Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nikka the Wildcat

Last week, when I shared my thoughts on her newest album Pebble to a Pearl, I mentioned I was excited to be seeing Nikka Costa live. Well, the show was Thursday night and the anticipation was well founded. In fact, it was one of the best shows I've been to in a while.

The opening act for the evening was Pictures and Sound. I hadn't been familiar with them before discovering they were the party starters, but I was able to get a few listens of their self titled debut album under my belt before the show. With just one album of material out so far, their set was fairly short, but never-the-less enjoyable, and did a pretty good job sharing their sound with the crowd. It was pretty spot on for the most part with the album versions but they did a good job of not trying to overpower with their sound as so many bands do. It was loud and solid but still clear and decipherable. The lead singer Luke's voice reminds me a little of Adam Duritz over a brit-pop backdrop.

Visit their label Vanguard Records and become their friend on MySpace.

On to the main event of the evening... Nikka was a sexy wildcat up on stage. She was ALL over the place and at one point cracked a joke about someone asking if her child was half-mic stand because she likes to hump it while singing. The band too was awesome. It's not often that I'll give props to the entire band, but in this case they deserved it. (all 7 members) She had a guy and gal on horns that were tight and a guy on keyboard that was doing some seriously mean funk organ work (and at one point busted into Ray Charles' Georgia On My Mind). I apologize for not taking names down because those folks deserve their due.

The group opened with Keep Wanting More, from the new album, and then worked through a solid set alternating between new songs and songs from her last two albums (including Like A Feather and Push & Pull from Everybody Got Their Something and can'tneverdidnothin' and Happy in the Morning from can'tneverdidnothin') which tended to shift more towards the new as the night rolled on. The only thing that semi-disappointed me in the smallest teeny tiny bit was I expected a cover or two of some old classic Stax soul tracks being that it's her new label. The Ray Charles snippet (only about 30 seconds) was a tease in that respect, but believe me, I'm not going to complain in the least! They did do a groovin' cover of the White Stripes' Denial Twist though.

There are only a few dates left of her current tour but I'm guessing that she'll do a longer headline now that the album is out. If you haven't gotten the latest, there's no time like today.

Visit her website, her label Stax Records, and become her friend on MySpace.


Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind
- Anthology

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