If you’ve been following my blog for at least a couple months you know that I’ve been on a quest to expand my social horizons. Being married for 14 years and then recently divorced has left me in a gigantic social void that I’ve been attempting to crawl out of by going out and joining new social groups and hosting a party recently.
About a month ago I wrote a post lamenting that I didn’t have a woman in my life who would go with me to events like the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival (…She’d Like Bourbon and BBQ), and was kinda down that I couldn’t even rustle up a friend or two to go with me to what sounded like an awesome event. A few of you urged me in the comments to go solo because… well, where better place to find a woman who loves bourbon and BBQ than at a bourbon and BBQ festival? It was a compelling argument… but ultimately the logistics involved and the meager funds available at the time had me choose plan B– bourbon and homemade BBQ at home. I vow that next year, if I’m still single and still can’t rustle up any friends to go, I’ll go even if I have to fly solo!
Speaking of flying solo, I am going out tomorrow night to see Neko Case perform at The National, a really cool venue in downtown Richmond to see live music. In my 20s, going to see live music was something I loved doing and did quite frequently, and would even go alone if the band was someone I really wanted to see and no one else was interested. The National is an old movie theater that’s been refurbished as a live venue and I’ve heard it’s a really cool place to see bands play, so I’m really looking forward to finally checking it out.
Here’s a description of the place from a recent write-up:
The National opened for the first time in 1923 and was the place to go for silent movies, vaudeville acts, and musical acts. The venue stayed open until 1983, when the last film shown was Hercules, starring Lou Ferrigno. A cult classic now? Of course. Then? A far cry from Orson Welles and Basil Rathbone. There was talk of demolishing the site, when in 1986 Richmond’s historical organization saved The National from becoming no more.
Now The National is open, and careful renovation has restored the original friezes of capering nymphs, and even an uncovered nursery mural – used in the original building’s nursery – a service provided in the 1920’s to patrons. There are cushy balcony seats (with cup holders!), and nice VIP boxes off to the side (but those are reserved for VIP sponsors of the club). The first floor is all open standing area, although certain acts ask that seating be provided there as well. In that case, the management sets up folding chairs, but you can still stand off to the side or in the mezzanine area.
There are three downstairs bar, one upstairs bar (not including the VIP bar), and The National serves food…
I’m super-stoked to see Neko Case. I first came across her when I stumbled across her album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Each track I sampled was so gorgeous and haunting that I impulsively downloaded the entire album on iTunes and didn’t regret it one bit. Every time my iPod randomly shuffles up one of her songs I just lose myself in the mood she creates in each song.
Seeing her live is going to be an especially nice treat because she’s a gorgeous redhead and old like me. Below is a link to my favorite song of hers:
After falling for her solo work, I discovered that she also performs occasionally with The New Pornographers, and loved the songs where she was the lead singer. My favorite is this one:
I dig the harder edge and energy, but I doubt she’ll be performing any of these for her solo show.
Are any of you fans of Neko Case? Have you seen her live? Do you ever go see live music solo?