Neko Case – The Orpheum Theatre – Sept 20, 2013
She may be American by birth but Vancouver is a like home for Neko Case, finding her way here for Art College then performing with numerous bands including vocals with Th New Pornographers before returning south of the border to settle in Seattle and finding her own fame and fortunes as an accomplished singer-songwriter. Her shows in Vancouver are always filled with friends and acquaintances who make the show even more intimate than the small venues she performs in. Friday’s show, at The Orpheum Theatre, promoting her June 2013 release The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You was one of the larger ones I’ve attended and the nearly full auditorium was eagerly anticipating their ‘friend’s’ performance.
Coming onstage with a backing band of five others it was also one of the larger stage shows I’ve seen, Case mentioned early on that the troupe had all caught colds during their time on the road so apologised for any issues that might arise as a result. That being said having been on the road for a while, she and the group sounded good together. While I found the gaps between songs a bit long, while instruments were tuned, and the chit chat filled with a few too many ‘in jokes’ their camaraderie was evident. The artist had signs posted on the doors to the venue banning photography and phones from being used during the show, which ensured the wide demographic of audience members were all even, paying attention to the show ahead of them. However, the ushers coming around to reprimand those using their electronics was more disruptive than the phones themselves. I may have felt a slight distraction from my seats but most of the audience was on the edge of their seats waiting for the start of each track. Throughout the 90 minute set, the audience were laughing and clapping and singing along to their favourite tunes, eagerly anticipating the first strums of the next one.
Over all, while I may have enjoyed Neko Case’s other, smaller shows more, an evening of music from a great singer and group is always a good time.