Part of The Light Tour
With special guests Neko Case
Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
June 15, 2018
Review by: Belinda Vasquez
Photos by: Tony Vasquez
The Farm Bureau Lawn is such a beautiful venue for summer concerts, but the weather has been an issue this concert season. Luckily Friday night’s calm weather and comfortable temps were the settings for Neko Case and her band. They have been opening for Ray LaMontagne on his current Part of The Light Tour, which is in support of his seventh and latest album release.
The lawn areas were already beginning to fill up as Neko Case took the stage. She starts off her set with the fast-paced “Man” off her 2013 album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. Afterward, Neko addressed the crowd with her usual candid humor about stopping the set to grab some of the good smelling food.
Her band then followed the opener with four songs from her latest release Hell-On. “Last Lion of Albion,” Hell-On,” Halls of Sarah,” and “Bad Luck.” On the albums title track, Neko and her back up singers jointly belted out a scream during the middle section of the song that was both haunting and impressive. After performing the upbeat “Bad Luck,” she thanked the crowd for singing along on the newer song.
The band jumped back into her deep catalog with “The Pharaohs,” and “ This Tornado Loves You” both songs coming from her 2009 release Middle Cyclone. The rest of the setlist was heavy with new material, but the band did close their set with “Hold On, Hold On,” from her 2008 release Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. As she was thanking the crowd again, she told the crowd Ray is on next, and he will blow your minds. Unfortunately, many in the crowd expecting to hear certain songs that evening would not agree.
With the sun beginning to set over the crowd and a slight breeze in the air the evening was shaping up to be a fantastic evening. The extended break between the two sets reveals three backdrop screens that lighting director, Jeremy Roth, would utilize oil art by Alex Ihnat and other sources of light to enhance the set throughout the evening.
LaMontagne took the stage with his backing band including Indy local guitarist Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket, drummer Dave Givans, and bassists Seth Kaufman. Ray got straight to business performing “Julia,” and “Lavender” both from his 2014 release Supernova. He would not dig any deeper into his collection of albums all night performing songs only from Supernova, Ouroboros, and the recently released Part Of The Light. While many in the crowd did not respond warmly to this idea, it didn’t take away from his performance. The crowd did respond positively to his new songs “Paper Man,” and “Such A Simple Thing,” one of my personal favorites from the performance.
For the encore, he started off with the somber track “Let’s Make It Last” and then went into more art rock dense tracks coming from the Ouroboros album. Starting with “Hey, No Pressure,” “The Changing Man,” and then finally wrapping up the set with “While It Still Beats.” During the encore, you could overhear audience members wondering if he was going to play one of the radio hits, “Trouble,” “You Are the Best Thing,” Beg Steal or Borrow,” or “Let It Be Me.” As the night came to close, you could sense the disappointment with several concerts goers that evening. Maybe if they had come to the show without their own expectations, they would have been able to appreciate the artistry that was on full display.
Neko Case Setlist: Man, Last Lion of Albion, Hell-On, Halls of Sarah, Bad Luck, The Pharaohs, Oracle of the Maritimes, This Tornado Loves You, Dirty Diamond, Winnie, Pitch or Honey, Hold On, Hold On,
Ray LaMontagne Setlist: Julia, Lavender, To the Sea, Part of the Light, Ojai, No Answer Arrives, As Black as Blood is Blue, Such a Simple Thing, Drive-In Movies, She’s the One, It’s Always Been You, Paper Man, A Murmuration of Starlings, Goodbye Blue Sky
Encore: Let’s Make It Last, Hey, No Pressure, The Changing Man, While it Still Beats