Neko Case Main Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 6

Neko Case Main Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 6
Photo: Jessica Deeks
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Gearing up for a North American tour in support of her sixth studio album — the Fiona Apple-esque titled The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You — Neko Case brought an all-star band and a load of new songs to the Ottawa Bluesfest's Main Stage. Working in direct contrast to the designer denim and hairspray of the Dixie Chicks, who would later headline the same stage, Case showed-up sans make-up, looking comfortable (and beautiful) in a draped-open hoodie and rolled-up jeans.

Joined on stage by her small four-piece band that included the remarkably talented Kelly Hogan on backing vocals and Crooked Fingers/Archers of Loaf front-man Eric Bachmann on guitar, Case swayed and slinked through audience-pleasers like "People Got a Lotta Nerve" and "I Wish I Was the Moon." Chiefly focusing on material from her upcoming LP while promising the crowd that she'll return to Ottawa "in a few months," Neko seemed to treat this gig as a standalone warm-up, ostensibly denying the Bluesfest audience from one of those authentic, passion-filled performances Ms. Case has been known to deliver.