According to a missive from the band itself, "Neko had a really bad fall in Washington, DC, which resulted in a fractured ankle (which also did some damage to her ligaments), and will be leaving the tour today. She was really trying to be a trooper and stayed on as long as she could through Richmond and Athens, but it has gotten to the point where she must return home to have her ankle taken care of and to recuperate. She's very upset about having to leave. It's been super fun having her on tour and around again, but she just had to go to avoid doing some real permanent damage to herself.
What a bummer. Feel better soon, Neko.
Many feel that the NPs just aren't as good without Neko in the line-up; having seen both versions, I agree. However, it's not like the band is bad; just different. And Kathryn Calder, who sings lead when Neko's not there, is responsible for contributing to the excellent "Failsafe," one of the best songs on Challengers.
BUT I HAVE A GAUNTLET TO THROW DOWN: Stars, you're in town tomorrow too. Go to the Pageant and hop onstage and play with the New Pornographers. Add harmonies. Boost their spirits. Have fun. It would make for an amazing night too. I mean it: Amy, Torquil, you listening? Play in the afternoon at Wash U for students and then jam at night.
-- Annie Zaleski