So Neko Case and The Sadies pretty well rocked. Had a great time at the show. Fabulous performance on all counts. And Neko is just adorable. They concentrated on mostly new material. I just got The Tigers Have Spoken yesterday and haven't even listened to it yet, so I couldn't even tell the off-the-new-record songs from the acutally-new-new songs. And they didn't play a whole lot of tracks from Blacklisted, which is the only record I really know all that well. Though she did play "Outro with Bees," which I thought was an odd choice, but really beautiful.
The Sadies played an entire opening set by themselves before Neko came on stage, which was definitely worth hearing. Reminded me some of The Old 97s — not as good, but similar in style. Lots of two-part vocal harmony from the two brothers who are the frontmen. I do think I'll try to pick up some of their records — they appear to have quite a few.
We ended up going to dinner before the concert rather than after. Turned out to be a smart decision, since the concert ran much later that we were thinking (almost 1:00am, which was great — concerts that end at eleven are just lame). Minibar was as cool as promised. Excellent food. Every one of the meat dishes was just superb: venison, lamb, steak, all perfect. The interior was well done (with some caveats). Cool art on the walls (Margaret Keane). And the restaurant was packed with a reasonably hip crowd.
Really, the only serious downside was a totally incompetent bartender. The waiter kept pushing these noxious, fruity, drink specials. When we tried to order more complicated drinks the waiter claimed that they couldn't make them, though they clearly had the ingredients behind the bar. Frustrating. I ended up with a mediocre martini in once of those obnoxious stemless glasses (see here).
The other thing I would have changed was the lighting. Much of the overhead lighting was from 60s-style translucent white plastic globes, with blue light in them. It made everyone look cadaverous. If they had changed those lights to orange (the other color in the restaurant's palette) it would have been much better. Ah well, maybe someday I'll get to design my own place and I can fix all those problems.