Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Jazz & Avant, Rock & Pop, Singer-Songwriter > REVIEW: Nellie McKay @ Berbati’s Pan (Portland, OR – 3/31/10)

REVIEW: Nellie McKay @ Berbati’s Pan (Portland, OR – 3/31/10)

1st Apr 10 (Thu) Leave a comment Go to comments


Nellie McKay‘s most recent album, As Normal As Blueberry Pie, came out last year, and while different from her prior records, it definitely fit in her catalog nicely.  It featured her at her campiest but also her jazziest, versus her edgier side. For evidence of the campiness, check out the lovely publicity shots over on nelliemckay.com.  The serious and silliness perfectly fit her personality.  I wouldn’t want Nellie any other way.

On to the show…

The venue, Berbati’s Pan, was known to me more for its rock acts.  The “jazzy, bluesy, singer-songwriter evening” in store for us was bound to be a big question mark regarding how it would come across… well, it was delightful.  The lighting and small couches on the outskirts of the club made for a nice atmosphere.  We got to the show just before Howard went on.  Most of the people were hanging out on the chairs & couches; so we got some spots right up front.

Howard Fishman opened up the show and hit the stage around 8:45pm.  He played guitar in Nellie’s backing band, the Aristocrats, last fall.  He played a good set of bluesy standards and originals.  He had a lap steel guitarist, Henry Bogdan, playing with him.  He played about 25-30 minutes, primarily “upbeat blues” tunes… with a few darker tunes thrown in near the end.  Some of my favorites were “The One Rose (That’s Left in My Heart),” a silly song about the Red Sox, and the capper called “Best Days.”

After a short break, Nellie hit the stage alongside both Howard and Henry around 9:20pm.  Her set was a more stripped down version of what she brought to Seattle last fall.  A great selection of Doris Day and other older standards, with a few of her own songs thrown in for good measure.  Her originals were some of my favorites for the night – specifically “Toto Dies” and “The Dog Song.”  The newer cover tunes added to her setlist – “Small Day Tomorrow” and “Two Sleepy People” – were really great as well.

She was a giddy and lovable as usual… very jokey and generally in a delightful mood.

Setlist: about 75 minutes

  • Do Do Do (Doris Day cover)
  • Sentimental Journey (Doris Day Cover)
  • A Wonderful Guy (Doris Day cover)
  • Georgie Girl (The Seekers cover)
  • Mean to Me (Doris Day cover)
  • Prisoner of Love (Kitty Wells cover)
  • Close Your Eyes (Doris Day cover)
  • “Happy Birthday” (to Becky)
  • If I Ever Had a Dream
  • Toto Dies
  • P.S. I Love You
  • Mother of Pearl
  • Alone When It Rains (duet with Howard Fishman)
  • The Dog Song
  • A-Tisket, A-Tasket (Ella Fitzgerald cover)
  • Small Day Tomorrow (Bob Dorough / Fran Landesman cover)
  • Crazy Rhythm (Doris Day cover)
  • Encore: “Old-fashioned Bodega” (title unknown)
  • Two Sleepy People (Hoagy Carmichael cover, duet with Howard Fishman)

many more photos below

Howard joined her on vocals on two songs.  “Alone When It Rains” is actually a song of his, which was sung last night as a tribute to her former dog, Charro.  The Hoagy Carmichael duet (“Two Sleepy People”) had a giggle-fit lyrical screw up, but they kept rolling with it.  Henry’s lap steel changed the Doris Day sound to a more bluesy feel from the jazz sound of the Aristocrats backing band.  The more stripped down Nellie backing band was a treat.  I hope she keeps on swinging through the Pacific Northwest.

They’re off to Seattle next (check out more tour dates below).  Catch them if you can!

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Coheed & CambriaYear of the Black Rainbow

no free download or torrent here
2010 Tour Dates (so far)

  • 3/28/2010 Los Angeles, CA Alex Theatre
  • 3/29/2010 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
  • 3/31/2010 Portland, OR Berbati’s Pan
  • 4/3/2010 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater A Prairie Home Companion
  • 4/10/2010 Delaware Water Gap, PA Deerhead Inn
  • 5/15/2010 Sellersville, Pennsylvania Sellersville Theater 1894
  • 6/1/2010 through 6/12/2010 New York, NY Feinstein’s at The Regency
  • 9/17/2010 Monterey, California, United States Monterey Jazz Festival

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Higher Resolution (8 pics)

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  1. 13th Apr 10 (Tue) at 8:09 pm

    Perfect i can make it to the Sellersville Theater show.

  1. 19th Oct 10 (Tue) at 7:58 am
  2. 2nd Nov 10 (Tue) at 6:15 am
  3. 23rd Dec 10 (Thu) at 11:44 am

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