As soon as I got out of the passenger side of my buddy DVP’s Chevy Astro Van, and heard a distinct hissing sound, the evening took a sideways path. Sure enough, the right front tire was bleeding air at an alarming rate, and as luck would have it, the spare tire was up under the van’s rear-end, locked solid with a rusty wing-nut, which despite spirited bashing with a lug wrench wasn’t budging. So with the concert start time approaching, the decision was made to call AAA, and head inside to see what’s what. A cold Sierra Nevada helped ease the frustration a bit, but better was the call from our mechanic to say he was en-route. Perhaps this mishap could be put right in time for DVP to catch the main attraction. Oh yeah, did I mention that our purpose for the evening was to see Neko Case and her band perform at the Egg in Albany?
Indeed, that is how we came to be parked with a now flat right front tire in the massive underground garage under the Empire Plaza. So Dave headed off to meet the mechanic, and I promised to do what I could to delay the beginning of the show until he was finished. As it turned out, the conclusion of the tire travail, and the commencement of the program were pretty much in sync. And that was probably partially due to the fact that Neko Case was having her own problems involving a “broken”band member. Bassist Tom V. Ray, was apparently unable to perform his duties this evening, of which we learned early in the set when after breaking a guitar string, Neko lamented that they were breaking everything, including the bass player. Stepping in to cover his parts on several songs was the bass player from opening act the Dodos, whom I must confess I did not pay much attention to. They seemed to be well received though and were praised here in the local Daily Gazette. But enough about all of that and the otherwise, the show must go on and it did and it was swell. We were treated to selections from the latest opus, “The Worse Things Get..”, including my faves “Night Still Comes”, “City Swans”, and the set ending rave up “Ragtime”. Other highlights came from “Fox Confessor..”, “Hold On, Hold On” and “Teenage Feeling”, and “Middle Cyclone”, “Tornado Loves You” and “Pharaohs”. The encore began with Neko and band-mate Eric Bachman performing his wistful composition “All Summer Long” to great effect. It was clear from the music, to the banter, to the borrowing of opening band members, that Neko felt comfortable and in control at the Egg, a venue for which she seems to have great affection. And her audience returned that same level of affection. So all’s well that ends well..DVP and AAA ended up replacing the flat tire with the recalcitrant spare (as in donut) and we gingerly made our way home, with echos of that fiery voice for company. Update : Here is a more complete review of the musical portion of this event, or the real reason we attended! Thanks Fred!