Neko Case Pt. 2 at El Rey Theater

by chris cunningham


Oh Neko. Oh lovely, lovely Neko. Oh wait I said that Thursday. I’m repeating myself in my haze of Neko. So I pulled a major blunder as I stopped by the El Rey late in the afternoon to check when the box office was opening. I pull up on my bike (how green of me) and the box office was closed but the front door of the theater was open and some dude was standing out by the curb chatting with someone. I politely interupt them to see if they know what time the box office and the doors open. He kinda chuckles and and said “Doors at 8, Show at 9. Come by we’ll play a few songs for you.” Not making the connection AT ALL. I actually thought his remark was kinda weird. Of course when I finally come back for the show, guess who jumps up on stage first. Dexter Romweber, yep the guy out front. Damn. Stupid me, had I not missed him at the San Francisco show I would have totally known who he was and not been a fool. He’s only been slugging it out since the 80’s with the Flat Duo Jets. He was great though in a Elvis, Eddie Cochran on a distorted 11. Dexter’s drummer didn’t use a hi-hat, he just pounded the drums and cymbals a lot. The Sadies came next and are a garage-punk meets western-movie soundtrack, bluegrass rave-ups en psychedelische campfire ballads. I bought a CD after the show since I really liked them. Very polite with their preacher suits and ties and “Thank you ladies and gentlemen” after each song. Then it dawned on me what Neko had done. Brilliant. Have your backing band open for you so that they get warmed up and get all the kinks out before you have to show up on stage. A free soundcheck before an audience. Neko was good once again, but much more low key. Hardly any audience banter and very few technical problems except for those long tuning pauses between songs. Setlist: Favorite, If You Knew, Souful Shade of Blue, Outro with Bees, Blacklisted, The Tigers Have Spoken, Maybe Sparrow, New Song, Rated X, Hex, New Song, Furnace Room Lullaby, John the Baptist, Lucky Eye w/Dexter Romweber, Make Your Bed, Train From Kansas City, Benny Hill Theme, Loretta.