6:06 PM

I have been going to shows for probably 40 yrs, and I have never seen anyone convey the worst showmanship as Neko Case did last night. Personally, I don't really care what her problem was. I will NEVER go to any of her shows again let alone listen to her music or buy any of her songs. She should realize what the business she is in is about, selling music and the FANS that buy it. Extremely disenchanted.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 7:30 PM

i'd put her red pussy around my black cock

Posted by a white guy | November 16, 2009 7:43 PM

i also like tits.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:04 PM

I do not like her tits. They are saggy and old.

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 9:55 PM

Well, I thought she was delightful, and generous, at the Beacon tonight!

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 12:45 AM

HA HA! We got an hour and a half and lots of banter at the Beacon tonight. That's what you get for electing Jabba the Hutt to the governorship, garden staters.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 4:14 AM

An hour and half and you think that's a show?...that's a first set in my book. This is show gotta bring it. And, obviously she can't.

Time to hang it up, Neco-wafer.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 6:22 AM

Doubtful she has any idea who the governor of NJ is.

I could care less about the banter, but would have appreciated the songs that were cut and also would have enjoyed it if she would have been decent about leaving early. Time to move on.

Do you you reckon she made as many new fans last night as she lost in Montclair the night before? I say no.


Posted by Jon Bonesteel | November 17, 2009 6:53 AM

Joey Burns and John Convertino were excellent.

Posted by Lowongan | November 17, 2009 8:23 AM

oh for fucks sake, stop the pearl clutching, singers/bands have bad shows...i can't tell you how many shitty concerts i've seen in my life time...don't go see her again...don't buy her move on, instead of trying to whip up some absurd neko bashing frenzy.

Posted by Boo | November 17, 2009 8:24 AM

Enjoyed the Beacon show. Neko seemed in great spirits. Star Witness!

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 8:39 AM

I saw her show last night at the Beacon and she sounded amazing! Give her a break!

Posted by Elle | November 17, 2009 10:28 AM

Neko Case sucked last night. What a waste of time and $.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 11:48 AM

let me preface this by saying i LOVE neko case's music and nothing could ever change that...

however, having driven 5 HOURS from virginia to new jersey and taking off work monday, i felt the set at the Welmont ended abruptly and was incomplete. I expect a teensy bit of courtesy from musicians at the end of a show..a wave, a nod , a thank you...something...

i know being shocked on the lips hurts (its happened to me..I figured it was someting singers have to deal with occasionally..) i dunno..i talked with joey from calexico and he said neko was upset after the show. despite her pissyness, she sounded f*ing spectacular... and im sorry i couldn't give her the roses i brought..

Posted by caitlin | November 17, 2009 1:11 PM

Dude, she was so bad at the Bowery. Arrogant, bitchy, lame.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 1:15 PM


Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 2:11 PM

Wow. The Wellmont show sounds dreadful, but she was in great form at the Beacon. She played for a good 90 minutes (including a 4-song encore), sounded spectacular, and seemed to be in good humor.

Posted by aj | November 17, 2009 3:40 PM

Dear Neko,

On your next tour, please skip Wellmont and book an additional show in NYC, where you won't be shocked in the face, heckled, and then bashed for being a "pissy bitch."


P.S.: Anyone got a Beacon setlist?

Posted by SB | November 17, 2009 4:07 PM

Maybe the totally overrated and mediocre Neko Case and the totally overrated and mediocre Hope Sandoval can have a "pissy bitch" contest. Neko case has always been marginally talented at best and for some reason has gotten tons of great press anyway. She's not worth the effort of getting off a chair to go and see her.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 4:22 PM

More important: is Joey Burns now sporting a 'stache?

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 4:27 PM

Beacon setlist:

1. Things That Scare Me
2. Maybe Sparrow
3. At Last
4. People Got a Lotta Nerve
5. Fever
6. Hold On, Hold On
7. I'm an Animal
8. Middle Cyclone
9. The Pharaohs
10. Polar Nettles
11. Deep Red Bells
12. A Widow's Toast
13. Margaret vs. Pauline
14. Prison Girls
15. The Tigers Have Spoken
16. Favorite
17. Red Tide
18. Don't Forget Me (Harry Nilsson)
19. That Teenage Feeling
20. This Tornado Loves You

21. Vengeance is Sleeping
22. Lady Pilot
23. Star Witness
24. Train to Kansas City (The Shangri-Las)

90 minutes

Posted by sextonseven | November 17, 2009 5:01 PM

The Definitive Review of Neko Case at the Wellmont Theater, November 15, 2009 (And Some Advice for the Dear Girl)

Let me stipulate that I have a grand total of $98 invested in Neko Case, not counting the fuel used in the round trip to see her November 15 show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. A buck each for six songs downloaded from iTunes; $75 for two tickets plus service charges and taxes for the show; $10 for event parking; and $7 for one beer at the Wellmont. I can absorb all that as a complete loss without difficulty. I have a harder time dismissing her outright contempt for me and fellow concert goers.

She came on stage wearing an oversize olive green sweater, jeans that apparently didn’t fit around the waist too well – given the number of times she yanked them back into position – and hair twisted into knot ball that subsequently failed to hold, allowing her fulminating red locks to spill in all directions like spewing lava. Later, she removed the sweater to reveal an ash-gray T-shirt that apparently was the first thing within reach when she got dressed, which presumably was in the same day, but who the hell could tell. By the way, did anyone else in Montclair have water problems, or was it just her shower that was broken?

As the rest of her band mates trudged out to their positions, Case volunteered her one gracious note for the evening: “Hello, Montclair. We have walked your streets and they meet with our approval.” Thank goodness. If a local had gotten sideways with her who knows what the patrons would have been forced to endure.

For the most part the rest of the band, who were literally anonymous since Case didn’t introduce them, kept their heads down through what would become 65 minutes of uninspired but technically sound musicianship. They must have known tonight was a good night to avoid eye contact with the temperamental artiste.

The exception was her backup singer, who I later learned was somebody named Kelly Hogan and who seems to have some cred independent of her association with the prickly Case. Hogan tried mightily to fill in the awkward pauses between songs with lamentably lame banter. Case wouldn’t bite, instead devoting herself to tuning the next guitar she would play, no doubt back to where it was when she first picked it up. With Case off in her own mental immolation, Hogan was left to spend the evening offering spare vocal contributions while swaying back and forth like a scow in its berth.

OK, so the lady comes out looking like trailer trash, hands over the audience engagement to an underling, has the band terrified of doing anything but a by-the-numbers performance, and makes us sit through her instrumental diagnostics all the while acting as though the burden of performing to this group of unwashed masses is beyond her suffering. And then, karma. Sweet, happy, instant retribution delivered by Reddy Kilowatt himself.

At the beginning of one song (what song? who knows, but it was about 20 to 30 minutes in), she leaned into her microphone and – zap – received an electric shock. I must allow, this had to hurt. But she pressed on and – zap – another shock. Here, Case earned points, since she stayed on stage and made light of what had to be a frightening experience as the technician addressed the problem. Still, Case failed to grasp the concept of cosmic justice and retreated even further into her public pout. Only now you could sense she was done, DONE with this gig, especially considering her well-founded fear of the mic.

When backup vocalist Hogan teasingly suggested that Case put her previously discarded sweater over the mic to prevent further shocks, Case instead picked up her sweater and started putting it on. At this point, the fragile threads of her psyche came untethered after a leather lung shouted “No,” or “Go,” or “neKO.” Whatever, Case heard “Go,” which must pass for an especially grave epithet within the indie hipster cognoscenti community for she lashed out with a couple of F-bombs and a playground taunt in which she suggested having a band gave her unique permissions on a planet that should be reserved for elitists like herself.

As the audience tried to recover from the spectacle, the band admirably jumped into the next song, with Case grumbling “And that’s when she turned on them.” Clearly, we were about to receive our punishment. After a couple more songs, Case went to each member of the band and gave them direction, which turned out to be, “Screw this, we’re finished with this mung-drenched horde; one more and that’s it.”

And that was it. No goodnight, thanks for coming. No encore. No nothing but an audience who felt like they were mugged by a $20 hooker.

By now you realize this review doesn’t spend much time on the music. Unfortunately, that took a backseat to Neko the Petulant’s foul mood. I’ve since read that some people who went to the show still think she’s a wonderful artist. The world is full of houses that need those doormats. Not me, gang. I don’t tolerate insults I don’t deserve since I deserve plenty enough of them already. But with charity in mind, I’ll offer Case a few tips to help stabilize her mood swings.

1.Buy loose-fitting jeans, use a belt, lose weight or do all of these things to keep the trousers from falling down in the rear. I would be cranky too if my dungarees forced me into continuous adjustments for comfort or modesty.

2.Hire a sound technician. The constant hum, the wallowing bass, and the tinny treble would make me wonder why I should bother with a concert. That person also could help tune your guitars, although someone snider than I could suggest that was the musical highlight of the evening.

3.Hire somebody who knows about electricity. You could have died. Make that somebody test all the equipment while standing barefoot in a puddle of water. That should take care of loose end, short circuits and other sloppy work habits your crew currently exhibits.

4.Stop taking gigs in backwater venues just to get a quick payday before a better gig. We know you deigned to perform in New Jersey only because you had a NYC gig the next night. Rehearse on your own time; don’t charge us for the equivalent of a throat-clearing exercise before your date with the sophisticates and bohemians.

5.Don’t wallow in the self-pity of your chosen lot in life. You have other talents, I think. If you don’t like performing, quit. Miserable people suck and make everybody else miserable. You’re patient zero of a miserable virus that began spreading Sunday night. Which means now I’m miserable, thank you very much.

6.I’m happy to know that you’re proud of having a band of your own, even if it’s only to lord it over the rest of us who don’t. Just don’t get too cocky. There were plenty of people in that audience who are entrusted with the lives and careers of other people, just like you. The difference is that we actually care about our people enough to acknowledge their presence and allow them to step forward into the spotlight every now and then.

7.But that doesn’t mean making your band members walk the plank like Kelly Hogan had to that night. Poor girl. Whatever her compensation, it better include hazardous-duty pay.

8.If you’re going to invite members of the warm up act (Joey & John from Calexico) to join you on stage for a song, don’t stick them in the darkest corner possible (unless they, too, were subject to the equivalent of detention). And while we’re at it, introduce their instruments to an amplifier somehow.

9.Remember, always, that this world is fickle. There were many in the audience that night who could write their own broadside about the lack of respect you showed for their support. Yes, you’ll have your little cling biscuits who still worship your warbles and words no matter how much you tell them to go away, but they’ll grow tired of you soon enough. I suppose that’s enough to cheer you up.

10. Don’t get married. Ever.

Posted by Bebuck | November 17, 2009 5:02 PM

i wasn't there... but i do know something about sound... if a singer is getting a shock from a mic, it usually occurs when they are playing a guitar thru an amplifier that does not have a proper ground (usually a vintage amp, without proper grounding wires)... when the performer touches the guitar and then touches the mic with their lips, they "become the electrical ground" and get a shock on their lip...

switching out the mic would have no effect... because the problem is with the GUITAR AMP that the perfomer is playing thru!

if she has used this amp before, then i CANNOT BELIEVE that she has never had this problem before!

the difficult solution would be to properly ground the AC plug on the guitar amp by re-wiring it... but many people do not want to do this, because it might alter the tone of the amp.

she should be singing with a foam wind-screen on her mic to avoid shocks!

Posted by soundguy | November 17, 2009 5:17 PM

Wow Bebuck, get yourself busier.... you oughta have more to do with your day than write that novel. Your editor wanted me to let you know, you can't start a sentence with "but".
Know what, fuck it. Babe Ruth was a miserable prick, the Kinks were notorious assholes... even on their GOOD nights. Sometimes you just don't wanna be at work. It was lame, but I didn't feel like it was a deliberate fuck you to the garden state.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 5:37 PM

Anonymous, you are perceptive and correct. But it took me less time to write than her show that night. Thanks for the editing tip, which I clearly haven't learned how to apply.

Posted by Bebuck | November 17, 2009 5:52 PM

i spent like 30 minutes reading all these comments yesterday a couple hours before the beacon show - and you guys totally bummed me out - i was like "she's gonna blow tonight" but guess what SHE KICKED ASS - looked great (red velvet dress), sounded great, played a super long set, and sang her heart out! I couldn't have been happier with the set... however I will admit that her backup singer is kind of cornball...

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 5:58 PM

Oh my does Neko Case suck. Is there a more boring, self important performer out there?

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 6:07 PM

First off, I cannot believe some of the comments.

I've seen Neko a few times by herself and twice with the NP's. Kelly Hogan does a lot of the banter, so what she did at the Wellmont was not unusual.

Yes, I was there and I took her remark to the loud guy as part of a joke. She does make jokes and some of them can be a little edgy. I was up in the balcony I hadn't heard exactly what he said so it wasn't considered a big thing. But what I saw with the microphone incidents was someone trying to get on with the show despite getting mauled by the equipment.

I have no idea if the Wellmont has a curfew or not, that's what I assumed was the deal. Neko normally does 3 or 4 song encores. I have a few recordings of her live shows, so I knew what to expect.

Did I feel cheated? An hour long drive each way, 10 bucks for parking and 5 bucks for a pretzel aren't exactly going to make me want to return to Montclair. But I'm not taking that out on the band(s). Neko, Kelly and the rest of the band played well and it's a pity it was cut short.

But I can understand given what happened why she did cut it short.

Posted by Kevin F. | November 17, 2009 6:26 PM

So that excuses her from even saying goodnight? Pathetic sycophants.

Posted by notsofast | November 17, 2009 6:59 PM

Some free advice for Neko:

Your chosen profession is in decline. No one buys yours or anyone else's CD's anymore. If you have 1000 people show up to see you perform in a venue that holds 2500, some humility is in order. Put on a dress, doll yourself up with some lipstick and put on a show. Thank the crowd for coming out. Play your "hits".

Really Neko, you have about two, three years tops, to milk your fading looks and hipster cred until you are washed up and forgotten. So if you want your fan's money, you gotta earn it baby.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 7:09 PM

At Wellmont show and I am going to her website to request my money back at Suggest others do the same.

Posted by rc | November 17, 2009 8:35 PM

Neko who?

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 8:39 PM

She sounds a lot like Jewel.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 8:42 PM

I'd hit that.

Posted by Anonymous | November 17, 2009 8:49 PM

You guys are turds. Neko didn't say goodnight? That pisses you off? Turds.

Posted by Turd Hunter | November 18, 2009 12:03 AM

i completely agree with Mr. Hunter - Neko Case is magnificently talented, and you guys are turds.

Posted by jlk | November 18, 2009 12:34 AM

There is no "curfew" at the Wellmont, but there are nothing but crap acts lined up there and the place is certainly in decline. For example, Vampire Weekend, with some local band members and played there last tour is not returning and has 3 shows in NY.

Neko was perhaps the tipping point in that venue.

I'd be curious if the emails get a response, and if they do if it's decent at all. Doubtful.

If you can't give a decent show to a receptive crowd how "talented" can you be?

She should see a Lucinda Williams show for a few tips.

Posted by Hope you find a turd | November 18, 2009 8:20 AM

Wow, I guess there are lots of people here who have never been to a lousy gig before. I was at the Beacon show the following night. Neko and her band were in fine form and she was nothing but 100% dedicated to putting on a great show. Also saw her at Newport and the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center a few years ago and have always felt that I got my money's worth and then some. Guess this is all part of the hipster backlash against anyone who has had an iota of critical success.

Posted by MLC | November 18, 2009 8:52 AM

Comparing the Newport Folk Festival and Wellmont shows is a good place to start. NPR's All Songs Considered has a podcast of Newport as well as a podcast of a show in April at the 9:30 Club in DC.

There may have been something missing at the Wellmont show before Neko was shocked but it was clearly off after that (understandable). She didn't get around to introducing the band, it was very clear that she cut the set short, didn't say goodnight or thanks and didn't come out for an encore.

It sounds like she returned to form the following night but there is no denying that the Wellmont show was below expectations.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 9:49 AM

just curious about the people who paid $10 for parking at the wellmont.... you are aware there is plenty of free parking right next to the venue, right? I guess you just like throwing money away.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 10:04 AM

Can't believe the sexism here! Put on some lipstick? Really?!!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 11:32 AM

Put on some makeup, hells yes. Cake it on to fill in those canyons on her face.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 1:05 PM

Who cares about the show at the BEACON - that's history - she had her chance she blew it - NEKO - - - WHO??????????????

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 1:23 PM

I have to disagree about the Beacon show.
Yes, she was dressed in a nice red dress.
Yes, she seemed to converse with her Ed McMahon sidekick, which was quite odd.
But, the sound was AWFUL (her voice and every instrument was tinny, trebly, compact, praccitally painful). The musicians were constrained by the arrangements - they were given no flex to show their stuff.
Easily worst show I have been to.

Posted by anonymous | November 18, 2009 1:41 PM

Neko Case? Who listens to that crap?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 2:00 PM

Damn. A friend emailed this link. Y'all hilarious. Neko got owned.

Who is she anyway?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 2:26 PM

Not sure if the Neko Cases are for real. Sorta feel like they are an alt bro, adult themed meme. I recently saw the Neko Cases performing a conceptual "country" and "western" concert at my local music venue. Sorta feel let down that they didn't take their jobs srsly. Wonder if they are still "relevant" and "indie". Concerned that i might be less alt if I "like" the hawt lead singer. R cougars dangerous?

What do u think of the Neko Cases?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 3:07 PM

I am Carles.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 3:25 PM

after her antics at Bowery with New Pornographers a couple years ago, I would do anything to avoid being in a room with this jerk again

I wish Hogan would make more solo records

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 3:34 PM

Turds galore.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 3:39 PM

Turds indeed. One look at Neko in these pix tells me she needs to take a huge dump to lose that puss face. Imagine having to look at that face in the morning. Yikes!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 4:02 PM

Oh boy. I wonder if there would be all these comments if Neko Case were a man....

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 5:40 PM

She is a man, baby!

Rim shot!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 6:08 PM

wait, i'm confused. The beacon show sounded really full and wide to me. I was on the right, about 6 rows past the balcony on the main floor tho. maybe it sucked somewhere else.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 7:04 PM

Fuck Neko Case. The most boring music ever created.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 8:38 PM


Beacon setlist:

1. Things That Scare Me
2. Maybe Sparrow
3. At Last
4. People Got a Lotta Nerve
5. Fever
6. Hold On, Hold On
7. I'm an Animal
8. Middle Cyclone
9. The Pharaohs
10. Polar Nettles
11. Deep Red Bells
12. A Widow's Toast
13. Margaret vs. Pauline
14. Prison Girls
15. The Tigers Have Spoken
16. Favorite
17. Red Tide
18. Don't Forget Me (Harry Nilsson)
19. That Teenage Feeling
20. This Tornado Loves You

21. Vengeance is Sleeping
22. Lady Pilot
23. Star Witness
24. Train to Kansas City (The Shangri-Las)

90 minutes"

I haven't heard any of these songs. Are they any good?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 9:04 PM

I made out with her in high school in Virginia.

I am 80 years old.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 11:10 PM

Did you see what John from Calexico came out on the stage wearing? A junky old flannel shirt? He looked like any of the dirty hipsters wandering around Williamsburg! Where's the effort. What a rip off.


Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2009 11:16 AM

Neko Case suuuuuuuuucks. Did you people seriously think that this would be an awesome show? She suuuuucks.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2009 12:01 PM

to Anonymous 11/19 1:41 PM...

if you thought the sound was bad, then you were sitting in the wrong seat... i would guess that you were either in one of the upper balcony seats... or possibly off to the left or right side...

you should always try to sit as close to the center of the room as possible (where the soundboard is)... the sound engineer is mixing the show based on what he/she hears in the center of the room (AKA: the sweet spot)... they cannot help it if the acoustics of the venue suck and the sound up in the balcony is crap... they are NOT CONCERNED with that, because they cannot be everywhere/all the time.

Posted by soundguy | November 20, 2009 4:40 PM

For those of you looking for an alternative to Neko Case, try Laura Cantrell, who just happens to be mentioned in the post below this one.

Posted by Anonymous | November 21, 2009 11:09 PM

Neko Case used to get drunk at the El Mocambo club in Toronto and pull her pants down and ask guys to lick her butthole. True story. Would you lick Neko's butthole?

Posted by Anonymous | November 24, 2009 3:56 PM

I think the better question is did anyone take the bait?

Even money she would have farted some deep red bells right in your craw.

Posted by Anonymous | November 24, 2009 4:05 PM

Would you tongue-fuck Neko's asshole if she'd just taken a shower and promised to be a good girl?

Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009 11:17 AM

She looks like she's been hitting the bottle too hard again. Haggard and used-up. Neko used to be a big-time drunk, and maybe she still is. She just vants to be alone, dahlings.

Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009 11:23 AM

I am a fan of the New Pornographers, and realize that Neko is a talent......but as far as her solo career- that boring country music.....I can't believe so many people like it, especially up north...I did'nt know that the Patsy Cline sound is making a comeback........gotta go watch Hee Haw

Posted by robert gold | February 8, 2010 12:48 AM

Shee sucked in Seattle too. Obviously strung out and didn't take her music seriously at all. Seems to have her ass on her shoulders. She also just played at the Bridge School benefit. I heard she didn't even stay to play the final encore with all the other bands including neil Young.The stuck up bitch is rto good for others. In Seattle, she didn't even bring her own equipment and had to borrow Bob Dylans, She didn't even thank him. What a worthless piece of shit she is.

Posted by neal | November 1, 2010 4:23 AM

Fordham to a SUNY actually go to a SUNY. I highly doubt these people are actually as important as they make themselves out to be

Posted by سعودي كام | February 25, 2011 9:19 AM

I would lick her asshole.

Posted by Tung Ztse | August 15, 2012 5:36 PM

Also at the Wellmont last night - she definitely phoned that one in and cut the set, so I doubt I'll be wasting my time with Neko any more. Uncommunicative and unprofessional.

Posted by killjudgtool | November 6, 2012 3:57 PM

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