Neko Case & Robin Trower ~ DVD Concert Revue

Last night I watched a couple of disparate Netflix concert videos—disparate in the sense of musical genres visited. Both sounded terrific on the surround system, what with the subwoofer pumping up the bass through the sofa where I was seated.

The first DVD is an Austin City Limits performance by alt-country performer, Neko Case. If you haven't heard Neko, she has a range I haven't heard from many others, most notably on Deep Red Bells from her Blacklisted CD. She covers the song—an absolute favorite around here—well enough on this DVD, though it just isn't the same as the studio version with the latter's added vocal effects. Nevertheless, she puts on an awesome display during this performance—nervousness and all. Backed by Tom V. Ray on standup bass and Jon Rauhouse on banjo and Hawaiian slide guitar, Neko belts out tune after tune, each one impressive indeed. Sadly, Kelly Hogan falls way short as backup vocalist, but at least she doesn't get in the way.

For something completely different, the next performance, Living Out of Time, is by Robin Trower—he of the Jimi Hendrix School of Audiology. One has to be a wah-wah guitar fan to appreciate Trower's music, but hey! Celebrating his 60th birthday, he's in phenomenal shape here, after 40 years on the road and massive amounts of, uh, performance-enhancing substances. (The Tour de France officials should check his samples!) Played LOUD, the band plays a few tracks off recent releases, polished off by solid performances of classic rock staples such as Bridge of Sighs. The topper, though, was a perfect rendition of Daydream from his first release, Twice Removed From Yesterday. If there's any disappointment, it's that no material from In City Dreams or Caravan To Midnight is included, but the concert is only so long, right?