Warming Up

It was great to see Neko Case at The Egg Wednesday night.

I bought the tickets in January, so the waiting seemed interminable, but the payoff was a tremendous show. Our seats were great, too: second row center. It’s nice to be up close, not just because it makes for a more intimate experience, but it’s cool to see what the musicians are doing — and you can their tattoos.

On Neko case’s arms is tattooed the phrase, Scorned for Timber, Beloved of the Sky. Turns out it’s the name of a painting she loves. Thanks again, Google.

I credit Neko Case with teaching me to be respectful of warmup acts.

In 2003 I went to see Wilco in Montreal. As we waited for the band to come on we, stood around in the back of the theatre drinking beer and talking loudly (how typically American), paying no attention to the opening band.

In short order a woman marched forward to admonish us for our boorish behavior. She did so in a very politely Canadian way, saying something like, “Excuse me, but you’re making it very difficult for us to enjoy the show with the noise you’re making.” That always makes it worse, when people scold you politely.

And who was this singer she felt so strongly about? Neko Case. It was several years later that I discovered how much I loved her music — and I still kick myself for completely missing her show.

So now I arrive on time — and in this case enjoyed a set by The Dodos, a San Francisco band that I’m glad I didn’t miss.

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