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"I was Changed By Rock and Roll"

Musings on shows and introspective resolution. Yeah right.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wilco, Chicago, Night 2

Not just a superlative Wilco show, but a superlative night, with superlative people, all of whom I'd have been hesitant to call superlative before last night. I haven't done one of these music road trips all alone for a long time; hanging with Steve, Drea, and Kelly was a reminder of what I was missing: the anything-goes, all-bets-are-off awesomeness that comes from being among your kind.

First, the setlist:
Someone Elses Song
Hell Is Chrome
Handshake Drugz
Muzzle of Bees
I am Trying To Break Your Heart
Hotel Arizona
Shot In The Arm
Impossible Germany
It's Just that Simple*
When You Wake Up Feeling Old
Too Far Apart
Hate It Here
Jesus, Etc#
Forget The Flowers#
Dash 7#
Christ For President#
I'm the Man Who Loves You$


The Late Greats
Heavy Metal Drummer
Red Eyed & Blue #
I Got You
Magazine Called Sunset
Monday $
Casino Queen
Passenger Side #
Dreamer In My Dreams#
The Lonely 1 #
e: ELT
Hoodoo Voodoo

* Stirratt on Vox
# W/Andrew Bird
$ W/Horns

After saying a quick Hello to Pat Sansone on the street, Steve and I met up at what we soon realized was perhaps the only gay sports bar on the planet for a pre-show beer.

What's amazing about these things is how we both can geek out, entirely, without any apologies: an hour of talking about what they'd play there led to meeting up in the front section with Kelly and Andrea -- whom we continued to pontificate with before being pushed up against the railing in back by some inconsiderate assholes who drank our air and stole our souls.

Thankfully, after reminding myself I could just decide to leave and balcony it, I did. Smartest thing I've done: gone was the view of the back of one man's head, and instead a wide stage-view where I could make out actual people. And, man, did they play: Dash 7 was lovely and intimate (only the 7th time played -- and I'd seen it once before, at the Fonda), while even the repeats found new ground (Walken, for one, seemed more punctuated.) Poor Andrew Bird: sits in for half the show, but can only be heard while whistling on Red Eyed & Blue.

I had no seat, so I sat on the stairs; not only was I delivered drinks, but I screamed alogn with the guy next to me, who was beyond pleased that I shared his predeliction towards the singalong. After "i'm The Man Who Loves You", he looked at me and said "you gotta love Chicago -- everyone's singing along!" I asked if he was from here.

Of course not. He flew in from Ontario. Genius.

Potentially the best wilco show I've seen, thanks to a phenomenal setlist, a rowdy audience (they wouldn't let the band leave; pre encore the house lights came up, PUSA's "peaches" came on, and raodies started taking down the stage: ELT and Hoodoo Voodoo were actual, real-life encores. Not only that, the latter featured a Nels vs Pat call and response solo. Ridiculous)

Also ridiculous: the rest of our night. Chinese food (nothing was supreme about that seafood, but goddamn that pineapple and ginger chicken: you do it to me every time) and bar-hopping with 18-year old burnouts and kids way cooler than anyone I ever spend time with (or would like to spend time with.) Steve, you're right: If I was banned from the second club for leading the Electric Slide, I don't want to be a member of that club anyways.

Tonight: Live band Karaoke. Anyone following along at home that I've bitched to about needing the right trip to reset my engine? I think I found it.

Click here for my official review


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