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  • JOSH BIS

Holy shit, you guys: Neko Case was so much fun. It was a laugh-fest both on her part and the audience's. She wins the Best Stage Banter 2012 award for sure. And who was that person in the eagle costume?! I hope you guys actually did hook up. And I'm sorry that instead of a show review, this is mostly just a Neko Case quote-a-thon, but damn if it isn't worth transcribing almost everything she said.

First, she took the stage and played a song, after which she asked the sound folks to "turn down the subs!" She grabbed her back. "Both my kidneys just went bwwaaaaaaawww," and she made a noise like the Inception trailer. The crowd laughed. "I think I just shit YOUR pants," she quipped. We lost it.

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"I ate a shit ton of those cupcakes and I'm really upset!" she went on, explaining why she'd messed up a song and had to start over. "I was alone in my hotel with them." Her hair was wild, and she seemed to be wearing no makeup. She looked sort of feral, or maybe that's just her voice. She got straight to work howling and hitting crazy voice breaks; she sounded amazing. She talked about being nervous playing her hometown (she spent a good chunk of her childhood in Tacoma). Some dude in the crowd yelled, "I want you to have my babies!" Ew, so wrong—this is Neko Case, bro! You have her babies.

She chatted about being cold after having toured the South during the recent heat wave. "I'm used to having a whole wet area on me while I play," she said, I assume in regard to sweating through those Southern concerts. "So I guess I should just pee in a sleeping bag and wear it onstage." The crowd roared again. "Poop and pee, whooo!" she threw back.

Both Neko and her band changed instruments after nearly every song, and when she switched gears from up-tempo to down, she introduced the song as "inappropriate for an outdoor concert. It's just a huuuuge bummer." Then the next song: "This is another inappropriate outdoor bummer. We can't party all the time!"

And then began the portion of the evening we shall refer to forever as Eagle Laugh Attack...

It started with more of her awesomely weird, dry humor. "This is a song that I wrote for my dad. And then they used it on that vampire show. And now it's a vampire fuck song." It was "I Wish I Was the Moon Tonight," which the crowd was so ready for. Maybe one verse in, she started laughing at something in the front row, and soon she was laughing too hard to continue. Turns out this person in an eagle costume was up front. She tried to start again, but couldn't get through the laughs. "It's the beak!" After it became clear that she was in the throes of a middle-school-style unstoppable laugh attack, the eagle tried to leave so as not to distract her. "No! Don't go!" she yelled. Her band started playing a little jiglike tune and she sang: "Don't go, little eagle. You're so cute, and I love your beak." The eagle continued pushing through the crowd toward the back. "It's me, it's not you!" she called after it. But the eagle was gone.

The eagle and the fox. (Thanks, Brittany!)
  • BRITTANY MATTER
  • The eagle and the fox. (Thanks, Brittany!)
She shook off the laugh attack, said, "We're just gonna hit it mid-bummer," and started the song again where she'd left off. Then the laugh attack hit again, a full-body, doubled-over, wracking sort of situation. She could barely speak, let alone sing. Her ZZ Top-looking bassist didn't seem amused, but the rest of the band smiled. It turns out the eagle had reappeared. "It was totally cool, and then he just popped up, like he was going up a little elevator," she wheezed. The song was shelved for later, since it now had an "eagle association." (They never ended up playing it.) "All right," she said, moving on. "This song's about being a huge whore."

The eagle appeared again in the windows above the Via Tribunali building, and she kept it together, for the most part. "There is gonna be a fuzzy rendezvous later. I'll never know who was under there, but it's gonna be hot." Later: "I'm just gonna have a bunch of eggs in a couple months. Single mom it. I don't give a fuck."

Her set continued with some new songs from an album she's working on. When she left, we successfully called her back for an encore, which ended up lasting three or four more songs. "My name is Neko Case, I'm from Tacoma, Washington," she crowed at the very end. We were all pretty swoony at that point. But man, The Eagle vs. Neko Case was the highlight of my Block Party. I am trying to get in touch with people who know who was under that beak, because I don't think Neko Case is going to forget this show any sooner than we all will. We love you, Neko! We love you, Eagle!

More photos...

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