Neko Case and The Space Lady at Gothic Theater in Englewood, CO on 7/11/18.

On a scorching hot summer night, Neko Case was having a wardrobe emergency. Her sports bra’s zipper broke minutes before she was about to go on stage. She called her manager in a panic. Luckily, Case found another undergarment and was able to start on time. She confessed it was the result of being on the road for over two months supporting her new album (and her breasts). After describing the pain of dealing with her “boob meat” to the audience, the singer-songwriter continued playing her first club show of the tour.

The night before Neko Case and her band opened for Ray LaMontagne at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (they have been his supporting act since May). After her last solo album in 2013, Case recorded and toured with the legendary K.D. Lang and folk singer Laura Veirs as case/lang/veirs. She also contributed to a new LP with indie rock band The New Pornographers (she has collaborating with the band since 1998). Her latest solo album in entitled Hell-On. Case’s house in Vermont burned down while she was recording it in Stockholm, Sweden. Only a few songs allude to the tragedy.

A picture of instructions for no pictures

Neko Case, dressed in a sleeveless t-shirt with checker pants, took the stage with her talented band. They started with Pitch or Honey from her new album (eight of the twelve tracks from the new release were played). The set list had a good mix of her older material incorporated such as Deep Red Bells, Hold On, Hold On, and Rag Time. The audience roared with great enthusiasm after every song. Her band played through the heat, sweat, and lights to showcase Case’s amazing voice and poetic lyrics. The backing vocals during Bad Luck provided sweetness to the melody as the dark lyrics repeated, “So I died and went to work.” In contrastNeko Case informed the crowd that she felt “f*cking gross.”

Pictures were not allowed during the show. It could be due to Case’s lyrics in her new album’s title track Hell-On – “But you’ll not be my master/You’re barely my guest/You don’t have permission to take any pictures/Be careful of the natural world.” Case ended with the powerful gender identity song Man from her fittingly titled 2013 album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight.

The Space Lady – Photo by Greg Cocks

The Space Lady from La Junta, CO was the opener. Her performance could be described as an acid trip or a fever dream. The Guardian named her LP one of the strangest selections on Spotify in 2014. After being introduced by her manager/grandson, seventy-year-old Susan Dietrich Schneider took the stage. Wearing her signature silver winged plastic helmet with a red siren on top, Space Lady mainly played covers of “space jams.” Stan Jones’ Ghost Riders in the Sky and Peter Schilling’s Major Tom were performed on her Casiotone MT-40 keyboard made in the early 1980’s. The Space Lady also played her own composition The Ballad of Captain Jack.

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one having a wardrobe emergency with my siren helmet.

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