Friday, April 16, 2010

Jakob Dylan & Three Legs ft. Neko Case and Kelly Hogan Concert DRAMA

This was really a concert full of interesting surprises. The first surprise was seeing Mimicking Birds, a band I know a little bit about, as the opening act. Nowhere on the Wilbur theater website or on Jakob Dylan's website did it mention an opening act, yet there they were, this cool new band from Portland whose song, Burning Stars, is seriously fantastic. Such a nice little treat. Right after The Mimicking Birds finished their set a couple of older people arrived looking very rock star-esque and they were definately turning heads. They sat a few seats down from me and I was very quickly able to figure out just who these characters were. (photos from  and

Yup the Wooba Gooba with the green teeth, the one and only Peter Wolf, the lead singer of the J. Geils band, was there dressed exactly like he is in that picture. I am only 60% sure that the other person he was with was "Magic Dick", one of the best harmonica players ever. It took 35 minutes between sets so the poor guys were bombarded by fans and autograph signing (what does one do with an autograph? I would like to know) but they were incredibly gracious and very nice guys, I had a good time just listening. While listening to them I started thinking about the best EVER song intro to Musta Been Lost. I passed a good chunk of time making sure I could still remember it, saying "Reputa, Reputa the Beauta...this is a song about L-O-V-E and if you abuse it, you're gonna lose it, and if you lose it, you ain't gonna be able to choose it, cause you ain't going to be able to have it further on down the line..." under my breath until I realized I had nothing of importance to say to these guys. I thought about telling them about my twelve year old self sitting down to memorize that song intro and now I can still recite it word for word (yet I can't multiply by 12 without a calculator) but that was lame. Then I thought about telling them how I used to run around as a kid shouting "Love Stinks!" all the time (actually I still do that), but they probably hear that one a lot. So mainly I just thought it was really cool that they came out to see this concert, but there wasn't really a good, non-awkward, opportunity to lean over and say that, so I just kept thinking about Reputa the Beauta letting down her golden locks and Peter Wolf climbing up to the ladder of her love while trying not to giggle. Even though I didn't get to throw my two cents their way I was still perfectly satisfied just knowing that a few seats down Peter Wolf was doing the very same thing I was on a Thursday night. If you have no idea what I am talking about and you think I am crazy you obviously haven't heard this, go ahead, take a look so we can move on. 

Ok now for the real review, actually it is not a review at all, it is a story about serious concert awkwardness that needs to be shared.  I would first like to address a slight discrepancy with the way this tour was advertised. It is written as being "Jakob Dylan & Three Legs featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan" with no opening act listed. There is no other supplemental information about this tour that explains it any further (at least none that I could easily find). Therefore, it is easy to assume that Kelly Hogan and Neko Case are the opening acts and are on tour with Jakob Dylan and his full band. It was not clear what "featuring" really meant. If I had known that "featuring" meant minor back-up singers I probably wouldn't have gone. Based on some issues that arose I was certainly not the only confused person. When the concert ended the main topic in the crowd was "thats all we got to hear from Neko?", thats how confused people were. "Featuring" does not equate to sha la la back up singer in most peoples' minds. I think it would have been really cool if Jakob sang a Neko song, but that was not on the menu. A lot of the younger crowd was there to see Neko Case and they kept shouting out songs for her to sing and at one point Kelly Hogan quietly said, "you are at the wrong concert for that" and Neko and Kelly kept shaking their heads at the crowd in a "No Neko songs tonight" kind of manner. In fact, the loudest cheers heard all night were when Neko Case was introduced by Jakob Dylan, the crowd was clearly disappointed that she wasn't more prominently "featured". The show was meant to be focused on Jakob Dylan and his songs only, which is totally fine, but I think the audience needed some clarification on that because here is what happened...

The crowd at the Wilbur Theater consisted of only 20-somethings and 50-60 somethings and no other ages in between, which was just strange. It seemed like most of the younger kids were there for Neko Case, especially the loud obnoxious younger kids, while the elders were more interested in Jakob Dylan, reliving their glory days, and talking to Peter Wolf. After the first song, someone in the crowd professed his love for Neko Case and she promptly mouthed "stop" while giving the finger. I thought, "ballsy, do you do that to everyone who says I love you? Or just to your fans in the crowd?" (I wanted to high five her) , Jakob thought "calm the fuck down the show is just starting" as he made urgent calm down motions to Neko. After that song, Jakob Dylan was centimeters away from strumming the first cord of his next song when some guy yelled out "how's your dad?", to which he stared in astonishment, just like most of the audience did, and said "uhh that came so late in the game, I can't even comment on that." Then the charming Kelly Hogan chimed in with "My dad is doing just fine, thanks" and without missing a beat Neko said, "my dad's dead". Cue the crickets. Seriously? Did that really just happen? Dylan jumped right into the song after that and I couldn't help but think how Neko's song, "People got a lotta nerve" makes more sense now that I know that she vehemently hates people who lack concert manners. I can't really blame her, I have issues with those people too, but this was just getting weird. They are seasoned performers, shouldn't they be used to this type of banter from "that guy" by now? 

I can't even begin to explain the serious performer to audience tension going on after that, and both sides were struggling to recover. Jakob didn't address the audience for the next few songs and during the time in between songs everyone got freakishly quiet like they were scared something worse was about to happen. It was so quiet that Jakob even commented on it later saying, "it must be because you are a really attentive crowd, I've never seen such a quiet crowd." Jakob did a good job about being light hearted and funny and the crowd loved him. But even later he had to interrupt himself mid-song to speak to the lady right in front of him who was taking non-stop flash pictures (I could even see her flash going off from the balcony) and he asked her to turn off the flash mid-song! How embarrassing is that? I have never seen that happen before. And what type of idiot tries to blind the musician? The funny thing about that is that the first two rows were made up entirely of the older generation and even they didn't have good concert manners. Surprises all around. People got a lotta nerve, am I right Neko?**

What's that? You thought this was supposed to be a place for music not rants (I link to 3 songs in this post btw)? Well, here you go...despite the "issues" the concert was good, like 3.78 out of 5 good. The band he had with him was so incredible, very talented, and a real pleasure to watch. Most of his songs were from his new cd which I  really like even though it is a different direction from the Wallflower days. He channels his dad a lot in clothing, stage presence (except I bet nobody has asked Bob how his dad is doing), and especially in his voice, but I mean that in the best way possible. He doesn't necessarily try to be his dad but there are just certain parallels that are impossible to ignore. My favorite part, other than being able to taste the tension in the air, was when he played 6th Avenue Heartache, which I didn't think was going to happen.  Seeing the classic 90s hit played live made my night, I forgot how good that song was, the heavy guitars and the lyrics, and the simple fact that you just can't hear songs like that played on the radio anymore. He also played 3 Marlenas which made me secretly hope he would play my favorite Wallflower song, "Closer", but I knew that was wishing for too much. Maybe when I get the pictures uploaded I will write you a proper  rant-free review. But you should know that at the end of the night when Jakob Dylan said "Thank you Boston" you had to wonder if he really meant it.  

**Maybe I read into the tension a little too much, maybe I do that because I pay close attention to awkward moments since they follow me around, but you should know that in all seriousness this was a bit extreme. I have never been at a concert where those things have happened. Now I will be curious to read some reviews about this tour, especially reviews on tonight's show, to see what other people say. If you hear any news, send it my way.  Also, please do tell me if I am a complete idiot for not getting the meaning of "featuring". Thanks


  1. I was there in the balcony too, right in the middle, first row. I noticed Peter Wolf but didn't recognize who he was with as Magic Dick. I also wondered, if I went over there, what I would say that wouldn't be awkward. I decided against it when I saw how much he was being hounded. I too was satisfied just doing the same thing he was doing on a Thursday night. I missed alot of what was going on with Neko and I didn't realize the things that were being said. I heard the "How's your Dad" guy and Kelly's reply (I thought she was cute), and I knew about the dum-dum taking flash pictures right in front of Jakob ... but I didn't sense Neko's tension. I did sense that the two ladies were freezing their asses off up there. I'm disappointed that the crowd may have given the performers a bad impression of Boston. I loved the music. Great band. And I enjoyed Mimicking Birds also ... laughed when the lead singer said "just one more, hang in there." BTW, I am a 50-something female.

  2. There isn't anything misleading about "Featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan". Featuring clearly means they are part of the band, not the opening act. Who by now doesn't know that they are singing on this record and tour? They've been everywhere in the media the last few weeks.
    as for not doing Neko songs....she is singing her parts on the record. if she sang more on the record, maybe she'd sing more live. wheres the confusion?

  3. I was down front with the ill-behaved people (though I swear I wasn't one of them!). I've seen Jakob (with and without the Wallflowers) in concert a ton of times, and I've never experience tension like that before. I do think the "how's your Dad?" comment was the catalyst for said tension; I assumed it was from a disgruntled Neko fan who realized that the show maybe wasn't what he expected. I knew what to expect from the show, mainly because I've been following the fan reviews and youtube clips of previous concerts. I wasn't disappointed in the least with the show, music wise. In fact, it was one of the better ones - the musicians were unbelievably talented. Though I normally love the witty Jakob banter, I really was there for the music, so I was fine that they just kept playing songs. I'll add that there was a bit more diveristy in the age ranges (at least where I was standing). There were younger kids (pre-teens), and plenty of people in their 30's (me included).

  4. I can understand why you'd be confused about the 'featuring' thing. I went into it knowing that they would serve as backing vocals, since it said the same thing on the album and they only have backing vocals on the album.

    And that is pretty awful if you have to stop mid-song to tell someone to turn off the flash. I mean, anyway, you're there to enjoy the show, not hide behind your camera lens. Honestly, if you are taking a billion pictures they are all going to sort of look the same at these things...

  5. I know several people who just bought the album and tickets to this tour because of Neko Case. They were pretty disappointed that she didn't do any duets on the album. Some of them are considering selling their tickets since they found out she just sings back up on the tour. They really thought she would be opening or at least singing some of her songs during the show.

    Personally, I'm a Jakob fan, so the more Jakob the better.

    I do wonder how he feels about so many people just coming to the show because of Neko. I also wonder what he thought of Neko flipping people off. Even when heckled, I've never seen Jakob be anything other than polite.

  6. Thank you all so much for all of your insights, I really appreciated hearing all of the different angles. I did love the music, and I have not bought the cd yet, but I will this weekend because of the concert, that is why I was unaware of the Neko Case collaboration. She also sang on one of Peter Wolf's most recent cds. I like to go to concerts without expectations or much knowledge of what songs the band will be playing so that it is always a surprise which is why I don't like to watch concert clips on youtube (I guess that makes me kind of strange). Maybe I do this because I go to one concert a week (this week I am going to 3 concerts). I made the decision to go to the concert at 8pm that night so I didn't have time to really look into what featuring meant. I did enjoy the concert and was really happy that I went, I have a rule to never pay more than $15 for a ticket, so last night was a splurge, and what an interseting one it was. Thanks again, for the comments, it means a lot to me.

  7. I really appreciate this review. I was at the opening PA show and the Mountain Stage show and both were wonderful, though I personally preferred the PA show because it was longer and there was so much spontaneity and banter...the band was feeling things through and it was awesome to watch. This particular show, though, sounds wildly awkward. Like, I don't understand the point of going to shows to shout out weird things or take tons of flash photos. At my concerts we were totally allowed to take pics (no flash) and though there were some flashes from time to time, they weren't very distracting. It was almost like people turned their cams off and forgot the no flash setting, as opposed to just sitting there taking tons of pics with flash back to back.

    Anyway, I'm an old-school Jakob fan, as I have followed his music since he broke out in the Wallflowers and I was a much younger person. I went for his music and, although I am a Neko fan, never did I assume any of her songs were going to be sung, or even that she would somehow be singing anything other than accompanying Jakob. And their voices are so amazing together that I was sort of transfixed the entire evening. Both nights.

    Thanks again for the insight on your experience. Very, very interesting and glad you did enjoy the show in the end.

  8. I was in the balcony and also a little surprised by the vibe, though I have been to other Neko concerts where things have gotten tense. Peter Wolf was at the Neko show at the Wilbur in the fall. Neko sings a duet with Peter on his new album.

    I think it is worth mentioning that the backing guitarist, Paul Rigby, and pedal steel player, Jon Rauhouse, are both from Neko's band. They brought the country noir sound to Dylan's music that Neko is noted for. I wish they would have played with Dylan on the album. I think the songs from his new album were generally better live. The performance of the Wallflower's 6th Avenue Heartache was killer with Rauhouse just electrifying.

  9. If I had gone to the show after reading the advertisement, I'd have thought it was Jakob Dylan leading, Neko as opener and maybe one or two songs in collaboration. Guess I would have been wrong too. :) But then again -- I'm not a fan of Jakob Dylan's music. Good post. Nice read. Thanks for writing it! -- David D. Robbins Jr.

  10. They recently announced a Three Legs gig in my area with the same "featuring" language (and no mention of the opening act). Notably, the announcement was just revised today to remove "featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan" (and the venue's original tweet showcasing them was also deleted). I suppose either the promoter got nervous about complaints/refunds or the venue got sick of fielding questions about this.

    I like Neko Case but don't follow her closely, so I wasn't familiar with this project and on first glance might have also misinterpreted her involvement (although I sure wouldn't have plunked down $30 for a ticket without confirming this first). The fact that the original billing didn't mention the opening act is really what made it look misleading. Somehow I doubt that the tour managers and promoters were unaware that this might happen (and were more than happy to make a few extra bucks off casual fans who misread the ads)...but I'm glad they're clarifying things now.

  11. That's really interesting that they changed the wording for that gig. Thanks for letting me know. Now that I have had time to really listen to Jakob Dylan's "Women & Country", I must say that the live show is worth it, and the live performance outshines the cd. The Three Legs add a lot to the live show and are really incredible musicians.

  12. I have been a HUGE Jakob Dylan/Wallflowers fan for about 12 years now. My number one goal on my "bucket list" was to meet him, and I did after the concert at the Wilbur Theatre. I will admit, I was the girl in the front row that he stopped to say, "Hun, what the flash" Even after I met him after the concert he was nothing but nice, and made a few jokes about it. I was NOT the only one taking pictures with flash around me, as I waited for other people to do it before I did it. If yah wanna check out my awesome flash pictures look me up on Facebook....Roliza Bartlett. And I do agree that the concert was STRANGELY quiet. I am flying next week from Maine to California to see him on Leno, and I again have front row seats to the concert!

  13. I go to many concerts, none as mild as this one. I ALWAYS take pictures...I want them as momentos. And Jakob was very nice about my friend with the flash...even signed her poster after the concert..."No flash" and his name. I say to each his/her own. We all go to different concerts for different reasons. People are far too judgemental of others...don't sweat the small stuff. If my favorite singer of all time spoke to me during a song, I would be were there for my friend to see her favorite all time singer, and she did that, plus got pictures with him after the show. All in good fun. =)

  14. Jessica,
    I am writing to inquire as to how the entire front 2 rows were generalized as having bad manners? Although there were a few throughout the crowd that were inappropriate it is not always a good thing to place all of us in the collective. I was NOT one yelling things to Jakob or Neko or taking pictures and was getting a bit annoyed with the manners myself. I have seen the Wallflowers and Jakob numerous times over the past 13 years and I am now in my 30's, if that is the "older generation" then so be it for your reference. I was there strictly to hear the new material and meet up with some old friends who were also attending. It is always a unique experience to see Jakob in concert because he is so talented and the banter between him and the audience is usually witty and slightly sarcastic.
    I agree that the live show was a surprise variation from the cd and was very happy about that. I went to the concert knowing that the "featuring" part was just that, they were there to sing with Jakob. I have to admit I had never heard of Neko Case before this and was surprised at her following. She is a "ballsy" women and was glad she gave that person the finger. This was Jakob's concert and they were there to share the stage with him.
    I really enjoyed the collaborations and Neko and Kelly's voices definitely added to the music.
    I would agree that the concert was up there in the ratings! Glad you enjoyed it, overall, as did I.

  15. To the last anonymous poster (May 9) and Roliza and her friend Heather, and to everyone else who read and had input on this review, thank you. I plan to write a follow up post to answer all the varied questions. I would never post something that I would later regret, and I don't regret this posting, but I also don't want any misunderstandings. I wrote this directly after the concert and stayed up until almost 4am debating about posting this, knowing it was a rant of mine and I knew that I made some vague generalizations (sorry for that). I am a sarcastic person, long winded, and at the time had only 14 loyal readers. Now I have over 50 devoted readers and I have all of you to thank for that. A few people posted this on various forums like columbia records and a neko case fan site, garnering far more attention than I ever expected to get. I am not a professional writer, nor do I aspire to be one, I know almost nothing about writing ethics or rules, so please don't hold that against me. I just hope that nobody was seriously offended by anything I wrote because that was not my aim, I am really just sarcastic, which never comes off well in writing. I will post the link to the new post (a response to all your questions) in this comment section as soon as I finish it. I will also share the pictures I took from the balcony (w/o flash) that turned out fairly decent for a crappy camera. Again, thank you all for the feedback, I love that you all had something to say. I hope to respond to you soon.


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