There are some singers who are just different live than they are on record. Neko Case is one of those. On her albums, she always sounds great. But live, she blows the fucking doors off. It even comes through in her TV performances. It’s hard to figure out why that might be, but the phenomenon has been happening for years, and it still persists.
Last week, Case released the very good Hell-On, her first proper solo album in five years. And last night, she was a musical guest on Conan, where she once again proved what she can do on a stage. On the show, she sang “Bad Luck,” one of the early singles from Hell-On. That’s a good song! It sounds good on the album! And yet it only offers the faintest ghost of a hint of how it sounds when Case sings it live.
Watching a TV performance from last night on your computer screen is obviously not the same thing as being in a room with Case as she’s singing the song. But the Conan performance of “Bad Luck” is still a hell of a thing to witness. Case and her backing singers once again take a perfectly good song and turn it into something grand and monumental, something you really need to hear for yourself. Check out their performance below.
Hell-On is out now on Anti-.