Tue 3 Mar – Neko Case MySpace Secret Show
**I put way too much back-story into this, if you wanna see what songs she played, scroll dooooooooown**
Once upon a time, about two years ago, Neko Case played the Belly-Up tavern. I was quite excited to go see her, as I had fallen in love with her alterna-noir quasi country sound that nobody else seems to have.
My work at the time was a few minutes away from the Belly-Up, but for some reason I kept putting off buying tixs. Finally the Friday before the show, I stopped by, and to my horror was told that the show had SOLD OUT! (I even had a hot date lined up to go with!) I vowed, should she come back to S.D., I would not let her slip through my fingers again.
Fast forward to 3 days ago. Logging onto myspace and wondering why I'm even keeping that account, I was greeted with a message: NEKO CASE TO PLAY FREE SECRET SHOW ON TUESDAY IN SAN DIEGO!
Holly Shit! I had just been complaining that Neko had only released east coast tour dates, and suddenly she was to not only play San Diego in a few days, but for free! To top it all off, she was playing the Casbah, the perfect small venue for her! I had just seen fellow New Pornographer Carl Newman play there the week before, would have been cool to see them do a small show together.
Now the problem was just getting a hold of the tickets. Thankfully I checked out the Casbah's site a day before and found out they would start giving out wristbands at 3pm. This also provided a bit of a problem: how to get some sorta break at work to be able to run downtown and possibly stand in line for an hour?
I spent most of the night and the day at work trying to come up with a good excuse. Maybe I shouldn't even bother, just show up after work to get one, surely she won't sell out that fast right? But it's a deadline day, what if I don't get out until well after 6pm?? Finally I came up with a pretty good excuse:
I'd been doing some freelance work that week and still hadn't taken my lunch break. After some last minute hemming and hawing about whether to go through with it or not, I got up, told my manager I was "going to lunch downtown, I have to pick up some materials from my client, I'll be back in about an hour". He fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Making good time from PB to Kettner Avenue, I was quite surprised to see quite a line snaking around the Casbah. Cursing the slow city traffic, I found parking and ran down the incredibly steep Laurel Ave. and got my place in line! Shot the shit with fellow music fans for a whlie, and waited…and waited…and waited.
Starting to get nervous now, c'mon guys, I told my boss I'd only be an hour! Finally, they had out our coveted TurboTax sponsored wristbands, and I skedaddle back to work! Put in a few more hours, and then ran back to the Casbah.
Already another line had formed, although this tme I was closer to the front. Started chatting with some fellow fans, two of which didn't have bands, and left rather disappointed. The couple we were talking to had been first in line to get the wristbands, they'd been there since 1pm that day.
Some guy with a handycam was interviewing fans…hmm this guy looks familliar, and he sure has a really deep voice. I know I've seen him somewhere. Then it hit me! CHOCOLATE RAIN!! It was the god damn chocolate rain guy! An internet meme in the flesh!
Turns out he's currently a corporate shill for Myspace/TurboTax. He was interview fans asking them "What was the best thing you've ever gotten for free", (cuz apparently TurboTax is free) to which most everyone replied "sex". He asked us what we thought of Neko and that was about it. He was rather quiet and didn't seem phased by the random singing of "Choocolate Raaain" by random people as he went down the line.
So we waited, and waited, and waited. We played a little game of "guess which company's airplane will fly by next". (The Casbah get's routinely buzzed by Jetliners landing at San Diego's airport.)
Finally the line moves! Despite being nowhere near the front of the line, I manage to get a spot right up in front/right side of the stage! Neko and crew head up on-stage. Look at that hair! It glows with a fiery radiance when the slightest tinge of red light is shined on it. Kelly Hogan sure is a cute little thing. And here we go:
People Got a lot of Nerve
Deep Red Bells
Hold on, Hold on,
I am an Animal
That Teenage Feeling
Wish I was the Moon
The Tiger has Spoken
Margaret vs. Pauline
Don't Forget Me
This Tornado Loves You
I'm pretty sure that's what they played, although I know for a fact it's not in the right order. They didn't play too much from the new album as "we haven't got it all down yet, it scares the crap out of us to play it live." (was disappointed they didn't do "Prison Girls") Her voice is amazing live, and she gets it to sound pretty much exactly as it sounds on the album. They played a good mix of their "deep cuts" from previous albums, really couldn't ask for more.
The in-between song banter was hilarious. Some highlights:
"Boobs ruin everything"
Someone shouts out Neko I love You!
"That's what you say now, but tomorrow morning you'll be just like "ughhh, where are my pants?"
'Who's the Boss' is really funny on Vicodin"
And like that, it was over! No encore, which was a bit of a surprise, but considering they were suffering big jet-lag having just arrived from Europe, and the fact that the show was free, we'll forgive them. Show was over a little after 9pm, which is a miracle for a Casbah show, which typically get out at midnight or even later.
I feel quite lucky to have seen this. Thank you so much Neko for coming down here and doing this for free, it was the perfect early b-day present! I doubt she'll be playing such a small venue around here again. While I love The Belly-Up, it's just not as intimate as good ole Casbah.
Oh, and before all you under 21 kids bitch and moan about being denied entry. If it HAD been all ages, your chances would have been close to nil for getting a ticket. I barely managed to snag one with just the 21+ crowd to compete with.