On the blurred line between indie rock and straight-up pop, The New Pornographers (the Canadian-formed “supergroup” of Neko Case, Carl Newman and Dan Bejar among others) hit a sweet spot, bridging the generation gap between the skinny-jean wearing hipsters and their parents as evidenced by the crowd at their show Friday night at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater.
Of course it helps that their decade-long stint has produced a number of pseudo-hits and that their various side projects create a more diverse audience, especially with Neko Case’s Americana-leaning solo records.
Supporting their new group effort, Together, the new material was scattered between the aforementioned favorites such as “Sing Me Spanish Techno,” which they opened with and “Twin Cinema.”
While Neko and Carl seemed to be in top-form, enjoying the evening in spite of the “steamy” heat/humidity, it appeared that Dan couldn’t be bothered to appear on-stage unless required for lead vocals. At one point the rest of the band had to call him back as he fled, reminding him that the next tune was his as well.
Along with the core members, Neko’s Austin-based road stand-in joined in the fun, adding harmonies and tambourine, mirroring and supplementing Neko’s parts for a total of ten musicians on the stage.
Neko proved irreplaceable with her vocals on “Go Places” and “My Shepherd.” Kathryn Calder, who has a solo record due in August, rounded out the sound.
After “Bleeding Heart Show” and a decent encore break (even though their set list denoted a return, they made the crowd work for it) they thanked their openers The Dodos and Imaad Wasif and capped the night with “Testament to Youth In Verse.”
Photos by Nichole Wagner