I got to see Nikka Costa
Monday night for the first time ever. FUCKING AMAZING. I wrote about Nikka back in August
, and if you read that post, you know how much I absolutely adore her music. I never could've imagined that her live show could possibly be as good as it was. She really blew me away. The following is what I wrote in my LJ.
Nikka Costa played here in Atlanta at Smiths Olde Bar
. I've always wondered why she isn't more popular, and now I'm convinced that everyone NEEDS to hear her sing. Not only did she keep her energy up throughout the entire show (while running around and shaking every part of her body non stop) but the girl sang her ass off. Girlfriend worked it out like she was broke and the rent was due today. I mean, no one on earth should be able to sing THAT well. Vocally, she's up there with Aretha, Gladys, and Patti. Tickets were kind of expensive (especially for the venue, $19) but after the performance she put on last night, I can honestly say that I'd spend three times as much to see her again.
Nikka opened up for Lenny Kravitz when he played the Tabernacle earlier this year. I didn't go to that show so I'm glad that she came back to Atlanta for her headlining tour.
I recorded a few short video clips of Nikka performing at the beginning of the show. Her performances during the first couple of songs were tame compared to the stuff she was doing in the middle of the show and during the encores. She was all over the place, straddling the microphone stand, grinding on the guitar players, and shaking her ass harder and better than anyone I've ever seen. And I still think that there's a black girl in her somewhere. There just has to be.
Matthew picked me up around 8:20 and we got to Smiths Olde Bar a little before 9. I thought that Smiths was kind of a weird place for Nikka to play, but I guess there was no where else really where she could play. Maybe when she gets more popular (and it just has to happen) she'll play the Variety Playhouse or something.
There were already a lot of people upstairs when we got there. A really diverse group too. I was really glad that Nikka had so many people come out to see her. The opening band was called DriveBlind
. They're originally from Scotland (the lead singer asked the crowd if we could understand him when he was talking in between songs) but they now live in LA. They were ok. Kind of your run of the mill modern rockers. But they did have awesome accents and the lead singer kind of reminded me of Tom Chaplin from Keane (looks wise, not voice wise). They played for about 30 minutes or so. By the end of their set, the room was packed. Michelle had made it to the show by then, so she and I got up closer to the stage while Matthew went to get a drink. And then the waiting began. That's always the worst part about shows for me, the waiting in between bands. And last night it seemed like Nikka was never going to come out on stage. But she finally did around 10:45.
Nikka opened up with Til I Get to U
, the first track from Can'tneverdidnothin'
and it sounded awesome. Her band was amazing. She has these two guitar players who are just really wicked good. Her piano player was phenomenal as well. The 2nd song she played was Like a Feather
, and it sounded a little different from the album version. Like a Feather
is of course the song that was in the Tommy commercial, and it was great last night too. Highlights of the show for me were So Have I For You
(a song co written by the Beastie Boys which used to be my favorite song of Nikka's) and Push and Pull
, which Nikka strapped on a guitar for (she told the crowd to sing along if we knew the words, and it was great hearing everyone around me sing it). She also did Tug of War
, Everybody Got Their Something
and Hope It Felt Good
from the album Everybody Got Their Something
. The other songs she did from Can'tneverdidnothin'
were Fooled Ya Baby
, On and On
, Swing it Around
, and Happy in the Morning
. When she started Happy in the Morning
, she stuck the microphone out in to the crowd so that we could repeat that one line after her. She was shocked when the crowd started singing the rest of the chorus, and she got this look on her face like, "Holy Shit! They actually know this song too?" Of course everyone was going to know Like a Feather
and Everybody Got Their Something
, but I think she was pleasantly surprised to see that so many people knew a song from the new record that wasn't even a single.
Nikka had a hard time remembering the words to Swing it Around
(which oddly enough is a song that I tend to forget the words to as well) and she messed up at the beginning on the last verse and had to ask one of her guitarist what the next line was. But she just laughed it off. Swing it Around
is a great song about men hitting on women, and Nikka said that if the men listened closely it would give them advice on what not to do. She said something to the effect of that if a man wants to get with her, he has to engage her mind first before she'll get interested in his dick (yes she said dick). Although, Nikka is married to producer Justin Stanley, so that doesn't apply to her anymore. She was totally dropping knowledge all night, and was funny as hell. Love Nikka! But the best part of the show was before she started Can'tneverdidnothin'
. If you watch the Can'tneverdidnothin
clip below, at the beginning she talks about her Georgia connections:Nikka:
...and nobody in the industry wants to hear that shit, so I do gigs. And it's all live. And thank you so much for coming (crowd cheers)Nikka:
My mom's from Atlanta... (band starts to play) Hold on a second. It's Atlanta I gotta tell the story. My mom's from Atlanta (Loud yells from the crowd)Nikka:
My grandma lives in Conyers (Even Louder yells from the crowd)Nikka:
Is that near here? (some yeahs and nos)Nikka:
It is? Oh shit! (crowd laughs)Someone from the crowd:
She was at the last showNikka:
She was at the last show, that's right. I brought her up at Lenny Kravitz. She's like 90. (laughs) Anyway, and ugh when I was little my mom used to always say "Can't never did nothing, and neither did couldn't." And I know ya'll know what I'm talking about. So I don't really have to explain it to you. Can'tneverdidnothin!
She did two encores: in the 1st one she did Some Kind of Beautiful
and Funkier than a Mosquita's Tweeter
, which sounded amazing with the bongo drums at the beginning. She did another song in the 1st encore, but I didn't know what it was. Maybe its from Butterfly Rocket
(an album that was only released in Australia and is now out of press). The second encore was Around the World
, and it was a perfect song to end the night.
The show ended I guess after midnight. It was fantastic though, and no one has ever impressed me more live than Nikka Costa did Monday night. If she comes to your town, please, please, please go and see her. Even if all you ever listen to is country or punk. I can't imagine anyone going to see her and not having the best time ever. She's great with the crowd, she gives 150% through the whole show, and she makes it clear that she's having a blast up on stage performing.
Sorry to any of you who live in Nashville because Nikka played at Exit Inn last night and you missed out. Big Time. But for everyone else, here are the rest of her fall tour dates. I think DriveBlind is the opening band for all dates. Atlanta was the first night of the tour, so she's not even close to finished rocking out.
Oct. 20: Raleigh, NC (Lincoln Center)
Oct. 21: Black Cat (Washington, DC)
Oct. 22: Canal Room (NY, NY)
Oct. 23: Axis (Boston, MA)
Oct. 24: World Cafe (Philadelphia, PA)
Oct. 26: Magic Bag (Detroit, MI)
Oct. 27: Rave II (Milwaukee, WI)
Oct. 28: Club Majestic (Madison, WI)
Oct. 29: Double Door (Chicago, IL)
Nov. 1: Bluebird (Denver, CO)
Nov. 3: The Clubhouse (Phoenix, AZ)
Nov. 4: Roxy Theater (Los Angeles, CA)
Nov. 6: The Independent (San Francisco, CA)
Here are links to the video clips. Now, all of the bad singing you hear is from the crowd and myself. Nikka was perfect.Til I Get To ULike a FeatherSo Have I For YouCan'tneverdidnothin'
And here are a couple of tracks from the new record. Since I already posted some in August, here are a few different ones. Again, if you like what you hear, get her records. You'll love every song. ?uestlove played drums on Happy in the Morning
, Lenny Kravitz played drums on On and On
, and Lenny also played drums and bass on Fooled Ya Baby
)Nikka Costa- Happy in the MorningNikka Costa- Fooled Ya BabbyNikka Costa- On and On