Neko Case Brings Humor, Hits to House of Blues

By: Alex LaRosa

At the House of Blues Wednesday night, Neko Case delivered a stellar show, rolling through over fifteen songs, while pleasing her crowd and making jokes whenever possible. The singer-songwriter and her three-piece backing band were on tour in support of their new box set, “Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule.” The show had originally been booked at the Orpheum, but the venue was changed. Nonetheless, she still saw a large crowd turn out to see her, as the Main Stage was nearly filled with fans.

The opening act was the Felice Brothers, a five-piece group from New York, who delivered passionate, upbeat, folky songs. Hardly stopping to speak in between, they powered through twelve songs in the course of 45 minutes.

Case began the show alone on stage with a large ukulele, and started things off with a few verses set to music. After that, her backing band would rotate on and off the stage as needed, often switching instruments and demonstrating a great deal of cohesion as a unit. Often drawing cheers from adoring audience members, Case was on top of her vocal game, hitting high notes with what looked like relative ease.

In between songs, she often took a moment to make jokes. She complained about how the Transportation Security Administration always checks her instruments at the airport, and made lighthearted jabs at her bandmates. At one point, she ran over to the soundboard to change how the mix sounded, and upon return to the microphone, admitted, “I’m a control freak,” to much laughter.

Case and her band spanned her whole catalogue of material, from her first album to her newer songs. Throughout the night, the Main Stage floor was filled to the brim with bobbing heads and every now and then, an audience member would yell out a request for what song to play next. She smiled often and was clearly enjoying herself, adding that she had taken a nap just before the show.

At the end of the show, Case delivered a massive six-song encore, including a heartfelt duet with one of the guitarists. To conclude, she thanked the audience one last time and assured them that they would return to Boston. Just as she joking promised earlier, the audience really did get their money’s worth with the set they performed.

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