Johnette Napolitano at Soiled Dove, 11/27/13
JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO at THE SOILED DOVE | 11/27/13
After opening with "The Real Thing," a Concrete Blonde limited edition, single, Johnette Napolitano looked down at a woman sitting in front of her next to the stage and asked if she was okay. The singer, playing her last show of the year, wondered because the gal was knitting. "You're knitting," Napolitano said. "That rules! I have it made when people are fucking knitting at my shows. That's the fucking coolest thing. Well, I hope you're knitting me a chastity belt or something."
Sure, it's a little strange to see some woman kitting about five feet from the singer of Concrete Blonde, but this was no everyday show. Napolitano, by no means, just cruised through a set list during this acoustic show; she told stories, interacted with the crowd and read from her 2010 book, Rough Mix, which includes short vignettes, lyrics and accompanying stories about those songs.
Napolitano launched into the Concrete Blonde hit "Joey," but then stopped and said, "I shall use this opportunity to read from my book. It's a little early in the set, but I didn't expect to see a knitter." She then read a passage about her and Marc Moreland -- who collaborated with Napolitano in Pretty and Twisted, and was also a founding member of Wall of Voodoo -- and recounted the time they were knocking back shots and drinking beer in a bar somewhere. Could have been in Europe, London or Mexico, she said, as the insides of bars in the dark look pretty much the same. Moreland had asked her if "Joey" was about him, and she said it was.
A packed crowd seemed to thoroughly dig "Joey." Napolitano was quite commanding on the tune, especially on the choruses. While she had been standing for the first two songs, Napolitano sat down on "Lady Day," her ode to jazz singer Billie Holiday and followed it up with "All About Eve," a song about one of her favorite films of the same name. After a great rendition of Concrete Blonde's "I Don't Need a Hero," Napolitano looked down at the gal who had been knitting, and said, "You know what I like is that you don't have a cell phone in my face. You can knit all you want."