Neko Case is one of those artists with appeal to a widely varying audience. Last night's show at the National proved that, with everything from friends who had never been to the venue before(how is that possible? I feel like it's my second home) to friends whom I'd seen there at the Mates of State/Black Kids show just last week.
Perhaps it's her amazing voice that draws from so many kinds of music lovers; certainly there's no denying that a large part of the male portion of the audience lust after her. She rewarded them with near-constant rearranging of her hair, putting it up and letting it down in turn. No question, she gives red hair a good name.
Crooked Fingers opened the show and delivered an excellent set, no doubt winning over those who profess not to like folk-tinged indie rock. Their performance demonstrated why Neko herself is a fan, having done a guest vocal on their latest CD.
While the show didn't sell out, it had to have come close, with everyone standing shoulder to shoulder. Luckily, Neko's fans are, for the most part, a civilized bunch, so the large crowd size was not a negative factor.
And perhaps most impressively, Neko forbade cameras of any kind, which meant no one was allowed to use their cell phones during her show. I'm sure plenty of people were going through withdrawal, but for some of us, it was a happy night. Security people warned the crowd ahead of time that phones would be confiscated if used. That's the world I want to live in all the time.
And kudos to Neko Case for making it happen, all the while serenading us with that magnificent voice. It was another good night at the National.