I saw the New Pornographers play at the Warfield last night. Too my good fortune, this was the second time I've seen them perform live. The first time was right after I got fired from my job in LA, so I had the night off and drove down to San Diego to see them play the Belly Up. My pal Florida and I strolled in casually around 9 pm, thinking there would be an opening band, and when we were paying for our tickets, I could hear the lyrics of The Bleeding Heart Show coming from inside the venue. Even though we missed a couple songs, the show was still amazing. Throughout the concert, fans yelled out their song requests and, one after another, the band played all of the crowd's favorites.
But there were a couple band members missing. Since she has a vibrant solo career, the uber-gifted Neko Case often does not tour with the band. So at the show in SD, the female vocals were performed by the group's keyboardist, who also has a lovely voice, though nothing like the distinctive pitches that this particular little redheaded rockstar can reach.
So I was delighted to see Neko walk out on stage when the band came on last night. I've seen Neko perform solo live, and I've seen the New Pornographers perform sans Neko, and now I've seen them perform all together. And it was a special treat. The music on its own can capture the hearts of the audience members, and get your blood pumping with the catchy rhythms and high energy, but Neko's vocals on their songs performed live will make this show stand out in my memory for years. I wish I could have been closer to the stage and then I would have truly lost myself in rock and roll fantasy.