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"I was Changed By Rock and Roll"

Musings on shows and introspective resolution. Yeah right.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wilco, Chicago, night 4


The setlist:
Outtamind (Outtastite)
I must Be High
Impossible Germany
Radio Cure
Leave Me Like you Found Me*
Company on My Back
Handshake Drugs
War on War
Shake it off
Summerteeth
In A Future Age
ELT
Shot in The Arm
Poor Places ->
Reservations ->
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
On and On And On
-----
Hotel Arizona
Too Far Apart
Was I In Your Dreams@
Misunderstood
Someday Soon
California Stars
Hate it Here@
The Thanks I Get@
Walken@
I'm the Man Who Loves You@
I'm a Wheel
Kingpin
Outtamind (Outtasite)
e: The Late Greats


---------------------

From minute one, it was clear that everyone in Wilco was aware that tonight's show was being broadcast on the radio to far more people than the 2500 of us crammed into the Riviera; it was also clear that they really didn't care. The opener -- the Sesame Street-ish version of Outtasite (Outtamind) was anti-radio unless all of a sudden it's 1967 again; anyone tuning in accidentally probably thought that the DJ had unearthed some previously-unavailable Beach Boys b-side.

And so it continued: the noisiness of "Poor Places," the swollen intimacy of "On And On And On" (delivered by Jeff in his best Eddie Vedder, huddled under his denim coat as the band played the interlude), the horn-y, horny desperation of "The Thanks I Get." Sure, the second set was stacked with rockers, and apparently in Chicago "Walken" is like the equivilant of, say, Paramore, but it sure seemed like the set was put together to turn all but the biggest fans off.

Which is to say: wow.

Set one was very possibly my favorite wilco set I've ever seen: somewhere in the middle of it they just coalesced. Glenn hit these enunciated beats in "Poor Places" that made me melt. "Spiders" sounded like I was hearing it for the first time. At some point, Pat did that Pete Townshend thing he does and it was as if he'd just invented it.

So even if it fell off a bit -- it did -- I left smiling, remarking (again) about how taking this trip was a great decision. Tonnight, there are only 5 album tracks left -- meaning either a repeat-heavy show, or (one can hope) one full of rarely-heard songs, perfect for those of us who made the journey.

I will try to understand, either way.

Sliding scale: 9

Check out the official review here

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